Lowestoft Town 1 Bury Town 0
Lowestoft Town 1 Bury Town 0 image
Lowestoft Town show great endeavour and patience to break down Bury Town and get a deserved 1-0 win.
Lowestoft Town: Plummer, Gleeson, Gaughran (Saker 28 mins), Mitchell, A Smith, L Smith (Benjamin 74 mins), Fisk, Okay, Henderson, Defty (Frew 88 mins), Araba. Subs; Frew, Benjamin, Dawkin, Eagle, Saker
Bury Town: Garnham, Short, Coulson, Kennedy (Key 90+ mins), Tann, Bullard, Reed (L Wales 81 mins), Parker, Logan, Sands, Patrick. Subs; Key, Hunter, L Wales, S Wales
Lowestoft Town had to show great endeavour and patience to break down a Bury Town side who only seemed interested in getting a draw. Their effort was rewarded though in the 68th minute when they scored the vital goal to secure all three points and to keep their titles hopes alive.
Late on Saturday Lowestoft had secured the singing of Hakeem Araba from Whitehawk, who was immediately named in the starting eleven for the Trawlerboys alongside leading scorer Defty. The game was being billed as two of the league's top scorers going up against each other, in the shape of Defty and Sands but with so much quality on the pitch, any player could end up with their name in lights come 4:45pm.
For only the second time this season Lowestoft start the match by kicking from the opposite end to which they normally do in the first half. The game got underway with a huge and powerful looking forward line for Lowestoft, as Araba and Defty joined forces up top and Henderson started out on the left. Mitchell retained his position in central defence and Gleeson was preferred at right back ahead of Saker.
The opening exchanges were very much end to end, as both teams looked for an early goal at the start of proceedings. However, it was Lowestoft who were looking the sharper in front of goal, with Henderson getting in round the back from the left side and cutting the ball back for Araba, with the defender only just cutting it out to avert the danger.
From behind the goal the Lowestoft faithful were starting to wind up the noise and almost as if the noise was urging them on, Lowestoft started to get the upper hand and see more of the possession. Henderson was getting some joy down the left side of midfield and Araba was also looking lively, trying a cheeky strike from fully 35 yards but it needed to be something a lot more special to beat one of the league's best keepers in Garnham.
With ten minutes gone, Lowestoft were looking fairly comfortable but Patrick was looking dangerous down the left for Bury Town and appeared to have the pace to cause Gleeson a few issues at right back. It was therefore no real surprise when Patrick came inside from his left wing position and sent a rasping shot in on goal but Plummer was equal to it and took all of the sting out of it comfortably.
Lowestoft were the busier of the two Suffolk sides though and the central defensive partnership of Tann and Bullard were being kept busy, as Lowestoft got several balls into and around the Bury area.
Bury appeared to be lined up in a 4-5-1 formation and whenever they did get the ball up to Sands, Gaughran and Mitchell were ably clearing up anything that came their way.
For the first time in the match Bury finally got in behind the Lowestoft defence, with Sands beating the offside trap but Gaughran was alert and put in a great block, injuring himself in the process. As a result Gaughran had to hobble off the field and be replaced by Saker, with Gleeson moving into central defence alongside Mitchell and Saker taking up the right back slot.
From that point on the game kept stopping and starting and as a result it all became a little flat and disjointed. Just before half time though Lowestoft players and supporters cried out for a penalty, with Henderson getting in round the back and as he moved into the box, Tann put in a strong tackle but to be fair he did get the ball first and then the player.
The second half started with Lowestoft looking positive and it very nearly got off to the best of starts with Henderson lashing a shot across the face of goal.
Mitchell was distributing the ball well from the back, while Okay was popping it around nicely in midfield and Fisk was not allowing Bury any look in. Lowestoft had certainly started this half on the front foot but with Bury keeping it tight and putting plenty of shirts behind the ball, Lowestoft were finding it hard to break them down.
An Adam Smith free-kick was sent to the far post and with Garnham not getting enough on his punched clearance, Gleeson thrashed the ball over the bar, as Lowestoft kept trying to get the breakthrough. Araba at this point was finding things hard, as he had two Bury players attached to him for most of the time but with Bury sitting off, it was allowing Mitchell to push up more.
It was a real surprise to see Bury sitting so deep and playing for a draw, as they're a team who are chasing a play-off spot.
On the 68th minute though, Lowestoft finally got their reward for their patience and determination, as Adam Smith delivered a free-kick from the right and with a bunch of players going for the ball, it was headed past Garnham and into the net. It appeared as though Araba had scored on his debut but with Henderson getting the faintest of touches and the ball going in off Bullard, Henderson wheeled away to celebrate scoring yet again against his old team, sending Lowestoft 1-0 up (68 mins).
Lowestoft replaced Lee Smith on the right side of midfield with Benjamin, as they continued to show a great work rate, applying some good pressure on Bury. They kept the pressure on and very nearly doubled their lead, with Mitchell sending a great pass forward from the back and with Benjamin bringing it down well in the area, he spun and dragged a shot just wide of the far post.
With just under ten minutes remaining, Bury replaced Reed with Liam Wales and for the first time in the match Bury started to push higher up the pitch, looking for an equaliser.
Their play and approach to the match didn't merit an equaliser but they had a glorious chance to steal one, with a ball into the box dropping nicely for Sands and with a clear view on goal from a few yards out, he sent his shot wide of the target.
As the minutes ticked away Lowestoft introduced Frew in place of Defty and the referee harshly booked Fisk for a great tackle in which he won the ball. In injury time there were a few handbags being thrown about, as both sets of players got into each other a bit but there was nothing Bury could do as the final whistle sounded and Lowestoft deservedly took all three points.
Overall, Lowestoft will be pleased to have taken four points from two tough derby games this Easter weekend and in addition it was two clean sheets, as the Trawlerboys continue to give it their all in chasing Whitehawk down and gunning for promotion.
There were a number of great individual performances on the pitch today, with the team really working hard to breakdown a very defensive Bury side. Bury didn't venture forward much but when they did Mitchell was in imperious form, sweeping up everything and distributing the ball from the back really well. Henderson put in his usual hard working stint, always looking for the spaces and looking to run at the defence at every opportunity. While Fisk was tenacious as ever in midfield and Okay continued his glowing form in dominating the midfield and seemingly being everywhere for Lowestoft. My Man of the Match today though is a player who suffered a dreadful start to the season, after being injured in the very first match. However, since returning to the side after a long lay-off, he has been superb; defending soundly, showing great vision and distribution from left back and also showing great support and back-up for the left winger. My Man of the Match today is Adam Smith.
The games continue to come thick and fast and this Thursday Lowestoft will entertain Thurrock, who are fighting for their lives near the bottom of the table.