Worcester City 2 Lowestoft Town 1
A commendable second half performance by ten men Worcester City and the excellent Nti sees Lowestoft Town lose 2-1 at Aggborough.
Worcester City: Vaughan, Nash, Campion, Gudger, McDonald, Gater, Nti, Deeney, Rowe (Spencer 80 mins), Geddes, Vincent
Subs not used; Elvins, Jackman, Morris, Lloyd-Weston
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Barker, Ainsley, Mitchell (Eagle 46 mins), Smith (Woods-Garness 80 mins), Okay, Rossi Jarvis, Ryan Jarvis, Crow (Bammant 56 mins), Henderson, Reed
Subs not used; Mason, Garnham
Mitchell had recovered from his knock on Tuesday night. So the only change for Lowestoft Town was Rossi Jarvis coming in for the unavailable Fisk.
Following a minutes silence for Peter Crow, the match got underway with Lowestoft in yellow tops, white shorts and white socks.
Lowestoft nearly got off to a flier in the opening seconds with a perfectly weighted ball over the top by Henderson to find Crow. However, with Crow heading beyond the oncoming keeper to set himself up, his flighted effort from the angle wouldn't come down quick enough and drifted over the bar.
The favour was returned shortly afterwards when a flicked on header by Crow found Henderson in a dangerous position but the tall and solid McDonald showed his strength in the hosts defence to bustle Henderson off the ball.
A strong but over zealous tackle on Mitchell saw Nti go into the book as Lowestoft had started the brighter of the two teams. The hosts defence was looking wobbly and possession was being given away all too easily, allowing Lowestoft to find a good flow to their passing football.
Key battles were now starting to take shape with Henderson up against right-back, Nash on one side for Lowestoft and left winger, Vincent up against Barker on the other for Worcester. The football, however was now getting a bit sloppy from both sides. Until a nice close touch by Okay found Reed in the area but Nash was fully alert to steal it off his toe in the Worcester defence.
The lead came for Lowestoft just before the half hour mark when great build up play and interchanging football by Reed, Henderson and Ryan Jarvis, ended with Ryan Jarvis feeding in Henderson on the inside left of the area. He had it all to do though from a tight angle but produced a superb finish across goal and into the top far corner to give Lowestoft a 1-0 lead (29 mins).
Nti was a threat when Lowestoft visited Aggborough last season and with him drawing a foul and booking for Smith, Worcester started to hit back. Brave defending and a great block by Rossi Jarvis was keeping the hosts at bay though, as Lowestoft cleared their lines well.
The giant McDonald had already shown his strength in the opening minutes for the home side and it was his towering figure that played a part in seeing the hosts draw level before the break. A clearance by the Lowestoft defence had skewed high into the air and with the dropping ball being headed in the area by McDonald, it was a race to the six yard line between Jessup and Nti but it was the threatening Nti who won the race and stretched out a leg to poke the ball home for 1-1 (39 mins).
The sides were about to head off at the break level but not before a moment of utter madness saw Worcester reduced to ten men in a scene that was reminiscent of their infamous body slam incident that went viral on you tube last season. As Ainsley and Vincent came together on the far touchline, Vincent then proceeded to pick up Ainsley, throw him to the ground and quite rightly receive his marching orders to reduce the hosts to ten men at the interval.
Having taken a knock on Tuesday night and one earlier in the game, a half time change saw Eagle replace Mitchell. As Rossi Jarvis moved into defence and Eagle took up position in the centre of midfield.
Worcester had clearly been asked to give more in the second half and they took little time in responding, despite their ten men disadvantage. Smith was already finding Nti a handful and with him getting the better of the Lowestoft left-back, Rossi Jarvis needed to be alert to block out his squared ball into the box.
The home side were now ticking over nicely with Gater cleaning up possession and Deeney controlling things in the middle. The threat of Nti was also on the increase and with him being fed in, it took a great stop by the legs of Jessup to deny him. Seconds later is was nearly the lead for Worcester as a header shaved the foot of the far post by Gudger.
Lowestoft were coming under considerable pressure now as a response from the bench saw Bammant replace Crow and move out to the left, with Henderson coming across to the right and Ryan Jarvis moving into the hole behind Reed.
Sixty minutes were now on the clock and all credit had to go to the home side who were showing a lot of fight and looking the more likely to score against a beleaguered looking Lowestoft.
An Nti chance was spilled by Jessup before the Lowestoft keeper was forced to keep his side in it; turning over a fierce effort from distance by Geddes.
The hosts dominance continued with little sign of them being the side who were down to ten, as a frustrated booking for Barker increased the anguish for Lowestoft.
A perfect chance to take the lead presented itself to Worcester with a ball dropping perfectly for Nti in the Lowestoft area but from ten yards his unchallenged effort was high and way over the bar.
A brief foray forward saw Okay play in Ryan Jarvis just inside the area but his tame effort summed up Lowestoft's second half showing, which was missing the energy and threat that had been seen in their opening two games.
Just over fifteen minutes remained as the home sides pressure final took its toll when man of the match, Nti was up against Bammant in the Lowestoft box and won a penalty after being bundled to the ground. Up stepped Geddes to slam the ball down the middle and put his side 2-1 to the good (74 mins). It was a deserved lead for the hosts who had stretched Lowestoft in a very strong half of football for them in which Nti was lighting up Aggborough.
A rare opportunity for Lowestoft saw a Ryan Jarvis free-kick in a dangerous position met by a leaping head in the wall. As a final throw of the dice saw Woods-Garness replace Smith with ten minutes remaining.
Lowestoft were struggling to find any answers though and with Bammant going into the book, it was looking like being a frustrating day for the Trawlerboys.
Okay then caught Nti to become the fourth name to go into the book for Lowestoft as time started to slip away.
Stoppage time arrived and went with Lowestoft looking leggy and Worcester looking comfortable in taking all three points in a deserved victory.
It hadn't been a great second half by Lowestoft but credit was due to Worcester, who made it difficult for Lowestoft and put in a commendable and fighting performance that saw them dig deep to get their first win of the season. On top of this, Nti had run the show and was a thorn in Lowestoft's side all afternoon.
There weren't too many highlights for Lowestoft but one of them was a great finish by Henderson for the goal and another was the performance of make shift centre-back, Ainsley. Smith had his problems on the left with the excellent Nti but in the centre, Ainsley hardly put a foot wrong all afternoon in an individual performance that saw him defend strongly and read the game well to take the Man of the Match honours.
Man of the Match - Jack Ainsley
The disappointment after the game was clear to see on the players faces but having played three games, two of which have been away and to have six points on the board.........that is a great start and shouldn't be forgotten, despite today's result.
Lowestoft Town are next in action on Tuesday night when they welcome Nuneaton Town to the Crown Meadow, in what will be a tough test against a side who have started solidly with three wins from three.