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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Lowestoft Town
Lewes
Sat 15 Mar 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 601

Lowestoft Town 1 Lewes 1

After dominating the first half, Lowestoft Town concede on the stroke of half time and never fully recover in a 1-1 draw at home to Lewes.

Att 601

Lowestoft Town: Jones, Williams, Gleeson, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Jack Ainsley, Fisk (Okay 80 mins), Jarvis, Eagle, Frew (Smith 76 mins), Henderson (Stuart Ainsley 88 mins)
Subs; Stuart Ainsley, Okay, Smith, Jessup

Lewes: Banks, Sam Crabb, Gore, Pearson, Austin, Walder, Treleaven (Branford 90 mins), Dixon, Blewden, Matt Crabb, Logan (Murrell-Williamson 80 mins)
Subs; Lovett, Murrell-Williamson, Branford, James, Badger

After dominating the first half, Lowestoft Town concede on the stroke of half time and never fully recover in a 1-1 draw at home to Lewes.

The game was all set to be a tough test for Lowestoft with Lewes coming into the match as a wounded animal following a 5-1 defeat midweek.
Lewes had 19 year old George Branford in the squad after he signed on loan from Portsmouth. While
Lowestoft welcomed back Williams who had missed the Hendon game with a virus that has been doing its rounds in the blues camp. Unfortunately the virus has resulted in Lowestoft losing a player on the day of the match for the last handful of matches and today was no different, as key player and goalscorer Reed was laid low with it and not in the squad as a result. Haynes-Brown came in for the rested Stuart Ainsley and Frew and Henderson formed the attack in the absence of Reed.

Prior to kick-off there was a minutes silence impeccably observed for Graham Hart, who played for Lowestoft between 1935-1939. He scored one of the two goals when Lowestoft beat Bury in the 1937/38 play-off against Bury to win the championship that season, as both teams had ended on level points and in those days goal difference didn't count.

The match got underway on a hard and dry pitch, which as a result meant that ball control would be tricky for both sides.
Lowestoft were quick out of the blocks though and were getting numbers forward early on, looking to unsettle Lewes with some quick and slick one-touch football. A Frew flicked header found Henderson and with him being bundled over, up stepped Eagle to try and work the keeper from the free-kick. He set himself and with him bending it through a crowded box towards the far post, the defender got a head on it on-route but it didn't change the course of the ball and just added spin to the ball as it crept inside the far post for an early Lowestoft lead; 1-0 (9 mins).
It was all Lowestoft, who were already playing with a bit of swagger to their game as the fifteen minute mark arrived. There was also plenty of voices being heard on the pitch for the blues and none more so than that of Williams, who was praising his team mates and keeping them on their toes. Williams was also getting forward regularly down the right and linking up well with Jack Ainsley and Henderson, as Lowestoft looked to try and double their lead.
The lead very nearly was doubled for the blues as another deflection nearly found its way into the Lewes net, as the Lowestoft faithful behind the goal started to ring out the chants of "Come on you blues". The support was good and the football was matching it, as a Jack Ainsley corner reached Gaughran at the far post but with a free header the defender failed to add to his tally of four goals this season.
Lewes were struggling to get into the Lowestoft half for any period of time and as the thirty minute mark arrived, Lowestoft were looking solid and confident throughout the team.
An excellent and well timed tackle in the Lewes box by Pearson stopped Jack Ainsley in his tracks in a dangerous position, as Lowestoft continued to exude confidence in their play. Jarvis was running the midfield, Eagle and Henderson were providing the flair and the defence was a solid unit with Gleeson yet again putting in a calm and commanding performance as captain.
Lowestoft were worthy of a second and were mindful that it would give them a safety net for if Lewes did find a way through on goal. It had been a dominating first half performance by Lowestoft but as half time approached, Lewes were seeing a spell of play in the Lowestoft half. A throw in from the left came into the Lowestoft area and with nobody clearing, the unimaginable happened for Lowestoft, as Blewden volleyed home to level at 1-1 (45 mins). It had been such a one sided half but as the teams left the pitch at the break, the scores were somehow level.

After getting the equaliser right at the end of the first half, Lewes came out for the second half with confidence and Lowestoft were now starting to look like a team who were clearly missing their main goal threat Reed. Henderson was putting himself about and working hard but Frew was having a frustrating day at the office and was struggling to get his game going at all.
Fisk placed an effort wide as Lowestoft tried to get their game going again and with Jack Ainsley also getting balls into the box, the blues started to take some control over proceedings.
Eagle and Henderson were working well down the left channel and the blues pressure was starting to increase again, as Jarvis smashed a sensational shot from distance that keeper Banks had to superbly send over the bar with a strong hand. There was a real high tempo to the play as the game reached the sixty minute mark but as the half progressed that tempo gradually fell away and the play from Lowestoft was lacking the quality it had in the first half.
Lewes were looking good for a point and as the final fifteen minutes arrived, it looked like fresh legs were required to try a final push for a winner. The first change was made by Lowestoft with Frew getting booked on a frustrating day for him before being replaced by Smith. The change led to a re-shuffle in the ranks, as Jack Ainsley moved up top, Eagle to the right and Smith took up position on the left. Four minutes later a further Lowestoft change was made as Okay replaced a subdued Fisk and at the same time Lewes made their first change with Murrell-Williamson replacing Logan.
Jack Ainsley and Eagle combined well on the right and it allowed Eagle to get a shot away but the keeper was positioned well to gather low down. Moments later Henderson followed a ball into the box but clattered into the keeper and after being down for a while, he left the pitch clutching his ribs and was replaced by Stuart Ainsley. Haynes-Brown was now moved up top for Lowestoft but with stoppage time arriving and a final Lewes change eating into some of the minutes, the final whistle sounded to see a point each in a 1-1 draw.

After such a bright first half in which Lowestoft played some confident one-touch football, it looked like being another good day for the blues but a sucker-punch on the stroke of half time saw Lowestoft struggle to reach the same heights in the second half.

Eagle was a creative threat all game and added another goal to his tally. While Williams gave great attacking support and drive from right back, along with some great vocal support for his team mates.
Gleeson put in another fine and commanding performance at the back alongside Gaughran, as the Lowestoft defence restricted Lewes to very little in the way of chances.
When it comes to the Man of the Match though, my choice was Rossi Jarvis. On a day in which Fisk was slightly off colour, he took ownership in the middle and covered plenty of yards in an excellent box-to-box performance.

The players now have a week to recover and hopefully flush the virus out of the camp, as they prepare for the long trip to Margate next Saturday.

Terry Bullen

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

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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