Lowestoft Town 3 Chorley 1
Lowestoft Town put in a battling performance, ending with ten men in a fiery 3-1 win against Chorley to take an excellent three points
Our Main Sponsors – Smith Bros Timber
Platinum Match Sponsor – Bulldog Offshore Services Ltd
Silver Match Sponsor – The McNamara Family, who would like to say Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all the fans, players, staff and management of Lowestoft Town Football Club. This is a great community club and we love being a part of it. Here's to a successful 2015!
Ball-boys (sponsored by Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Ltd) – Waveney Jaguars U12's
Mascot – Oliver Lloyd Taylor-Burroughs
Lowestoft Town: Joseph-Johnson, Ainsley, Gleeson, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Mason, Jarvis, Okay, Adam Smith (Fisk 81 mins), Reed (Woods-Garness 77 mins), Bammant
Subs not used; Eagle, Radomski, Zielonka
Chorley: Ashton, Jacobs, Mather (Dorney 87 mins), Teague, Doyle, Cottrell, Lynch (Winter 81 mins), Whitham, Dean, Simm (Hine 54 mins), Jarvis
Subs not used; Roscoe, Ross
With Ashlee Jones suspended and Jake Jessup unavailable, Lowestoft Town brought in goalkeeper Lamar Joseph-Johnson and put him straight into the side after having signed duel registration from Grays Athletic.
Prior to the match a minutes silence was observed for two very sad losses this week; John Boyce, a Lowestoft supporter for over forty years and John Humby, the long serving secretary of Beccles Town FC.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence the match got underway on a very heavy and churned up pitch, with a good number of travelling Chorley supporters in full voice right from the off.
The game got off to a high tempo and frantic start and saw Chorley pose the first bit of danger with them finding themselves outnumbering blue shirts in a breakaway attack but Okay had tracked back well and cleared the danger in the six yard box for the blues.
Tackles were already getting put in with both sides having their foot fully on the accelerator and with Lowestoft's first meaningful attack, the blues took an early lead. The Chorley defence looked to have cleared their lines but with Okay kicking the ball over his head and back towards the Chorley area, Mason produced a neat flick to send Reed in on goal and the striker clinically poked home from just inside the area for 1-0 (12 mins).
A further four minutes passed before an already lively looking Reed was causing problems again and with him latching on to a nice ball from Okay, he tried to go round Chorley keeper, Ashton but was pulled down, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Up stepped Ainsley, who has become a bit of star from the spot, to dispatch the spot kick and send the blues 2-0 up (16 mins).
It had been a great start for Lowestoft and even though Chorley hadn't fully got going, there was quality in their ranks for the blues to be wary of, as the temperature started to rise in a heated but excellent game of football.
Two nearly became three for the blues on the half hour mark, as an Adam Smith corner saw Gaughran send a glancing header just wide of the target.
Lowestoft were really playing well throughout the whole of the team and the visitors were getting little joy from a very solid looking blues defence.
Suddenly Chorley had a great chance though, with a ball coming in from the left and Teague looking like he'd steered a header across goal and inside the far post but it somehow ended up striking the post and bouncing into the clutches of Joseph-Johnson, who was already showing a safe and authoritative set of hands for the blues. It was a good bit of fortune for Lowestoft but was the catalyst for the away side to have their best spell of the game with ten minutes of the half remaining. The Magpies passing hadn't really been up to scratch so far but they were now having a better spell with Whitham in particular starting to move the ball around well and after a bit of head tennis in the Lowestoft box, a stabbed effort went just wide for the visitors.
The brief spell by the visitors looked like being seriously dampened when Haynes-Brown went on a lengthy, winding run from left back for the blues and opened up a chance of a shot at goal. However, the ending was a flimsy effort by the defender, that proved simple for the keeper to deal with.
As the half came to a close it had been a super half by the blues. Reed had won and controlled the ball well up top and was being ably supported by a hard working Bammant, who was making some good runs himself. On top of this the blues midfield were ticking over nicely with a competing Okay especially standing out and a Lowestoft back four behind him that were looking very solid and were being backed up by some commanding handling in goal by Joseph-Johnson.
The second half saw Lowestoft come out on the front foot right from the off, with Mason in particular showing great energy and close ball control down the right, mixed with a willingness to run at the left back at every given opportunity.
