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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Lowestoft Town
Grays Athletic
Tue 10 Sep 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 257

Lowestoft Town 2 Grays Athletic 2

On a horribly rain swept night at the Crown Meadow, both sides score late on as Lowestoft Town and Grays Athletic battle out a 2-2 draw.

Att 257

Teams:-
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Gleeson, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Adam Smith, Fisk, Jack Ainsley, Lee Smith, Eagle, Henderson, Woods-Garness (Frew 81 mins). Subs; Frew, Okay, Stuart Ainsley, Cunningham, Otobo

Grays Athletic: Johnson, Pope, Anderson, Baker, Nightingill, Maxwell, Latite, Beaney, Small, Hammond, Carlos, Subs; West, Hamdan, Cruikshank, Flynn, Ramos-Gonzalez

On a horribly rain swept night at the Crown Meadow, both sides score late on as Lowestoft Town and Grays Athletic battle out a 2-2 draw.

Gleeson returned to the line-up after missing Saturday through injury and Henderson replaced Frew, as the match kicked off in dreadful conditions with a constant downpour of heavy rain.

Gleeson was put in a right back, allowing Jack Ainsley to play further forward and occasionally switch in a midfield wide role with Henderson on the opposite side of the pitch.
It was Henderson who was immediately into his stride, already looking like he had the beating of the right back Pope with a couple of early spurts down the left. Lowestoft opened the game with a fair amount of possession with Gray just looking to break away with pace whenever they saw the ball.
After missing the last couple of games due to sickness and then suspension, Henderson was full of beans and fully involved and with fifteen minutes of the match gone, Lowestoft had already had a sniff on goal with a couple of glancing headers from Lee Smith.
Lee Smith was looking solid and working hard in the middle, while also getting up to support Woods-Garness on occasions when Lowestoft were in possession. Jack Ainsley and Henderson were regularly switching on the wings with Jack Ainsley getting more involved and the Lowestoft midfield playing some good football across the middle, as the game started to shape up nicely.
It was fair to say that after thirty minutes of the first half Grays looked competent when in possession but Lowestoft were looking more potent than them when it came to the final third. Lowestoft hadn't created a really clear opening as of yet but they were sniffing out some half chances and were getting in and around the Grays penalty area.
Woods-Garness cut a ball back to an advanced Gleeson, who's shot clipped off the defender and over the bar, as Lowestoft looked the more likely team to take the lead.
This continued to be the case as Henderson drifted a high and arching ball in from the right and with Jack Ainsley showing good pace up against the defender, he drove into the box and sent an effort just wide of goal.
The Grays defence was certainly having to work hard as Lowestoft continued to look for the breakthrough and with just three minutes of the half remaining, the breakthrough finally came. Gleeson found himself high up the pitch and after doing really well in the right corner he laid the ball off to Woods-Garness, who flicked the ball back delightfully and right into the path of Lee Smith to side foot home for 1-0 (42 mins) and a halftime lead for Lowestoft.

The second half started with Grays Athletic coming out with more effort and urgency in their play, forcing a couple of corners early on. Corners certainly seemed to be the order of the day early in this half and with Latite delivering one from the left into a crowded Lowestoft area, Gaughran could count himself unlucky as he glanced a header right past Jones and into his own net to level the match at 1-1 (48 mins). It was a stroke of bad luck for Lowestoft, who up until that point had restricted Grays from having any efforts on goal in the match.
Grays had come out with more about them though and with Latite involved and trying one from distance, Lowestoft were being forced to work and defend well in the driving rain. Grays were giving plenty of effort but they didn't appear to have much bite up front and with Haynes-Brown defending well, Lowestoft looked fairly comfortable.
A free-kick by Latite missed everyone, including Jones before it nestled in the Lowestoft net but the offside flag was up early and the goal wasn't given as the first twenty minutes of the second half passed with the scores level.
Lee Smith was trying to get up alongside Woods-Garness more often and Fisk was stepping out from the back a little more but Lowestoft weren't quite able to get things going this half.
Lowestoft had somewhat stemmed the early impetus from Grays and the game was evening up but even with them trying to find a bit more urgency in their play, it wasn't going for the blues.
Gleeson picked up a bit of a harsh booking, while Jones was also booked for time wasting when taking a goal kick, as the game became a little flat in places.
Jack Ainsley nearly restored the lead for Lowestoft, collecting a ball from the back and showing great strength to get round the right back Anderson to force a save out of Johnson with a low, hard shot.
Frew was introduced for Woods-Garness with just under ten minutes remaining but a spell of the game followed were both sides picked up bookings late on.
As the game went into the final minute it looked like Lowestoft were going to have to settle for a draw but with Lee Smith putting Henderson in on the right of the box, he was brought down by Pope and the referee took no time in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Lee Smith, who saw his penalty saved but from the ensuing scramble and with the ball nearly appearing to go out at one point, it somehow found its way back to Lee Smith and he stabbed it home for 2-1 (90 mins). Surely that was it and with 3 minutes injury time being indicted, Lowestoft looked set for all the points. However, deep into the fourth minute of injury time Grays won a corner and with it being headed against the bar the ball came back into play and Hammond headed home to break Lowestoft hearts and snatch a point at the death, making it 2-2 (90+4).

Lowestoft will no doubt feel aggrieved with more injury time being played than was indicated but you have to play to the whistle and after seeing three points in their grasp, it was snatched away at the death in what was probably a fair result in the end.

Lowestoft certainly created more chances than Grays Athletic during the game but the two chances that Grays did have both resulted in goals.
Henderson was full of beans and always looked to provide Lowestoft with an outlet. While Lee Smith yet again worked tirelessly in midfield and scored both goals for the Trawlerboys. However, even though two goals were conceded from corners, my Man of the Match was Haynes-Brown, who over the past couple of games has individually looked much sharper, powerful and more commanding at the back.

I wasn't able to conduct an interview with anyone after the game, due to the horrid conditions but I have spoken to Dan Gleeson about the romance of the FA Cup and will be posting a piece on the website prior to our FA Cup game this weekend at Harlow Town.

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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