Lewes 2 Lowestoft Town 1
Lowestoft reduced to ten but struggle in 2-1 defeat away to Lewes.
Lewes: Thorp, Brinkhurst, Hamilton (Kay 68 mins), Walder, Robinson, Breach, Fergany, Thomas (Howell 63 mins), Godfrey, Beckford, Schaaf (Dunne 63 mins), Subs; Leach, Howell, Dunne, Kay, Stubbings
Lowestoft Town: Plummer, Saker, Gaughran, Mitchell, Ainsley (Eagle 35 mins), Smith, Fisk, Cockrill, Francis, Henderson, Defty (Frew 83 mins). Subs; Frew, Eagle, Okay, Jones, Jessup.
Lowestoft reduced to ten just before the break and struggle in a 2-1 defeat to Lewes, with Fergany and Brinkhurst playing blinders for The Rooks.
Lowestoft went into the game with Cunningham missing from the squad through illness. However the match did see the return of the suspended Defty, Mitchell and Fisk. Lowestoft also gave a debut to Andrew Plummer in goal, who had signed Ryman forms for the club after playing football in Ireland and also having a spell at a number of clubs, including Ipswich and Histon.
The pitch had held up well under the recent rain and drained well but there were plenty of divots and a strong wind, making flowing football difficult.
The match got underway with Fisk sporting the captains armband for Lowestoft.
Lewes started the game knocking it around well at the back but were just pumping long balls into the heart of the Lowestoft defence early on, with little effect.
The first chance of the game came to the young number 7 (Fergany), who stole the ball off the toe of Ainsley and got a shot in on goal but right at Plummer, who held it comfortably.
Lowestoft were sniffing around the Lewes area and winning a few free kicks but with the exception of the early chance for Fergany, there was nothing much doing in the match up to this point.
Lewes continued to give free kicks away around their area but Lowestoft had not taken advantage. Well, that was the case until the 16th minute when Lowestoft won another free kick but this time Francis stepped up and bent a low shot into the bottom corner of the Lewes goal to send Lowestoft 1-0 up.
It was the early goal that Lowestoft needed, in order to settle the side after recent results. Moments later Henderson got away down the left and drove into the area but the keeper palmed his pass away from the incoming Lowestoft players in the Lewes box, as Lowestoft looked like taking control.
The game however then went from looking good for Lowestoft to the scores being level, with Lewes scoring against the run of play in the opening exchanges. Lewes went straight up the other end after Henderson's run into the box and with Plummer not coming off his line, Fergany lobbed him but was just wide by a matter of inches. However the immediate follow up play saw Thomas force a good save by Plummer with his legs, before Godfrey was at hand to score and bring things level at 1-1 (22 mins).
The goal led to Lewes having their tails up and the young and lively Fergany was at the forefront of everything for The Rooks, even though they were still giving free kicks away and were now also picking up bookings.
Defty had returned from his three game suspension but was getting little joy against a centre back pairing of Breach and Robinson, with Robinson looking solid again, as he had in the past between these two teams.
After a fairly bright start to the game, it all got a bit untidy on what was proving to be a tough pitch to play football on the deck for both sides. However Lewes were adapting the best out of the two sides, playing the lofted/flat ball well and putting a bit of pressure on the Lowestoft defence as a result of this.
Ainsley had already been involved in a number of fouls and in the 35th minute it proved one too many, as Eagle replaced him at left back.
This proved to be a key point and change, as Lewes then focused their play down that side as half time approached, with the right back Brinkhurst attacking well.
His attacking play was really causing Lowestoft a headache and with Francis going into the book for a foul on him, worse followed, with Francis fouling him again moments later and picking up a second yellow and an early bath to boot.
Lowestoft were in need of the break now and held on until the break at 1-1, hoping to evaluate the situation in preparation for the second half.
The second half started with Cockrill having a speculative dig from 30+ yards and with his low shot swerving all over the place, the Lewes keeper Thorp had to gather the ball in on his second attempt.
It was a fairly open start to the half and both teams were having a go but Brinkhurst was still playing high up the pitch at right back for Lewes and was continuing to look threatening.
Brinkhurst wasn't the only one on his game though, as the number 7 Fergany was running the show for Lewes, popping up all over the pitch and proving hard to pick up.
With Lowestoft struggling to piece a goal threat together, Saker came forward and tried his luck from long range but his effort was always rising and clearing the bar.
Lewes then came mightily close to forging ahead, with a corner coming down to the number 5 Robinson and his swerving shot being cleared from the Lowestoft goal line by a mixture of defence and keeper.
With Lowestoft down to ten and just under 30 minutes left, Lewes made all of their substitutions in a five minute period, to freshen the legs and have a go at the win.
Lewes were now penning Lowestoft in and even after a brief bit of relief with a Lowestoft free kick and corner, Lewes went straight back to applying the pressure on Lowestoft.
The pressure reaped reward, with a ball being headed down in the Lowestoft box by Fergany and the number 4 Walder putting his laces through the ball from a couple of yards out to nearly burst the net and send Lewes and their ecstatic fans 2-1 up (79 mins).
Lowestoft were looking beaten but did come close to levelling things, as a ball from the right was met by the head of Defty but with the ball going across the keeper and towards the goal, it was cleared off the line, as Lewes breathed a sigh of relief.
Defty was now starting to look a little tired after missing the last few matches and Frew replaced him with 7 minutes of normal time remaining. However, the change couldn't lift Lowestoft for a final push and with the final whistle coming, Lewes took a deserved three points.
There were three stand out performances for Lewes, with their centre back and Kompany esc number 5 (Robinson) solid as always and their right back (Brinkhurst) causing problems down the right flank. However the stand out performer was their young starlet and Fellaini esc (not just the same hair) number 7 Fergany, who was to be seen everywhere from defence to attack, with a great engine and good quality to boot. Certainly one to watch for the future.
From a Lowestoft point of view, it was a tough night and the sending off, which you could have no qualms against, made things even harder.
When thinking of a player as man if the match, Saker did his job well and when finding himself in an attacking area he did deliver some good crosses.
Lewes were worthy of the points and Lowestoft now need to keep the faith and ride through this testing spell. Starting on Saturday, where they will be looking to bounce back at home to Hastings.
Keep the faith and keep believing!