Lowestoft Town 1-0 Worthing FC
In what was another exciting match at the Amber Dew Events Stadium, Lowestoft edged out Worthing for their first win of the season.
Jake Reed's exquisite volley into the top corner was what ultimately settled the match, however after the first half particularly, the Trawlerboys should have been in the clear.
The visitors did start the match better and took the game to Lowestoft with high pressing which saw them dominate the first ten minutes. Although there weren't many chances carved out, Worthing were closing down the passing lanes well and proving to be a frustrating opponent. However, soon it would be Lowestoft's turn to take total control and, after Travis Cole was hacked down in the penalty area, Declan Daniels stepped up to the penalty spot. The youngster sent goalkeeper Lucas Covolan the wrong way but failed to fool the goalpost, as the ball clattered against it and out for a Worthing goal kick.
Moments later, Daniels had another great opportunity to open the scoring. Zielonka's defence-splitting ball from the centre of the pitch played the Ipswich loanee through, but a tame shot was well saved and then Jake Reed's attempts to bundle home the rebound were thwarted by last ditch defending. Andrew Fisk did have the ball in the net but it was disallowed because Daniels' challenge to win back the ball in the six yard box was deemed dangerous. Reed then had his big chance to strike a blow on Worthing. Rossi Jarvis' beautiful ball from midfield set him through on goal but there was too much pace for a touch to be taken and Covolan stuck a leg out for the save, before the rebound bobbled off Reed's leg and out for a goal kick.
Yet, the penetration of the Trawlerboys' attacking play would not bobble away in similar fashion and Declan Daniels again had a great chance to write his name onto the scoresheet. Callum White's runs from the right-hand side were a key element in Lowestoft's first half dominance and a great dash culminated in a great ball as Daniels' header faded just wide.
It would have been daylight robbery if Worthing were to scuttle into the changing rooms at half-time all square, but they went close to stealing even more than a draw at the break. After Jacek Zielonka had given the ball away following some good play from Harry Barker, James Fraser looped a cross in towards the diving Luke Brodie, who could not keep his header down. Soon enough though, Reed would be wheeling away in celebration for one of the best Lowestoft goals in a long time. Zielonka's free kick was headed by Rossi Jarvis towards Reed, who produced the acrobatics to at least add some style to a lead which could have been much heavier. Reed did look to turn provider at the end of the half as another super lofted ball from Jarvis found the striker, who unselfishly directed the ball across the face of goal, only for Fisk to slide just wide of a gaping net.
In the second half, Worthing did sneak back into the match and looked to make Lowestoft pay for not capitalising on their earlier chances. A backheel set up Rueben Denyer-Schneider for the shot, but his finessed attempt would not trouble Ben Dudzinski. Despite the visitors re-emergence in the contest, the Trawlerboys still had their fair share of possession and no-one in the Worthing defence put it upon themselves to stop Jacek Zielonka from powering at them. The Polishman created an opening on his own and aimed for the bottom corner, but again Covolan was up to the test, tipping the attempt round his post for a corner kick.
Fans were treated with the second half downpour that seemed to have become a running trend at the Amber Dew Events Stadium in preseason, and Worthing went agonizingly close to raining down on Lowestoft in the final stretch. Jake Reed's finish was looking a certainty to be the best goal of the day, but if a thunderbolt strike from 'Rebels' defender Sam Rents had been any lower than the crossbar, the visitors might just have had a say in that discussion. The lively Reed might have sealed the day late on after squeezing through a tight hole into a promising position, but Covolan won the final individual battle with another fine stop.
As much as it would have been great to gain a bit more momentum with a larger scoreline, the Trawlerboys have to be delighted to pick up a first win of the season, after finally converting the promise shown from Tuesday's encounter with Billericay into points. Jake Reed produced another major performance leading the line and Rossi Jarvis' passing was critical to opening up Worthing's defence, while Dean Leacock and Harry Barker in defence also have to be highlighted as unsung heroes from the match. Overall, it was an impressive performance and result, and one that can be built upon in the coming weeks.