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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Wingate & Finchley
Lowestoft Town
Sat 31 Aug 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 122

Wingate & Finchley 0 Lowestoft Town 0

Lowestoft take a point in a goalless draw at Wingate & Finchley with the home side guilty of missing good first half chances.

Att 122

Teams:-
Wingate & Finchley: B Smith, Williams, Wright, Tejan-Sie, Weatherstone, Rifat, Mackie (Mason 70 mins), McGonigle, L Smith, Laird (Kennett 77 mins), McCall. Subs; Hallam, Christian, Shulton, Mason, Kennett

Lowestoft Town: Jones, Jack Ainsley, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Adam Smith, Gleeson, Frew, Lee Smith, Okay, Eagle, Woods-Garness (Otobo 89 mins). Subs; Stuart Ainsley, Otobo, Tarawali, Doddington, Viner

Lowestoft take a point in a goalless draw at Wingate & Finchley with the home side guilty of missing good first half chances.
It's always said that if you win your home games and pick-up points away from home, then you're doing okay. So with a number of injuries restricting the shape in formation and players that can be called upon, Lowestoft will be happy with a point at an unhappy hunting ground, knowing that some big players are still to return.

Henderson and Cunningham were out with sickness bugs, along with the continuing injuries in defence but Haynes-Brown returned. So the starting line-up saw a bit of a shuffle in positions as the game kicked off on a superb pitch but in front of a really low crowd.

The opening exchanges of the game saw both sides playing football on a lush pitch that was conducive to passing football.
It was a fairly tight start to the match but Lowestoft were presented the first opening with the Wingate left back Wright making a mistake on the edge of the area. It was a mistake that saw him kick the ball to Woods-Garness, who immediately dispatched a shot that stung the keepers hands as he turned it over the bar.
An even affair very nearly turned distinctly one sided with Wingate working two chances in quick succession for their hot shot Leon Smith but he was guilty of not taking full advantage, as Jones did his job in the Lowestoft goal. The first of the chances saw Weatherstone slipping in Leon Smith from midfield but his shot from the angle was watched past the far post by Jones. Then moments later Leon Smith was in the clear again but Jones was out quickly and blocked really well with his legs.
Lowestoft were starting to give a confident looking Wingate a bit too much time on the ball and were guilty of not being tight enough or closing them down.
As the half went on Lowestoft did star to get a bit more tighter but were still struggling to get their own game going, with Frew having to chase long balls which were skimming off the downward slopping and watered pitch. Gleeson was stepping up as captain, playing the ball out calmly from in front of the defence but up top Woods-Garness was looking a very lone and frustrating figure, as Wingate started to push again and looked like the team more likely to break the deadlock.
Mackie got in behind Jack Ainsley for Wingate and pulled the ball back across the box to Leon Smith but his shot hit the defender and deflected clear. Then moments later McCall hit a good effort from distance for Wingate, forcing shotstopper Jones into action, pushing it away. Wingate were certainly looking more of a threat when coming forward and were also working hard in not giving Lowestoft any time on the ball.
Leon Smith was guilty of poor execution again, after being put in for the third time in the half and making it simple for Jones with a weak effort on goal.
Due to injuries Eagle had to be used on the left, which restricted him from his usual creative play in the centre and a partnership with Lee Smith that's starting to blossom. However, Wingate hadn't taken their chances and Lowestoft reached the break still on level terms.

The second half started with Eagle coming inside a bit more and Lowestoft showing more urgency in their play, passing it around on the deck a lot more.
Eagle found Woods-Garness just inside the box and with some good movement he replicated his chance in the first half but yet again his effort stung the hands of Bobby Smith and went over.
Wingate were still look solid when in possession though and after a brighter start to the second half, Lowestoft were now being pushed back again.
Wingate couldn't find the openings though and Gaughran and Gleeson were leading by example in trying to ensure that Lowestoft kept another clean sheet.
The game entered its final period with Wingate making a couple of changes and Jack Ainsley picking up a booking for Lowestoft. Neither side were creating though and a goalless scoreline looked odds-on as the clock started to run down.
A brief moment of hope was given to the travelling Lowestoft supporters with a great cross field ball from Eagle finding Woods-Garness on the right. However his dangerously drilled ball across the box was collected really well by the keeper, with Frew close to goal and waiting to pounce on any scraps.
Otobo replaced the hard working Woods-Garness late on and showed a bit of spark but the final whistle followed moments later to see both sides take a point.

An away point is never a bad result, especially when carrying injuries to key players in the squad. Lowestoft will be hoping that a few faces start to return soon, in order to give them a few more options and with the next two games coming at home, confidence is still high amongst the players.

Lowestoft had kept their fifth clean sheet in the opening seven games and today that was made possible by some great goalkeeping by Jones and some solid second half defending. However, my Man of the Match today was the captain Gleeson. He played in front of the defence, looked switched on throughout and distributed solidly across the back line to the left and right of the pitch.

After the game I grabbed a word with the captain and Man of the Match Dan Gleeson:-
A captains performance from you today but is it fair to say a frustrating performance away from home? "Yeah a little bit. A bit frustrating but at the same time we kept a clean sheet and if you go away and keep a clean sheet you're doing something right. It's frustrating going forward as we didn't really create enough but again, if you go away from home and keep a clean sheet you're not doing too bad".
Well they do say get draws away from home and win your homes games and we've won three from three at home, so the confidence must still be high going into a couple of home matches? "Yeah the confidence is definitely high, as that's five clean sheets in seven games. Obviously we'd like a few more points but it's something to build on and we know we can do better going forward. We've got a few players out injured and that will change things as well but the lads that are playing are doing well and putting a shift in. The first half was very frustrating, as we didn't play as good as we could have but second half I thought we were a little bit better and won the ball more but didn't create enough".
How are the new lads settling into the side? "Yeah, they're all doing good. Woods-Garness scored last week, which has done him the world of good and you can see that Jack Ainsley has played higher, as he's a good player who's comfortable on the ball and can play in a number of positions, which is good with us having low numbers at the minute. Ashley Jones as well has been different class with five clean sheets and is getting on well with the lads".

Lowestoft Town are next in action on Saturday, when they welcome Hendon to the Crown Meadow.

Terry Bullen

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Wealdstone 46 96
2. Kingstonian 46 85
3. Bognor Regis Town 46 85
4. Lowestoft Town 46 84
5. AFC Hornchurch 46 83
6. Dulwich Hamlet 46 82
7. Maidstone United 46 81

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