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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Metropolitan Police
Lowestoft Town
Wed 13 Mar 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 101

Met Police 1 Lowestoft Town 3

Lowestoft switched to the 4-1-4-1 formation that they used against Ipswich in the cup and excelled in an excellent 3-1 victory at Met Police.

Att 101

Teams:-
Met Police: Butler, Lovett, Reynolds, Macdonald, Noakes, Sintim, Crook, Collins, Watkins, Knight, Newton (Schoburgh 62 mins). Subs; Taylor, Smalley, Clayton, Schoburgh, Daly.

Lowestoft Town: Plummer, Williams, Crane, Gaughran, A Smith, Gleeson (Benjamin 71 mins), L Smith, Fisk, Okay, Mitchell, Defty (Frew 78 mins). Subs; Henderson, Eagle, Dawkin, Frew, Benjamin

Lowestoft switched to the 4-1-4-1 formation that they used against Ipswich in the cup and excelled in an excellent 3-1 victory at Met Police.
A double by Defty and a superb strike by Okay got all three points for The Trawlerboys, who are now 17 games unbeaten in the league.

Lowestoft put in one of their best performances of the season when winning here last season, with Henderson the star of the show.
However for this game Henderson had to settle for a place on the bench, with Gleeson starting and playing a role in front of the defence.

It had been a long trip for Lowestoft but with a fairly dry and even pitch, it was conducive to Lowestoft's passing game.
Francis and Cunningham were missing through illness and Defty was the lone man at the front of the Lowestoft formation, as the match got underway.

Lowestoft showed good possession early on but the Met Police settled fairly quickly and once doing so, Defty was left looking short of support up top.
Okay appeared to be the midfielder getting up and supporting Defty but it was clear that the success of this formation would rely on the midfield knowing when and who should support from midfield and also knowing when to drop back in.
With Lowestoft still feeling their way into the set-up a Lee Smith corner found its way back out to him and with him sitting the ball up and into the box, Defty was at hand to head down and past the stretched keeper, with the ball going in off the post for 1-0 (10 mins).
The early goal settled Lowestoft and their confidence started to come to the fore, with Lee Smith and Okay working very hard by closing the Met Police players down and always wanting the ball.
The Lowestoft defence had a solid feel to it again but Newton was working hard across the frontline for the Met Police and Crook was the player mainly involved for them in midfield, working things around for them.
Lowestoft in the whole though were looking comfortable and with twenty three minutes on the clock they doubled their lead with a superb strike. A free-kick from inside the Lowestoft half was sent forward and with Defty chesting the ball down to Okay on the edge of the box, he picked his spot and side-footed a beautiful bending shot past the keeper and into the far corner for a great goal and a 2-0 lead (23 mins).
Met Police nearly struck back with the left back Reynolds hitting one from distance, producing a great save by Plummer, to put it over the bar.
Okay was revelling in the formation and enjoying getting up to support Defty in attack and with Fisk playing a key role in winning everything in the middle, Lowestoft looked set.
An Adam Smith free kick from outside the area had keeper Butler diving to his right but it was just wide of the post, as Lowestoft continued to take the upper hand.
The Lowestoft midfield were getting on top and as an added bonus, Gleeson was picking anything up that was being cleared from the Met Police area, resulting in Lowestoft being able to keep possession and keep the pressure on.
The Met police were looking like they didn't know what to do with Lowestoft, who appeared to have their tactics spot on. Even Fisk was finding himself in advanced positions from midfield at times.
The Met Police are a side who like to play football though and with halftime on the horizon they had a spell of play that kept Lowestoft on their toes. After knocking the ball around the Lowestoft area the ball dropped to defender Noakes but he hammered it high and over the bar.
This was shortly followed by a good long ball from midfield with pace and with Knight beating Plummer to the ball for the Met Police, the ball was on route to goal but landed on the top of the net.
The Met Police had seen a couple of half chances come their way but overall Lowestoft were defending well and they reached the break with a 2-0 lead.

As expected, the Met Police came out for the second half with a different formation, which at times looked like a 3-5-2, as they looked to get back into the game with an early goal.
At 2-0 the next goal was going to be crucial in this match and the Met Police were looking much more effective than they had been in the first half. Watkins was rigidly sticking to the right touch line for them and Lowestoft were not quite adapting to the change in formation by the Met Police.
For all their huff and puff though, the Met Police were struggling to expose the Lowestoft defence and for every ball that was sent into the Lowestoft box, there was the head of Crane or Gaughran on the end to head it clear.
The Met Police were certainly more involved this half and were getting possession but with Lee Smith finding himself in behind the defence, he pulled the ball back to Defty in the area and with it getting a deflection, it looped up and over the keeper for 3-0 (61 mins). It was a crucial goal for Lowestoft but with Met Police making their first change they didn't give up and started to use the width of the pitch to apply some pressure on Lowestoft.
Lowestoft had added Benjamin to their squad last weekend and after getting more minutes under his belt and putting in a good showing again, Gleeson was replaced by Benjamin on 71 minutes. Okay was the player to drop back into the Gleeson role and Benjamin took up position out on the left.
Benjamin could and should have marked his introduction with a goal, as Lowestoft burst out from the back with Okay ending up clean through on goal but with the keeper advancing and the ball coming across to Benjamin, he pushed his shot wide of the open goal.
Even at 3-0 down, Met Police were still trying and were sending plenty of balls into the Lowestoft area but Gaughran and Crane were heading superbly and rejecting everything that was thrown at them.
Lowestoft made their second change with Frew replacing Defty, who had added two more goals to his tally and so far has to be Lowestoft's player of the season.
As the last ten minutes were entered Benjamin received the ball on the left and with a drop of the shoulder he showed a fantastic turn of pace to skin the right back and get to the line, before cutting back to Frew in the middle but the ball was just too far behind him.
Lowestoft were testing Met Police again but in the 86th minute the chance of another clean sheet disappeared with a corner being headed back across the Lowestoft area and Knight on hand close in for a simple header to make it 3-1 (86 mins).
There were four minutes of injury time added on but Met Police couldn't add to their goal and Lowestoft saw the time out to secure an impressive and important win.

It was another great team performance and there were excellent contributions all over the pitch. Adam Smith continued his great run of form since returning from injury and the defence were pretty solid throughout, with Crane and Gaughran heading away everything that came into the area, especially in the second half.
Defty put in another strong and bustling performance up front and added another two goals to his ever increasing tally for the season.
However the key to this performance was in how well the midfield performed and supported the attacks. Mitchell provided control, Fisk did what he does so well, in breaking up the play but also making the simple pass to keep things going. While Lee Smith continued to ride on the confidence he's got of late, working well with Williams on the right and setting up two of the goals.
My Man of the Match though was Erkan Okay. He's really come of age as a Lowestoft player this season and has firmly stamped his name on the team sheet with a string of great performances. He really enjoyed his role in this game and supported the attacks well, while also scoring a great goal.

It was another great performance and more importantly a great result.

Next up is the visit of Hampton and Richmond to the Crown Meadow this Saturday. Let's get behind the team and keep the momentum going.

Terry Bullen

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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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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