A great ball in from the right by Mason looked to have presented Reed with an opportunity but with a tussle ensuing between him and the defender, the referee awarded a foul to the visitors.
Chorley appeared to have finally weathered the early second half onslaught by the blues, as they made their first change of the match with Hine replacing Simm. However, Lowestoft were soon at it again, taking the game to Chorley and earning a crucial third goal to put daylight between the sides.
It was Reed who got himself into the right hand corner, before sending a ball across goal to the feet of Adam Smith and with him trying to work an opening in the area, he was brought down by Teague and Lowestoft had their second penalty of the game. It was Ainsley again and an outcome that has almost become expected when he steps up, as he sent the keeper the wrong way for 3-0 and his seventh of the season; five of which have been penalties (56 mins).
Lowestoft looked comfortable but very nearly had to play the last thirty minutes with ten men, as Okay launched himself into a tackle on Doyle and was a bit lucky to just get a booking. Further punishment came from the resulting free-kick though, as the set piece was delivered and Teague rose to head home and reduce the arrears to 3-1 (61 mins).
The goal lifted spirits in the visiting ranks as they started to pen Lowestoft back a bit, but with the blues looking to break away, play was broken up with Bammant being clattered late by Teague and the Chorley defender ending up in the referees book as a result.
Chorley new that a second goal for them could cause nerves in the home side and with a headed clearance landing nicely for Dean, a chance at goal arrived but his shot saw Joseph-Johnson get down really well to save as fifteen minutes remained.
Lowestoft were now having to roll up their sleeves and battle on a torn up surface but battle is exactly what they did and they were not going to let a big three points slip. Reed was now struggling on the heavy surface after recently suffering from a tight groin and the introduction of the pacey Wood-Garness now gave an advancing Chorley defence something to be wary of for the remainder of the match.
A hooked effort goalwards by Doyle was right at Joseph-Johnson in the Lowestoft goal as the game maintained its level of intensity with meaty tackles still coming in from both sides. Unfortunately for Lowestoft one of those meaty tackles was from Okay and with him having already been booked, the blues were down to ten men for the final ten minutes of the match, as Okay got his marching orders.
Both sides made changes, as Winter replaced Lynch for the visitors and the blues introduced Fisk in place of Adam Smith, as they shifted to a 4-5-1 with Woods-Garness going to the right wing and Mason shifting centrally.
The change for Lowestoft was purely tactical and even with a further change by Chorley from the bench, the blues looked to be seeing the game out comfortably. As the final minutes approached the blues should have made it four with a weak back pass allowing Jarvis in but with him squaring it and putting it on a plate for Woods-Garness, the striker unbelievably fluffed his lines and side-footed over when he should have scored.
Luckily for Lowestoft the miss didn't matter too much and with three stoppage time minutes being seen out, Lowestoft had secured the three points with an excellent team performance.
It was a performance that saw everyone play their part, right from the goalkeeper through to the front men. Joseph-Johnson appeared to have fly-paper on his gloves, as he showed great handling and authority in the box throughout. The back four in front of him all excelled and kept a fourth placed Chorley side in check for large spells of the match. Then in midfield, he may have disappointingly got himself sent off but Okay is in fine form and put in another tenacious display. While in attack Reed showed great control and positioning and was supported by the sometimes criticised but extremely hardworking Bammant, who was also ploughing furrows in the Chorley backline at times. Ainsley showed again what a cool customer he is from the spot but when it comes to Man of the Match, there were a number you could pick from but one just stood out above any other. Lowestoft have been missing someone who can get the ball at their feet, show good close control and attack full-backs with strength, pace, confidence and most importantly quality. That man is Dean Mason and after shining at Solihull, he shone yet again in a Man of the Match performance.
Lowestoft Town are next in action on Boxing Day when they travel to Boston United for their 'local' derby.
I can't finish the report without mentioning our visiting supporters, who were quite frankly superb and very gracious in defeat. A number of them 'The Sunshine Bus crew' travelled down on Friday and spent the weekend with Lowestoft supporters going round pubs, taking part in quizzes and forging great friendships with lots of laughter along the way. We all hope you have a safe trip back and very much extend our hand out to you as part of our non-league family. Thank You!!