Horsham 1 Lowestoft Town 2
Lowestoft Town moved to the top of the Ryman League Premier Division but found lowly Horsham spirited opponents.
It took two Joe Francis penalties to secure the points in a game they had dominated for long periods.
Lowestoft made the ideal start by taking the lead in the 7th minute. Chris Henderson, filling a striking role with Michael Frew, was brought down I the penalty area by Calum McGeehan and Francis stepped up to slam home the spot kick.
Horsham responded with an excellent through ball from Tommy Murphy sending Ray Freeman clear but he was denied in the act of shooting by a superb Sam Gaughran tackle.
A Lubo Guentchev corner saw Scott Mitchell’s effort cleared off the line by Liam Flanagan. At the other end a cross from Yinka Salami saw Freeman send in a header which Andy Reynolds stretched to save.
The half finished with Lowestoft looking for a second goal with both Michael Frew and Chris Henderson thwarted by the diving Michael Hunter.
Horsham started the second half brightly and George Landais robbed Stuart Ainsley and tried his luck with an audacious 25 yard lob which had Reynolds back peddling to turn over the bar.
Lowestoft took control again and a foul on Frew gave Adam Smith the chance with a 30 yard free kick which Hunter dived to his left to turn round the base of the post. An excellent move saw the ball passed from Smith to Francis and to Henderson whose low cross saw both Guentchev and Andrew Fisk have shots cleared off the line.
Lowestoft seemed to have sealed their victory when they were awarded a second penalty in the 66th minute. Smith, Francis and Henderson again combined down the left and McGeehan was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball from Henderson’s cross. Francis again stepped up to drive the ball past Hunter from the spot.
Rather than deflating Horsham they came back strongly in the closing quarter and were close to reducing the arrears when Flanagan surged forward before unleashing a thunderbolt which left Reynolds stranded and rebounded out off the upright.
In the final minute Horsham pulled a goal back with Murphy’s cross from the right headed home from close range at the far post. In time added on at the end Horsham surged forward and an overzealous challenge by Williams Peauroux on Reynolds saw him receive a second yellow card and in the melee that followed Seny Diedhiou received a straight red card as the Hornets were reduced to 9 men.