Brackley Town 2 Lowestoft Town 3
Lowestoft Town put in their best performance of the season to get their first away win; fighting back from two down to win 3-2 at Brackley Town.
Our Main Sponsor:- Smith Bros Timber
Brackley Town: Turley, Samuels, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Sinclair, Austin, Nelson-Addy (Built 77 mins), Whittall, Rowe, Kaziboni, Moyo (Green 77 mins)
Subs not used; Eric Odhiambo, Sharpe, Farrell
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Gleeson, Sowunmi, Gaughran, Ainsley, Lee Smith, Jarvis, Okay, Bammant (Mason 65 mins), Reed, Crow (Woods-Garness 89 mins)
Subs not used; Zielonka, Jessup
Lowestoft went into the game having to shuffle their pack from last Saturday with Fisk serving his one match suspension after his sending off at Hednesford and both Eagle and Haynes-Brown out with what look like being minor injuries.
Gaughran returned to the side after being rested last weekend, while Bammant replaced Eagle on the left and Okay replaced Fisk in the middle of the park. With both left back options injured, Gleeson moved to right back while Ainsley switched to left back.
Brackley named forty-three year old Frank Sinclair at centre back, while current goal grabber Moyo lined up for The Saints.
The match got underway on a decent looking surface, on a fresh day under a clear blue sky.
The opening exchanges were fairly even as both sides looked to use the space offered up on a wide looking pitch. It wasn't until the tenth minute before the first shot of the game was sent in on goal and with Jones looking like he thought it was going wide, his apparent misjudgement was confirmed as a low shot from just outside the area by Rowe crept inside the post for 1-0 to the hosts (10 mins).
Lowestoft nearly levelled things up in double quick time with good work in the area by Lee Smith and Jarvis, leading to Crow having a shot saved that went fractionally past the foot of the far post. From the resulting corner the blues came close again as a Sowunmi glanced header went narrowly past the opposite post.
Lowestoft had reacted well to going behind and were now pressing in the hosts half with Jarvis starting to turn the wheels in midfield and both Reed and Crow looking sharp and threatening up top. It appeared like the home sides tactic was to use their pace to catch Lowestoft on the break and it very nearly paid dividend, as a breakaway down the left saw the ball come across field to Nelson-Addy but his effort at goal was straight at Jones with just under twenty minutes gone.
Okay and Jarvis were now getting a strangle hold on midfield and anything that did go the way of the Lowestoft defence was being dealt with by the solid looking and towering figure of Ipswich Town loanee Sowunmi.
Thirty minutes had now passed and the possession was heavily with Lowestoft, as Lee Smith was now starting to make inroads down the right and also inside when coming in off the flank to support. The blues were also looking threatening down the left with Ainsley seamlessly slotting in at left back and slipping Bammant in, only for the forward to see his effort saved by the legs of Turley in goal.
Ten minutes of the half now remained with Lowestoft looking the better side and more than worthy of an equaliser. The football being offered up by the blues was of good quality but that final ball on the outskirts of the Brackley area, of which a few clever balls by Crow were being put in, seemed to either got blocked, cut out or not quite find its man in what was starting to become a one-sided affair. Brackley were making their task even harder, giving up possession on occasions and unable to stop Lowestoft from keeping the pressure applied as the break approached.
A Brackley break saw Nelson-Addy in full flow heading towards a dangerous area of the pitch but he was stopped in his tracks when Ainsley caught him and rightfully went into the book for his troubles.
The halftime whistle sounded and with the exception of the early and fortuitous goal for Brackley, Lowestoft had been the better side and were putting in a fantastic showing.
The second half saw Lowestoft come out in confident fashion, looking alert and sharp right from the restart. It therefore took them little time before a sight a goal was in the offing as a Crow touch found Jarvis, who in turn found Lee Smith in space but from a good position to work the keeper, his effort was poor and off target.
All the play was coming from Lowestoft and with the determined Reed getting sandwiched between defenders, cries of a penalty for the blues were rightfully waved away. It appeared to be just a matter of time before the equalising goal arrived but with Brackley getting forward for their first time in the half, Kazaboni crossed from the left and Moyo slide in to leave Lowestoft and their supporters stunned, making it 2-0 (55 mins). The defending could have been better on both of the goals but it was still a harsh scoreline on Lowestoft.
The Trawlerboys naturally looked a little deflated as Nelson-Addy weaved past a few shirts and looked to heap on more pain for Lowestoft but he was unable to get a shot away before the Lowestoft defence closed in.
