Lowestoft Town 2 Metropolitan Police 1
Lowestoft Town maintained their 100% league record with a deserved odd goal of three victory over Metropolitan Police.
However what looked like being a comfortable win turned into an anxious last few minutes during which both teams were reduced to 10 men, Trawlerboys stand in keeper Michael Frew saved a penalty and the Police pulled a goal back deep into added time.
Lowestoft made one enforced change with Andy Reynolds ruled out through injury being replaced by Jake Jessup. The 18 year was quick to demonstrate why he is so highly rated with a tremendous triple save inside the first 10 minutes to deny Tyrone Smith twice and Sos Yao.
The Trawlerboys responded well and a perfect through ball from Lee Smith released Jack Defty but he slipped the ball wide of both keeper and post. Defty was then impeded just outside the penalty area but Scott Mitchell’s low free kick smacked against the foot of the post.
Lowestoft were creating the better chances and a Smith free kick fell to Greg Crane whose volley was turned over the bar. Defty saw a header fly a foot too high and Chris Henderson tested Jamie Butler from 20 yards as the Trawlerboys looked for the elusive opening goal.
Met Police continued to look quick on the break but were only testing the Town defence with a series of high crosses which Jessup dealt with confidently.
Lowestoft increased the tempo at the start of the second half and Henderson again tested Butler from distance. Dan Gleeson’s free kick was neatly controlled by Defty whose volley was spectacularly saved by Butler. The reprieve was short lived though as from the resultant corner taken by Smith Defty rose high to glace home a header from close range in the 54th minute.
It took Lowestoft just 4 minutes to double their lead as a high cross in from the left found Smith at the far post and although Butler parried his first attempt he was able to score at the second attempt.
The Police tried to hit back immediately with Craig Brown breaking through but Jessup spread himself well to save and moments later the young keeper excelled again as he went full length to save a Tyrone Smith free kick.
With 4 minutes left of normal time Joe Francis broke through but was brought down just outside the penalty area with Police skipper Steve Sutherland getting a red card. Just 2 minutes later a rare mistake by Jessup saw him bring down Yao in the penalty area and he too was shown the red card. For the second season running Michael Frew took over the keeper’s jersey and promptly dived to save Smith’s spot kick.
Two minutes into added time a cross shot from Staforde Palmer went in off the far post to reduce the arrears but despite a few anxious moments Lowestoft held on to complete their victory