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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Bury Town
Lowestoft Town
Tue 16 Apr 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 594

Bury Town 1 Lowestoft Town 1

Lowestoft Town put in a spirited second half performance to get a deserved 1-1 draw against a solid and well organised Bury Town side.

Att 594

Teams:
Bury Town: Garnham, Short, Coulson, Hall, Tann, Bullard, Whitely (Key 88 mins), Parker, S Reed, Sands, Patrick. Subs; Key, Nunn, L Reed, Clark, Logan

Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Gleeson, Williams, Crane, A Smith, L Smith, Okay, Fisk (Frew 66 mins), Dawkin (Benjamin 80 mins), Henderson, Defty (Araba 66 mins). Subs; Benjamin, Eagle, Araba, Frew, Cunningham.

Lowestoft Town put in a spirited second half performance to get a deserved 1-1 draw against a solid and well organised Bury Town side.
Lowestoft looked the best side for the opening twenty minutes but after the penalty Bury Town came back strong, before Lowestoft put in a strong second half and nearly knicked the win towards the end. The main talking point of the game though was the unfortunate injury to Jack Defty, who was stretchered off the pitch after a pretty innocuous challenge and left the ground in an ambulance with a suspected broken leg.

Going into the game it was a crunch game for both sides with Bury Town still after the wide open fifth place play-off spot and Lowestoft wishing to secure home advantage in the play-offs, while also still harbouring faint hopes of winning the league.

For Lowestoft; Reynolds took over duties in goal, Adam Smith came in for Eagle and Fisk replaced Benjamin as Lowestoft reverted back to a 4-4-2.

The game kicked off with Lowestoft in all white and even though they've been bigger crowds for games between these two, both sets of fans were singing behind the goals right from the off.
Lowestoft were first to get a glimpse of the target with an Adam Smith free-kick from the right going deep to the far post and finding Lee Smith but the effort was side footed just wide of the target.
Lowestoft were playing some lovely football in the opening moments of play and even though the fast Whitely clipped a chance wide for Bury, it was Lowestoft who looked more threatening.
Fisk and Okay were looking good in the centre of midfield and it was Fisk who presented Henderson with a great opportunity to put Lowestoft in front. A lovely ball over the top by the midfield general put Henderson in on goal and with him switching to his other foot and shaking off the defender, he didn't quite get enough purchase on the ball and Garnham saved with his feet to put it behind for a corner. Lowestoft were playing some really good football in and around the Bury area and Henderson was making some good runs into the box.
Then totally against the run of play, Williams was judged to have nudged through the back of Reed and with it being inside the area the referee pointed to the spot for Bury. Up stepped Parker and he calmly slotted home to send Bury 1-0 up (20 mins).
The penalty seemed to turn the game around from that point with Bury getting their foot on the ball more often and controlling more of the play with the whippet like Whitely keeping Adam Smith busy.
Bury were then denied taking the lead with a pumped ball forward finding Sands but with him in on goal Reynolds produced a fantastic double save to keep him out and keep the score at just 1-0.
Gleeson has been a picture of consistency of late but he was having a tough game at right back and unusually for him he was giving some of his passes away cheaply. Bury were causing the Lowestoft defence a few issues now and with another move forward the ball arrived in front of Parker on the edge of the box, who shaped well and hit a good shot that Reynolds had to quickly get down to.
Lowestoft were looking in need of half time but just before the whistle sounded Bury had another sniff at goal with Reed dancing through the Lowestoft midfield and defence, before rifling one just over the bar.

The second half started with Lowestoft knowing that they needed to find a big forty five minutes of football to break down a solid and organised Bury team.
It was Bury who registered the first blow of the half though with the tricky Whitely causing trouble out on the right and with a great ball going across goal, Sands rose to head down and towards goal but with Reynolds full stretch it clipped the foot of the post before going wide.
Following this early chance for Sands, Lowestoft started to settle into the half and started to push up and get a handle on the game, with the midfield working hard and the forward line ensuring that the Bury defence couldn't let their guard drop for a second.
Just as things were looking good though an innocuous tackle involving Defty saw the big Lowestoft striker fall to the ground and after several minutes of treatment he was stretchered from the field and later taken to hospital by ambulance to have the full extent of his leg injury assessed.
Araba replaced Defty and at the same time Frew was introduced in place of Fisk (66 mins) with Henderson being moved to the right and Araba and Frew now forming a partnership up top.
The impact by Araba was instant with him heading down in the box and with Henderson close to getting on the end of it, a last ditch block by the Bury defence saw the ball loop up and over the bar.
Frew was also looking lively and having a positive impact on the game, looking for and making plenty of runs off any flicks into the area by Araba.
Lowestoft were seeing much more of the ball this half and their work rate was forcing Bury back and deeper into their own half. However, Bury were still holding a solid shape and the centre back pairing of Tann and Bullard were defending superbly against everything that Lowestoft were throwing at them.
Lowestoft made another change with Benjamin replacing Dawkin as the final ten minutes approached. Lowestoft kept knocking on the door though and with just five minutes of normal time remaining, Lowestoft got a deserved equaliser. A ball into the box dropped perfectly for Frew to volley from close range and with Garnham making an outstanding point-blank save to kept the effort out, the ball dropped to Araba who was shoved to the ground. The referee had no option but to point to the same spot he had in the first half and even though Garnham would have had a bit of inside knowledge on his old team mate Lee Smith, it counted for nothing as Lee Smith confidently smashed the ball home from the spot to level things up at 1-1 (85 mins).
The Lowestoft players were now sensing a win and the travelling supporters behind the goal launched into chants of "win it for Defty".
Bury made a change with Key replacing Whitely and Lowestoft knew they had a couple of minutes plus a decent amount of injury time to try and grab a winner. Frew and Araba were both continuing to impress since coming on and with Frew touching a ball to Benjamin, he dinked a ball over the top and put Araba in on goal but composure was lacking as a great chance to win it went begging.
Bury had a rare second half chance at the other end with substitute Key spinning on the edge of the area but his effort was fired right at Reynolds, who claimed it comfortably.
Unfortunately for Lowestoft the minutes ticked away and even though they mustered every bit of energy and determination to find a winner, Bury held out and honours finished even at 1-1.

It had certainly been a game of two halves with Bury controlling matters following their penalty in the first half but Lowestoft putting in a fantastic effort in the second period. A draw doesn't really benefit either side at this stage but on balance it was probable a fair result at the end of the day.

Reynolds had to endure the usual welcome from the Bury fans but put in a great performance, making a fantastic double save in the first half and commanding his area well throughout the match.
The substitutes in the second half had a positive impact and Frew in particular was superb after entering the fray, running off Araba brilliantly and giving the Bury defence a serious headache.
The team as a whole had worked tirelessly in the second half but there was one player who just kept going and going and going; always looking for the spaces, the runs and to steal in off the defenders shoulder. If not for a bit of luck in the first half and a good break he would have surely had a couple of goals to his name. Therefore my Man of the Match for Lowestoft was Chris Henderson.

The games keep coming and next up is a tricky trip to Thurrock on Thursday night, in another game were both sides will be desperate for the points.

Terry Bullen

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Whitehawk 42 88
2. Lowestoft Town 42 80
3. Wealdstone 42 79
4. Concord Rangers 42 76
5. East Thurrock United 42 70
6. Metropolitan Police 42 70
7. Bury Town 42 66

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