Carshalton Athletic 1 Lowestoft Town 4
Lowestoft Town moved to the top of the Ryman Premier Division as they defeated Carshalton Athletic in convincing fashion on Saturday.
The Trawlerboys were forced into one change to the starting line-up for the match in south London as Scott Mitchell moved into central defence to replace the ill Greg Crane with Erkan Okay filling the vacant midfield role.
The visitors dominated the game from the start with Joe Francis immediately finding Matt Nolan in the inside left channel but his shot was pushed around the post by home keeper Nick Hamann. Erkan Okay was brought down on the edge of the penalty area but Lubo Guentchev’s free-kick crashed against the bar.
Although not much was seen of Carshalton as an attacking force they did bring Andy Reynolds into action as he saved a stinging 25-yard drive from Tom Davis at the second attempt.
Sam Gaughran’s superb 40 yard pass picked out Francis and he clipped the ball past Hamann but inches over the bar.
Lowestoft’s dominance finally paid off as they took the lead in the 24th minute with a goal stunning in its simplicity. Michael Frew picked up the ball deep in his own half on the right flank.
His diagonal pass picked out Francis who nodded the ball over the back four for Nolan to send a delightful chip over the keeper into the net.
The Trawlerboys sealed their win with two goals in the opening four minutes of the second half.
In the 47th minute Carshalton were pressured into conceding a corner and when Guentchev’s flag kick was missed by everyone at the near post, the ball hit Justyn Roberts and was deflected into his own net.
The cheers had hardly died away before the Blues hit their third goal just two minutes later.
Francis started the move in midfield before playing Frew away down the left. He crossed low into the middle where Francis had continued his run to drill the ball into the net from 12 yards.
Carshalton pulled a goal back in the 58th minute with Davis sending a direct free-kick from 25 yards into the top corner, but their joy was shortlived as Lowestoft restored their three-goal advantage two minutes later.
Guentchev pulled a short corner back to Adam Smith whose cross was met by the soaring Francis to direct his header into the roof of the net.
As the game entered the final quarter, Carshalton briefly threatened and an audacious effort from the half way line by Davis saw Reynolds back peddling frantically to push the ball against the crossbar.
Anthony Joseph’s cross was then hooked marginally wide by Laurent Hamici.
Lowestoft finished well on top and it took three outstanding saves by Hamann from Andrew Fisk, Jamie Godbold and Adrian Forbes to keep the score to four.