Lowestoft Town 1 Kingstonian 3
A physical Kingstonian side defend well and score three high quality goals, while Lowestoft disappoint in a 3-1 defeat.
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Saker, Mitchell, Gaughran, Ainsley, Smith, Fisk, Eagle, Francis (Gomes 83 mins), Henderson (Cunningham 71 mins), Defty (Frew 63 mins). Subs; Frew, Cunningham, Okay, Gomes, Jones
Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Goode, Bird, Murphy, MacDonald, Huckle, Pattison, Somner, Small (Clayton 57 mins), McCollin (Mullen 82 mins), Lodge (Lambu 71 mins). Subs; Lambu, Mullen, Clayton, Ofusu-Hene, Bragg
After a long period without a home game, 845 supporters came along to the Crown Meadow for today's game. However, the supporters went home disappointed, with a physical Kingstonian side defending well and scoring three high quality goals, while Lowestoft disappointed and didn't do enough with the possession they had; going down 3-1 to Kingstonian in a disappointing result and performance.
The game kicked off with the sun beating down and a high tempo to the early play, even though the ball was in the air a fair bit.
The Kingstonian left back (Goode) made a great early block in the area from Francis but Kingstonian drew first blood, with Fisk earning a silly booking and giving away a free-kick by handling the ball before the ref had indicated anything with his whistle. The free-kick was a training ground special, as the ball was slipped to the number 10 (McCollin), who ghosted in from the left and sent a great finish across goal and into the net for 1-0 (11 mins).
McCollin was looking a danger already, as Lowestoft needed to clear their heads and focus on getting back to level terms.
Blake Saker was playing at right back in the absence of the sidelined Dan Gleeson and showed well when coming forward, with one of his deliveries just being taken off the head of Defty by the defender.
A Lowestoft corner was punched away by the keeper Tolfrey from just under the bar but Lowestoft were not being given much time on the ball by Kingstonian, with plenty of tackles going in.
Lee Smith flirted with the goal on a couple of occasions, with a free kick from 25 yards deflecting off the wall and over the bar, and a bending effort going wide of the far post, as Lowestoft started to see some possession.
Lowestoft could and should have drawn level, after some lovely one touch football ended with Smith finding Henderson right in front of goal but Henderson totally fluffed his lines and a great chance went to waste.
Ainsley was again working really hard at left back and heavily involved, defensively and offensively but Defty was finding it much tougher today, against a big centre back pairing, who were making it difficult for him to hold the ball up and touch the ball off to Henderson, as he's done so effectively so far this season.
Saker was looking good when getting forward for Lowestoft but Francis was the player who nearly served up the equaliser, beating his man and laying back for Henderson to let fly but his fizzing shot from close in was saved superbly by the keeper and sent over for a corner. Francis, however, was in the right place at the right time, as from the resulting corner a Lowestoft effort was cleared off the line but Francis was at hand to follow up and draw the sides level at 1-1, as half time approached. Most supporters would have been thinking that 1-1 was okay at half time but before anyone could blink, play got underway again and with the ball dropping to the Kingstonian number 7 Pattison, he hit a sweet volley from 25 yards, which flew into the net to send Kingstonian 2-1 up on the stroke of half time (45 mins). It was a harsh goal for Lowestoft to take, as they'd played fairly well after conceding the goal and deserved to be level going into the break.
The second half started with overcast conditions and rain in the air, as Lowestoft started the half well, by pressing and closing the ball down much quicker and after an Eagle chance was turned around the post, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Lowestoft had found themselves. Unfortunately though for Lowestoft, their performance went on to match the gloomy weather, as they failed to make their possession count and looked out of ideas.
Jessup had to be at full stretch to deny Pattison from a free-kick and with Henderson getting no joy at all up against the looming centre back Murphy, things looked tough for Lowestoft.
Defty wasn't even getting the joy and the upper hand against this defence but did summon himself a good chance when bringing a ball down well and spinning off the defender, only to see the keeper at his feet before he could prod the ball towards goal.
Kingstonian made their first change, bringing on Clayton for Small, as Kingstonian looked to hold out for the three points.
Eagle and Fisk were both working really hard in midfield but Kingstonian were proving very hard to break down and were defending well but on top of that Lowestoft were not testing them as much as they should have been and some of the final deliveries, especially by Joe Francis, left a lot to be desired.
Lowestoft introduced Frew to the game in place of Defty, who had been handled well today by the Kingstonian defence.
Shortly after this change Lowestoft should have drawn level, as a superb ball from Eagle found Francis free inside the area but Francis was daydreaming with the ball at his feet and didn't get a shot away as he should have done.
Lowestoft tried to shuffle things around, with Cunningham replacing Henderson up top and Eagle swapping with Ainsley in their left back and midfield positions. However, this made little difference and in the 78th minute the result was put beyond doubt. A long ball forward was taken down superbly by the number 10 McCollin, as he left the Lowestoft defence for dead, to drive into the box and send a classy finish across goal and into the net for 3-1. It was a great piece of skill and finishing and had certainly finished off any faint hope Lowestoft had of getting anything from the game.
Lowestoft introduced Gomes late on and Fisk found Cunningham with a great ball but his header didn't have enough on it, as Lowestoft's gloomy day was brought to an end at the final whistle.
Kingstonian were physical and had defended well today, scoring three very well taken goals but Lowestoft hadn't done nearly enough with the possession they had at times and were guilty of being a bit predictable, with the large majority of their play going down the left to Francis. The Lowestoft midfield had played okay but Smith wasn't utilised down the right and Francis put in a performance that lacked confidence, giving his right back opponent an easy game and when getting in a position to cross, his quality of delivery today was found wanting.
When thinking of a man of the match for Lowestoft, there wasn't an awful lot to go on but I thought the midfield pairing of Fisk and Eagle had played well and for me Fisk was just beaten to the honours by Eagle, who covered a lot of the pitch and produced some good passing, which didn't receive the end product that it deserved.
All teams in this league are going to have bad days, including the eventual league winners and Lowestoft are no exception to that rule. I'm sure the team will dissect today's performance and work on the negatives, before drawing a line under it and moving on to the next game.
We've still had a great start to the season though and overall have played some great football, so let's keep believing!!