Carshalton Athletic 2 Lowestoft Town 0
Lowestoft paid the ultimate price for a catalogue of missed chances, ending up on the end of a 2-0 defeat against Carshalton.
Carshalton Athletic: Hamann, Kamara, Bartley, Gomez Pico, Campbell (Nolan 46 mins), Roberts, Clarke (Goncalves 90+ mins), Taylor, Mills (Pinney 83 mins), Sogbanmu, Adelakun. Subs; Nolan, Farquharson, Pinney, Bradford, Goncalves
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Saker, Gaughran, Mitchell, Ainsley, Smith, Fisk, Jones (Eagle 90+ mins), Francis (Cunningham 90+ mins), Henderson, Frew. Subs; Eagle, Cunningham, Cockrill, Okay, Gomes
Lowestoft paid the ultimate price for a catalogue of missed chances, ending up on the end of a 2-0 defeat against Carshalton, with two classy late strikes sealing their fate.
Lowestoft went into the match with a stretched squad again, with the likes of first team regulars Reynolds, Smith, Crane and Gleeson all sidelined and a not fully fit Cockrill on the bench. Lowestoft were also missing one of their players of the season so far, with Defty serving the first of his three game suspension.
The first thirty minutes of this half was pretty uninspiring and messy from both sides, with Carshalton playing like a team that are struggling. Carshalton were always looking for the long ball forward and were making it difficult for Lowestoft, resulting in Lowestoft struggling to get the ball on the deck and get any sort of a hold on the game.
Henderson scuffed a shot wide with no pace and with Saker being cleared by a cross and Taylor not connecting properly at the far post for Carshalton, both teams had early chances to take the lead.
Frew looked odds on to open the scoring when being fed in from midfield but a good double save by Hamann denied him and Lowestoft.
Carshalton were a big side, so when Lowestoft finally found some rhythm in their play, they caused Carshalton problems every time they came forward. This resulted in the last 15 minutes or so of the half seeing Lowestoft create chance after chance, however the finishing left a lot to be desired.
Smith slipped in Frew down the right and after finding Henderson at the far post, the chance went begging.
Henderson appeared to be the spark that was going to ignite this game and was involved again, with some good work followed by a ball across the box and goalmouth but nobody was there and Carshalton cleared their lines.
Lowestoft streamed forward again with a good flowing move and with the ball ending at the feet of Jones right in front of goal, it was surely going to be the lead for Lowestoft but Jones unbelievably missed the target.
The chances kept coming but it was already looking like one of those days, as a scramble in the Carshalton area ended with Francis getting a shot away but his shot wasn't hard enough to test the keeper and was easily saved.
The half time whistle sounded and Lowestoft must have been wondering how they were not in front in this game, against a very poor Carshalton side.
Carshalton started the half with a substitution and immediately looked more menacing, pushing Lowestoft back early on. However, Carshalton couldn't carve out any sort of an opening and Lowestoft then started to press themselves.
The game, however, was still pretty unattractive on the eye and was now turning into a bit of a slugging match between the two teams, with chances coming at either end. Carshalton nearly latched on to some indecisive Lowestoft defending but Lowestoft scrambled the ball away and Gomez Pico closing down an Ainsley clearance on the right side of the box and lashing a shot across goal and just wide of the far post. For Lowestoft, a Smith free kick from the right found its way down to Henderson but his shot from close in was rifled right at the keeper.
The nature of the game and the playing surface wasn't making for a showcase of a game and Carshalton were starting to give away free kicks, with the number 8 (Taylor) being spoken to regularly by the referee and the number 6 (Roberts) lucky to just see yellow, when going right through the back of Frew.
Lowestoft kept creating the chances though but with a long ball being lumped forward by Carshalton, the ball was adjudged to strike the hand of a Lowestoft defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Taylor for Carshalton but when taking the kick he managed to mishit the ball from one foot to the other, before it went into the net and as a result the goal was disallowed and Lowestoft were awarded a free-kick. A bizarre but correct decision by the referee and an unfortunate stroke of bad luck for Carshalton.
Lowestoft then had a chance themselves to finally take the lead but yet again they were guilty of poor finishing, with Henderson missing a glorious chance.
Lowestoft were now pressing for the win, so Carshalton freshened things up by introducing Pinney for Mills. Pinney very nearly made an immediate impact, working a chance just inside the area with neat footwork and blasting a shot across goal, narrowly missing the target by a matter of inches.
You have to take your chances in football and nine times out of ten if you don't take them, then you normally end up getting stung. This proved to be the case for Lowestoft, as with just under five minutes of the match remaining, Adelakun spanked one low and hard from 35 yards out, which flew past a helpless Jessup to send Carshalton 1-0 up and the home fans into a delirious state.
Lowestoft looked like getting level minutes later, with a Smith ball to the far post finding Frew close in but all he could do was steer the ball against the upright, as yet another chance went begging.
Lowestoft made two late changes but were quite frankly stunned to be behind and with the game going into injury time the sub Pinney shook off the Lowestoft defence and sent a great shot and finish across goal to send Carshalton 2-0 up and end Lowestoft's miserable afternoon.
The misery wasn't quite complete though, as there was just enough time left for Lowestoft to win a penalty, after Frew was fouled with a high tackle in the box. The penalty was taken by Henderson and summed up Lowestoft performance in front of goal, as the keeper saved and Lowestoft were consigned to a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
It had been a very bad day at the office in front of goal for Lowestoft and naturally everyone was disappointed after the game, myself included. Nobody was hiding from the fact that poor finishing had cost us this game, which on another day we could have won by a clear margin.
Henderson was the main shining light for Lowestoft but even he had left his scoring boots in the dressing room.
However, with the dust settling after the game and the bigger picture coming more into focus, it was still near enough the same team which got plaudits for their efforts at Braintree. All teams are going to have up and down results in what is a very competitive league and every week you see unexpected results in the days fixtures.
It's a disappointing result to swallow but we all have to keep it in perspective, in what is a very long season. We need to remain positive as a team, as supporters and as a Football Club and put this game behind us and focus on bouncing back against Hendon next Saturday.