Lowestoft had now switched Gleeson to centre back and Sowunmi to right back as they gradually started to pick themselves up and with a Lee Smith free kick going just wide at the other end, the blues started to fight back.
The first change of the day was made by Lowestoft with Bammant having played his part with a hardworking individual effort before being replaced by Mason.
Lowestoft were now firmly pushing Brackley onto the back foot and this was allowing the Lowestoft midfield to push on, as Okay sent an effort down the throat of the keeper. Moments later a scramble in the Brackley box ended with the ball popping out to Okay on the edge of the area but yet again the keeper was right behind his effort as Lowestoft upped the ante even further.
Time was starting to run away but there was a feeling that if Lowestoft could find a goal, then they could go on and deservedly get something from the game. The scene was then set for exactly that, as the blues won a free-kick in a dangerous position and Crow guided an effort that had little pace but great placement to leave the keeper rooted and pull the score back to 2-1 (69 mins); game on!
A stark reminder was handed out at the other end by Brackley's main contributor, Nelson-Addy as he got in behind but his shot from the angle was right into the clutches of Jones at the near post.
Fifteen minutes now remained and with Crow showing some lovely and intelligent touches, and every player in blue giving 100%, there was a feeling that there was still more to come from this game. Brackley could only hope that they could catch Lowestoft on the break but there was little hope of that with the blues dominating possession.
Everything was been thrown at Brackley now with the Lowestoft passing and movement right on point. A nice touch by Crow saw a fierce Mason effort saved by the keeper. Then moments later a steered effort by Jarvis looked to be heading inside the post but Turley was at full stretch to claim at the foot of the post.
The excellent football continued and with a fine move ending with Reed with the ball at his feet and back to goal, he worked space in the box before turning and hitting the net to turn a two goal deficit into a 2-2 scoreline (77 mins). The goal was met with an immediate double substitution by the hosts, as Green and Built replaced Moyo and Nelson-Addy. Lowestoft were now in the ascendancy though and were hungry for a winner as the final ten minutes arrived.
Lee Smith had put in another energetic performance after a lengthy period out and it was rather apt when in the eighty-third minute he sat one up to the far post for the impressive Crow to head down and grab his second of the game to send Lowestoft 3-2 ahead and making the comeback complete (83 mins).
Brackley weren't just going to accept defeat though, as Jones pushed a Green header round the post to keep his side ahead at the other end.
It was time to baton down the hatches for the blues as they dropped deeper and Brackley forced numbers forward desperately looking for a leveller. The Lowestoft defence were not going to let it slip though, as a super block by Gaughran was followed by Jones getting behind a fizzing shot from distance by Kazaboni with five minutes remaining.
Lowestoft maintained their high level of determination though and with Woods-Garness replacing two goal hero Crow, time was slipping away for the hosts.
As Brackley pushed forward it was Lowestoft who nearly killed the game off but with Ainsley doing well with the ball at his feet to find Woods-Garness, the Montserrat strikers effort cannoned back off the upright.
The game was now into stoppage time as Reed sent another Lowestoft effort fractionally wide from distance. However, time was up and the whistle sounded shortly afterwards to signal Lowestoft's first away league win of the season and a richly deserved three points.
Every Lowestoft player had put in a big performance and as a team nobody lost faith when going two down against the run of play. That determination and belief, mixed in with some high quality football, is what ultimately led to a richly deserved victory in a fantastic team performance.
Sowunmi lost hardly any of his battles at the back and provided good energy when switched to right back in second half. While Ainsley seamlessly switched to left back and gave another performance that was full of solid defending and good attacking support play. In midfield, Jarvis and Okay ably ran the show in the middle, while on each flank Lee Smith and Bammant ensured the Brackley defence had little time to relax. Up front Reed put in another tireless performance that got the goal it merited and his strike partner Crow looked sharp, got into some good space and provided some intelligent passes.
When it comes to the Man of the Match, it literally is an almost impossible task and I was very, very tempted to reserve my right to give everyone the Man of the Match honours on this occasion! However, after thinking about it and considering it was only his second start in a competitive match since last April; grabbing two goals, while also showing some really intelligent football and touches; my Man of the Match is Danny Crow.
What a performance and an away win that has been coming for weeks. A great three points and plenty to be positive about at present from a performance that quite rightly should be celebrated. However, feet need to stay firmly on the ground and expectations need to be kept in check, as it was a great day but there are still plenty of games to go this season.
Lowestoft Town are next in action on Saturday when they're on the road again, this time at Gloucester City.
Come on you blues!!