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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Lowestoft Town
Wealdstone
Tue 4 Feb 19:45 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 446

Lowestoft Town 1 Wealdstone 1

Lowestoft Town put in a resilient and determined performance to earn a fully deserved point in a 1-1 draw against a very good Wealdstone side.

Att 446

Teams:-
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Williams (Henderson 48 mins), Gleeson, Gaughran, Smith, Jack Ainsley, Fisk, Jarvis, Eagle, Frew, Reed
Subs; Okay, Henderson, Stuart Ainsley, Osei, Jessup

Wealdstone: North, Hammond, Okimo, Hamblin (Bentley 72 mins), Cronin, Godfrey, Little (Bailey 85 mins), Pigden, McGleish, Pett, McCluskey
Subs; Bentley, Siva, Bailey, Malcolm, McCubbin

Lowestoft Town put in a resilient and determined performance to earn a fully deserved point in a 1-1 draw against a very good Wealdstone side.

It was the first of two games in quick succession between these sides and Lowestoft went into the game looking to continue their impressive record over Wealdstone. However, the current stones team has strength in depth and is spearheaded by the goals and experience of McGleish up front, the wise head of Little in midfield and the talented goal scoring midfielder Pett. So the game was all set to be a cracker and a real test for Lowestoft.

Frew was given a rare starting berth up top with Reed, as Henderson took up position on the Lowestoft bench.

There was a strong wind sweeping across the Crown Meadow as the game got underway with Lowestoft kicking into it.
In a high tempo start to the game both sides had chances in the opening minutes. Firstly a Wealdstone corner was sent in by Pigden and with Lowestoft keeper Jones nearly punching it into his own net, it had to be cleared off the line to stop the away side taking an early lead. Immediately following this, Lowestoft went up the other end and with Reed going up with and getting the better of Okimo just inside the box, he was bundled to the floor. It had penalty written all over it and with Okimo being the last men a red seemed likely also. However, much to the anger of the Lowestoft team and bench the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and a yellow card to a very lucky Okimo. Up stepped Smith with his trusty left foot and his free-kick was millimetres away from given the home side the early advantage.
It had certainly been a high tempo start from both sides and the action continued with Okimo coming in off the left and allowing Pett to find an opening but his placed effort was across Jones and past the far post.
The first fifteen minutes had flown by in no time and Reed was already looking determined up top for Lowestoft, causing a couple of nervy moments for the Wealdstone defence. It was proving tricky for both teams in the wind but Lowestoft appeared to have a game plan for the first half and were closing down the opposition well and putting in some good block tackles.
Pett and Little have been star players for Wealdstone so far this season and they both combined well to burst forward and get up to the Lowestoft box but with Wealdstone looking to open up a shooting chance, Jack Ainsley shut the move down with a good interception.
Lowestoft were keeping things tight and with the exception of both teams coming close in the opening minutes, it was proving to be a rather tight affair.
A Wealdstone corner from Pigden presented Hamblin with a free header at the far post but his header was sent right into the clutches of Jones. As half time approached Wealdstone started to get more numbers forward and were having their first sustained spell of play. As a result they nearly took the lead with Little making one of his trademark dribbles forward from midfield, opening up the Lowestoft defence and firing an effort across goal, against the post and back into play. It was a relief for Lowestoft and it looked like their apparent game plan to close the opposition down and keep things tight while kicking into a first half wind, had seen them through to the break deservedly level. However, with seconds of the half remaining, Fisk woefully under hit a back pass and with McGleish latching onto it like a true predator, he tucked the ball into the net. Astonishingly and much to the amazement of the Wealdstone players and travelling faithful, the linesman on the near side was waving for offside, even though it was a Lowestoft player who had set up McGleish. However, after much deliberation the correct decision was finally given by the referee and Wealdstone headed into the break 1-0 up (45 mins).

After going down in the first half with a knock, Williams dropped to the floor again early in the second half and Lowestoft were forced into a change as Henderson took to the field and Jack Ainsley shifted into the right back position.
Reed was certainly trying to ruffle up the Wealdstone defence with a robust individual performance and with Jack Ainsley sending a free-kick in from the left, Reed sent a strong header down and into the ground, forcing the away keeper North to react to the bounce and turn it away.
Reed then and not for first time, chased down a big kick forward and after showing great guile to
win it in the corner, he set up Frew but his effort was deflected wide of the Wealdstone goal.
Wealdstone were looking dangerous when in possession and certainly looked like a team with title credentials but Lowestoft were working hard as a unit and got a deserved equaliser with just over ten second half minutes on the board. It was Reed yet again showing great determination to win a ball out of nothing on the edge of the area and with him sliding the ball past the keeper, it was a well fought and taken goal to pull the score level at 1-1 (56 mins).
As expected, Wealdstone immediately went in search of restoring their lead and with a ball coming in from the right, a headed effort at goal turned into a bit of head tennis in the Lowestoft area before being cleared.
Eagle was also quietly going about his match with his quick footed, creative play that we've become so accustom to seeing from him this season. His play was nearly capped with a goal when Jarvis touched him in from the edge of the area but his effort was right at the keeper North, who moments later than had to turn a wind assisted ball over the bar.
The game was now really coming alight and with just under twenty minutes remaining, Wealdstone made their first change as Bentley replaced Hamblin.
Pigden picked out Pett down the Wealdstone right but his cross didn't find a yellow shirt and even though Wealdstone were showing some good football at times, they were finding it hard to carve out a clear scoring opportunity in this half.
At the other end, Frew won a free-kick and much like the one in the opening minutes of the match, Smith yet again saw his free-kick strike miss the target by millimetres with the keeper at full stretch.
Then game was now well into the final ten minutes and Wealdstone made a further change with Bailey replacing Little. Both sides were still battling as the minutes dropped away and with Gaughran getting bundled over on the edge of the box, it was all set for Smith to hopefully be third time lucky from a dead ball situation and possibly snatch all three points for Lowestoft. His first two efforts had both come close and a hopeful silence fell around the Crown Meadow but on this occasion he sent his effort high and over the goal.
This proved to be the final action of the match and with the whistle sounding a draw seemed a fair result and sets up the reverse fixture on Saturday nicely.

If not for a penalty being turned down and a mistake to gift Wealdstone a goal, Lowestoft could have taken all the points but Wealdstone also had a couple of chances to earn the points themselves and overall the result was probably a fair one.
It was great to see yet another solid team performance from Lowestoft in tricky conditions, with everyone working for each other. Therefore every individual on the pitch did a job and did it well but there were two names in particular that stood out for me tonight when thinking about Man of the Match honours. Eagle was excellent and yet again showed great feet and creativity on a number of occasions but for me the Man of the Match was Jake Reed. He won what should have been a penalty with the determination he showed from start to finish and it was that determination that not only got him his goal but also meant the Wealdstone defence had to earn their corn in this match.

Lowestoft will now travel to Wealdstone on Saturday for the reverse fixture and places on the team coach are still available for supporters by contacting Terry Bullen.

Terry Bullen

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other Premier Division results

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Wingate & Finchley
Bury Town
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Leiston

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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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