Lowestoft Town 2 Lewes 0
Lowestoft registered their fourth win in a six game unbeaten run, as they eased past Lewes with a 2-0 victory.
Lowestoft Town: Plummer, Saker, Gaughran, Williams, Adam Smith, Henderson, Mitchell, Okay, Eagle, Lee Smith, Defty. Subs; Fisk, Dawkin, Francis, Newson, Crane
Lewes: Thorp, Drinkhurst, Hamilton, Walder, Breach, Dongahey, Godfrey, Dunne, Crabb, Beckford (Stubbings 82 mins), Dollery (Fergany 73 mins). Subs; Stubbings, Kay, Fergany, Wormull
Lowestoft registered their fourth win in a six game unbeaten run, as they eased past Lewes with a 2-0 victory. Lewes offered very little in a game in which Lowestoft dominated but looked like being left frustrated by the lack of quality in their final ball into the box on occasions. However, a 25 yard strike by Saker and a goal by Defty in the second half proved enough to take the points.
Lee Smith continued up front and Eagle kept his place on the right, after both impressed on Wednesday night against Hadleigh and it was a great sight to see Adam Smith starting his first league game since getting injured in the very first game of season.
With the unbeaten run of late and players returning, an expectant crowd of 580 were at the Crown Meadow for the game. In the crowd were two Lowestoft supporters (Hayley Maud and her father) who had travelled all the way from Leeds to support the boys in blue.
The match got underway but it wasn't until the ninth minute before Lowestoft had their first sight of goal. Following some good build up play, Mitchell dinked the ball into the danger zone from the right and with a shot on goal deflecting around in the area, the ball ended up narrowly going wide.
This chance seemed to fully settle Lowestoft into the game, who immediately started playing some good tempo football, passing the ball about and showing great movement, almost as if they'd continued from where they had left off on Wednesday night in the cup.
The ball was being knocked around really well on the deck, as Lowestoft went in search of an early goal. That early goal very nearly came and nearly came from an unlikely source, as Okay closed down the opposition in midfield to win the ball and with Gaughran at hand he slide the ball to him, with the resulting shot going just wide of the upright.
Lewes were struggling to get anything going and things were made even harder for them with their number 9 (Crabb) being dealt with ably by defensive powerhouse Williams.
Lowestoft were having the large majority of the play but were not quite finding the quality in their final delivery, as they scoreline remained goalless.
After a bright opening 20 minutes by Lowestoft they started to lose a bit of their early impetus. However, Lewes were struggling to break down Lowestoft and were already looking a little out of ideas, leaving the impression that if Lowestoft could get ahead in this game, then they would have every chance of winning it.
The lead nearly came for Lowestoft after coming forward and getting a slightly fortunate deflection into the path of Mitchell in the box, only for the keeper (Thorp) to get down well and send the shot behind.
Lewes seemed unable to get anything of any worth going but one of the main causes for that was the superb defending of Lowestoft, who simply didn't allow them a sniff at goal.
Henderson sent a shot in on goal from the right, which was always rising but the game had started to fizzle out a little for Lowestoft, as their early play and tempo had now been replaced with a few too many aerial balls.
As the half came to a close the game was clearly there for the taking for Lowestoft, as Lewes hadn't done much and the Lowestoft defence looked like it was going to take something special to breach it.
Lowestoft had lost their way a little after the first 20 minutes of the game and the second half started with Mitchell pushing a little higher in midfield when Lowestoft had possession.
Lewes were just sitting off and inviting Lowestoft onto them, as if they were already looking for the draw. This meant Lowestoft would have to break them down and there's no better way to break a team down than to score a goal out of the top draw and that's exactly what happened. Saker picked up the ball from right back and travelled forward towards the area and with a gap appearing he hit a sweet strike from 25yrds that seemed to freeze in time, as it drifted right into the top corner for 1-0 (55 mins). It was a great goal and looked in as soon as it had left his boot.
The goal was exactly what Lowestoft needed, as this now forced Lewes to come forward more and therefore exposing more gaps for Lowestoft to expose.
Lewes did inject a bit more urgency into their play but just like the first half they were coming up against a solid Lowestoft defence, with both full backs looking solid, Gaughran as consistent as ever and Williams putting in a faultless display.
With Lowestoft defending so well a second goal looked as if it would be enough to get the win and the points. So in the 73rd minute Lowestoft were delighted when a big mistake at the back by Lewes saw the defender duck to let the ball go back to keeper, without realising Lee Smith was right behind him. As a result Lee Smith was in on goal and looking like getting the second but the chance appeared to have gone when Thorp saved but from the resulting follow up Defty sent the ball back towards goal, over the goalkeeper and defence and into the net for 2-0 (73 mins).
Lewes were forced to make a change from the bench, as they had to go for it now and moments later they nearly pulled one back, after sending a ball into the Lowestoft area and with Plummer flapping the ball had to be cleared off the line by Lowestoft, to maintain their clean sheet and keep Lewes out.
A Lewes free kick was fizzed into the box and after bobbling around Lowestoft cleared their lines, as they had to endure a short period of Lewes having a go.
Another change was made by Lewes but as had been the case for the whole match really, Lowestoft were defending admirably and Lewes had not really created a clear cut goal scoring chance.
There were some dampened late appeals for a penalty with Defty spinning off his marker in the box and appearing to be caught but nothing was given.
It was simply then just a case of Lowestoft playing the game out and as the final whistle came it was another win for Lowestoft and another clean sheet, as the unbeaten run from the start of December starts to gather pace.
You could easily look at the game and say that Lewes offered very little but that would somewhat be of an injustice to the Lowestoft defence and team, who simply just didn't give them the time to play and defended superbly as a team.
It was great to see Adam Smith back from injury and he and Saker had solid games in the full back positions, while Mitchell had a great second half, playing a key role in keeping the pressure on Lewes.
The Man of the Match for me though was Curtley Williams, who put in a faultless display at the back, shutting the door on Lewes and effectively having their number 9 (Crabb) in his pocket for the whole game.
It was a game were persistence paid off and it was another three points and another clean sheet.
Players are returning from injury at the right time and the team are starting to put a run together, so let's get a load of us to Kingstonian next Saturday and keep the run going.