Lowestoft Town 2 Enfield Town 0
Lowestoft Town get a big three points and their twenty-second clean sheet of the season, in a determined performance to beat Enfield Town 2-0.
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Williams, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Smith, Jack Ainsley (Eagle 53 mins), Jarvis, Okay, Henderson (Stuart Ainsley 90 mins), Bammant (Frew 81 mins), Reed
Subs; Eagle, Stuart Ainsley, Frew, Bailey, Jessup
Enfield Town: Imber, Lockie (Sterling-Parker 53 mins), Stevens, Doyle, Kirby, Hann (Lewsley 88 mins), Smith, Campbell, Hope, Livings (White 83 mins), Whitely
Subs; White, Richards, Lewsley, Sterling-Parker, Osei
Lowestoft Town get a big three points and their twenty-second clean sheet of the season, in a determined performance to beat Enfield Town 2-0 with goals from Okay and Reed.
Lowestoft came into the game knowing they've had a strong defence all season but have failed to fully take advantage of that in the last few games with a lack of clinical finishing in front of goal.
They headed into the game looking to put that right against an Enfield Town side who have been in good form in recent weeks and would provide a stern test.
Due to an accident on the A12 Enfield Town were late in arriving, which resulted in the kick-off being delayed until 8:30pm.
Bammant was promoted to the starting line-up while Eagle was rested on the bench, as Lowestoft started a run of four games in seven days.
After the crowd impeccably observed a minutes silence for the passing of Roy Burwood, the match finally got underway. The first piece of action came as early as the second minute, when Hann drove a shot over for the visitors after good build-up play on the edge of the box.
Five minutes later it was the turn of the blues, as a ball was sent in from the left and flicked on to Bammant but his header into the net was ruled out for offside.
Bammant was already showing a good physical presence and fifteen minutes in, with his back to goal, he flicked a header across goal and fractionally past the far post from a Jack Ainsley corner.
As the half progressed Enfield started to see more of an even share of the ball but it was Lowestoft who had more intent to their play, with Henderson in particular looking very lively and covering plenty of the pitch from front to back.
Lowestoft then could and should have taken the lead, as a great long ball from the back was shifted from the left to Reed and with him heading in on goal, the ball broke across to Jack Ainsley who had a gapping goal presented to him but disastrously blasted over when it appeared easier to score.
Moments later a brilliantly judged and controlled volley by Reed flashed over the top for Lowestoft as the half hour mark approached. Reed was certainly getting in the right places and that was the case again as he nearly got his head on the end of an excellent Williams cross from the right.
As the final few minutes of the half ticked away the lively Henderson lifted one into the box to find Bammant and the powerful striker set himself before hitting a hard shot from the angle but Imber made himself big in the Enfield goal to save with his legs.
As half time arrived it was Lowestoft who had created the chances but again had nothing to show for it with that clinical edge still evading them.
The second half started with both sides showing a higher tempo to their play but it was Lowestoft who were yet again edging the possession.
Good work by Bammant in the final third saw him find Reed and with the blues leading scorer travelling inside the box with the ball, he worked a gap for a shot but the defender was quick to close the effort down, throwing his body in the way.
Lowestoft were eager to make their possession and chances count, knowing that a win is all that would do in reality and with that in mind they called upon the creative services of Eagle from the bench as he replaced Jack Ainsley. Enfield also made a change with Lockie getting injured in the Reed blocked effort and having to be helped off on a stretcher before being replaced by Sterling-Parker.
Similar to the first half, as the second half progressed Enfield started to see a little more of the ball and the game then had a spell in which it evened out but the away team were struggling to find a way past a resolute Lowestoft defence.
Lowestoft were working the ball around well in and around the area but nobody was chancing their arm with any long range efforts to test the keeper and time was starting to move on.
If anyone was going to score it looked like being Lowestoft though and in the sixty-second minute it was the blues who finally broke the deadlock. Henderson sent a teasing ball into the box from the right side of the area and with Enfield twice failing to clear; Okay latched onto a rebound and knocked the ball home from six yards for 1-0 (62 mins). It was a goal that was met with relief around the ground and it seemed to lift Lowestoft, who puffed their chests out and started to spray the ball about in a buoyant fashion.
The impact of Eagle from the bench was clear to see, as he'd added drive and flair to the team since coming on; meaning that the Enfield defence were having to think all the time.
Lowestoft continued to dominate as a corner saw efforts from Reed and then Jarvis cleared off the line by Enfield. Lowestoft were really knocking the ball around well and with great intent but were given a quick reminder that the game was far from over, as Campbell burst forward through the middle for Enfield and if not for a great tackle by Gaughran, he could have been in on goal.
Fifteen minutes of the match were now remaining and Enfield were getting much tighter on Lowestoft, who were hungry for a second goal in order to avoid a nervy end to the game.
Nerves were not going to be tested though, as a booming ball forward from the back by birthday boy Haynes-Brown, saw Reed take it down well up top, work across the edge of the area and thump home an unstoppable shot from fully twenty-five yards, that burst the net and sent Lowestoft 2-0 up (77 mins). Two nearly became three as Bammant laid the ball on a plate for Jarvis but his shot was fluffed and the chance went begging to increase the lead further.
The game was now inside the final ten minutes and both sides turned to the bench for fresh legs but it was looking bleak for Enfield and Lowestoft were looking good for the three points.
The performance for Lowestoft was nearly capped by another super strike by Reed but this time his bending effort from all of thirty-five yards just went inches past the upright.
A late change for Lowestoft saw Stuart Ainsley replace the impressively hard working Henderson but the game was won and on the final whistle Lowestoft secured their twenty-second clean sheet of the season and a big three points in the race for a play-off place.
It was looking like being a game of missed chances at halftime but Lowestoft put in a determined second half showing and eventually took their chances for a much deserved haul of three points.
The midfield was won over by Jarvis and Okay, particularly in the second half and Okay was industrious throughout, while also scoring the all important opening goal.
Eagle without doubt made a big difference when being introduced and played a big part with his drive and creativity on the left and when cutting inside.
However for me, my Man of the Match may come as a bit of a 'left field' choice to some but his performance didn't go unnoticed alongside those mentioned above. My Man of the Match was Chris Henderson who showed a phenomenal work rate throughout, not only in getting forward and trying to expose the spaces but also in his tracking back and covering of Smith at times.
The team now face a further three games over the next six days and even though this will test their fitness and stamina to the extreme, tonight's three points will have given them a huge boost.
Lowestoft Town now travel to Grays Athletic on Thursday evening, hoping to add another three points to their total and their hopes of securing a play-off spot.