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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Lowestoft Town
Cray Wanderers
Sat 9 Nov 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 462

Lowestoft Town 0 Cray Wanderers 2

A battling performance from bottom club Cray Wanderers sees them earn a deserved 2-0 win at the Crown Meadow.

Att 462

Teams:-
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Williams, Gleeson, Gaughran, Adam Smith, Jack Ainsley, Okay (Fisk 72 mins), Jarvis, Eagle, Osei (Frew 72 mins), Reed
Subs; Fisk, Frew, Haynes-Brown, Doddington, Jessup

Cray Wanderers: Grainger, Talbot, Clark, Orome, Young, Henry (Bardon 74 mins), Stavrinou, Day, Stone, Whitnell, Sherratt
Subs; Beckett, Larin, Macklin, Bardon, Jahar

A battling performance from bottom club Cray Wanderers sees them earn a deserved 2-0 win at the Crown Meadow.

New signing Manny Osei was given a start in place of the departed Lee Smith, in the only change to the starting eleven from Saturday's win over AFC Hornchurch.

The match was preceded by two minutes silence to remember our fallen war heroes and also for the passing of Brian Gallagher, who's funeral is this coming week.

The match got underway with Lowestoft pushing high up the pitch right from the off but Cray had not come to just sit back and were also sending numbers forward themselves, to try and catch the Lowestoft defence out early on.
A free-kick on the left was sent in by Clark and with Orome seemingly in a great position to give Cray the lead, he sent his header down and wide of the goal when he should have scored.
As the first ten minutes passed it was Cray who were looking more lively with the quick and tricky Henry in midfield causing problems for Lowestoft, who were also now giving a few passes away.
Cray were making it really difficult for Lowestoft to settle into any sort of a passing game but Lowestoft did come close with an Okay drilled shot being blocked by the defender and from the following corner, a Gaughran header was cleared off the line.
Cray had certainly come to play football though and they were having a go and battling very hard but Gleeson and Gaughran were both looking solid and sharp in keeping it tight at the back.
As the thirty minute mark passed Cray continued to frustrate Lowestoft in stopping them from getting any sort of sustained rhythm going.
There were cries for a Lowestoft penalty with Jack Ainsley going down in the box but the referee waved the claims away, in what appeared to be a fair decision.
Reed showed a high work rate to his play again and with some superb work from him, from a deep position, he cut inside and headed towards goal before sliding Eagle in but his shot was sent the wrong side of the post. At the other end a deliver from Clark found the head of Whitnell but his header went over, as both sides looked to steal a lead to take into the break.
As halftime approached and Cray continued to frustrate Lowestoft, the stand burst into song and with the sounds of "come on you blues" ringing out, a Jack Ainsley corner found the head of Gaughran and his headed effort was fractionally short of giving Lowestoft the lead.

The second half saw a good early run from Osei down the right but with him pushing the ball too far ahead of himself, he lunged in on Orome and went into the referees book.
Reed and Jack Ainsley combined well to get Lowestoft into the Cray area and with it coming to Osei his shot was saved well by the legs of the keeper Grainger.
Lowestoft had started the half in better fashion but were still looking some way off from the team of the last few weeks and with Cray not sitting back, they forced a corner and their first goal. The corner was sent in and with Young doing well to get on the end of it in a crowded penalty box, he steered the ball past Jones from close range for 1-0 (57 mins).
Gaughran looked to put some drive into the Lowestoft performance, running the full length of the pitch with the ball and with him and Reed going down inside the area, strangled claims for a penalty followed but the referee rightfully waved them away.
An Eagle corner found its way outside of the area to Okay but the frustration for Lowestoft was captured in his effort, as he sent a weak shot towards goal, which Cray cleared with ease.
Lowestoft's frustration continued as Jarvis went into the book and Cray very nearly doubled their lead. A booming ball forward found Whitnell in the area and with him being in loads of space and Lowestoft labouring, all he could do was send it across an open goalmouth with nobody at hand to take advantage for Cray.
Cray were now taking the game by the scruff of the neck with Henry in particular playing really well in the middle of the park for them. It was Cray and Stone who nearly doubled the lead but with Stone shooting across the face of goal, his effort went fractionally wide of the far post.
Lowestoft were now struggling and it was all Cray but from a break forward Eagle picked out Jack Ainsley, only for him to see his shot coming crashing back off the foot of the post.
The game was now entering the final twenty minutes and Lowestoft were in need of new ideas, as they introduced Fisk and Frew into the mix in place of Okay and Osei. The changes seemed to spurt Lowestoft on for a bit with the Cray Keeper Grainger having to punch away a few balls.
Cray made their first and only change of the game with Bardon replacing the impressive Henry but Lowestoft were trying to get back in the game with Williams getting forward from right back at every opportunity and Frew making a difference since being introduced.
A fantastic one two between Frew and Adam Smith should have seen Lowestoft draw level but with Fisk having what seemed like a simple task to score, he totally messed his shot up and sent it into the clutches of the keeper who was already stranded on the deck.
Frew had certainly made a difference since coming on but the day was summed up as Jack Ainsley delivered another free-kick into a dangerous area and Frew sent a weak header from close in right into the clutches of the Cray shot stopper.
Williams was unfortunate to get a booking late on for what appeared to be a clean tackle, as the game entered its final stages and both teams knew that the next goal would be crucial.
With Lowestoft understandably sending more bodies forward, Cray broke away and Bardon forced Jones to get behind his fiercely struck effort. Lowestoft then when straight up the other end and had two chances of their own blocked but with the game going deep into injury time, Cray landed the defining blow. It came from a Cray breakaway in their half and with Whitnell one on one with Jones, he rounded the Lowestoft keeper and rolled the ball home for 2-0 and curtains for Lowestoft (90+ mins). The whistle shortly followed and Cray had taken a fully deserved three points, while Lowestoft were left to reflect on a bad day at the office.

Lowestoft may have conceded two goals, of which one came right at the death with the team pushing numbers forward but overall Gleeson and Gaughran had looked very solid in central defence. Therefore my Man of the Match today for Lowestoft was Sam Gaughran, for not just a solid defensive performance but also for the drive and determination he showed when coming out from the back with the ball and also when placing himself in the area for Lowestoft corners and free-kicks.

The team will no doubt lick their wounds after this performance and reflect on the game but will undoubtedly come out fighting on Tuesday night when they travel to Billericay 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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