Lowestoft Town 1 Aveley 0
Immediately prior to kick off presentations were made to Micky Chapman in recognition of his 1000 games as manager of Lowestoft Town but his afternoon soon turned to frustration as the Trawlerboys struggled to break down a stubborn Aveley defence.
Lowestoft included Matt Halliday and Jamie Godbold in their starting line up for the first time in the league since October and September respectively. Despite their lowly position which makes them look relegation certainties Aveley came to make a game of it and after early Lowestoft pressure it was the visitors who forced several corners with Paul Burnett’s flag kicks causing a few anxieties in the home defence.
Despite the best efforts of both attacks neither keeper was seriously tested until the half hour mark when Aveley full back Sam Holloway surged forward before unleashing a 30 yard pile driver which Andy Reynolds did well to turn over the bar.
Lowestoft’s best first half effort came shortly before the break as Matt Nolan and Jamie Forshaw set up a chance for Dean Sinclair but he put his shot the wrong side of the woodwork.
Injuries forced both sides into half time changes with strikers Jamie Forshaw and Troy Powell-Quary replaced by Chris Henderson and Sheldon Sellars. Lowestoft upped the tempo at the start of the second period and looked to have taken the lead as Robert Eagle was played through but although his shot beat keeper Lemar Johnson the ball smacked against the post and rebounded safely back into play.
Henderson’s cross then picked out Scott Mitchell but his header went straight to Johnson. Aveley then enjoyed a good spell with Paul Burnett in the centre of things. Firstly his high looping effort had Reynolds back peddling before holding under the crossbar. He then missed the chance of the match blazing high over a gaping goal after Reynolds had been lured out before connecting with a cross from Sam Holloway with a volley that was inches over the top.
With the game entering the final quarter Lowestoft pushed forward with full back Scott Mitchell supporting his attack. His 30 yard drive flew straight at Johnson and he then got on to the end of a Lubo Guentchev cross but the sting was taken off the shot by a defender before being held by the keeper.
Much to the relief of Micky Chapman and the 600 plus supporters the Trawlerboys finally got the bit of luck that has been sorely missing for the past few weeks. With 2 minutes left a left wing corner dropped into the 6 yard box and hit Joe Francis and rebounded into the net to give the Blues a single goal victory.