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Lowestoft Town - Match centre

Lowestoft Town
Billericay Town
Sat 19 Apr 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Full time Attendance 688

Lowestoft Town 1 Billericay Town 0

Lowestoft Town secure a crucial three points and move into the play-off places with a 1-0 home win against Billericay Town.

Att 688

Teams:-
Lowestoft Town: Jones, Jack Ainsley, Gleeson, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown (Smith 79 mins), Henderson, Jarvis, Fisk (Okay 88 mins), Eagle, Bammant, Reed (Frew 85 mins)
Subs; Okay, Smith, Stuart Ainsley, Frew, Jessup

Billericay Town: Lumley, Rodgers, Beavan, Dunne, Halle, Scott, Layne, Poole, Sappleton, Kouassi, Ekim (Imudia 79 mins)
Subs; Webber, Benjamin, Nuakram, Imudia

Lowestoft Town secure a crucial three points and move into the play-off places with a 1-0 home win against Billericay Town.

Going into the game Lowestoft were missing Williams with a tweaked hamstring and he was replaced at right back by Jack Ainsley. Fisk also returned in place of Okay and the strong Bammant had shrugged off a tight groin to start up front with Reed.

The match got underway with the sun shining down and both sides strangely lining up in differently shaded blue shirts.
Billericay were first to have a shot at goal when a cross from the right by Kouassi was met on the volley by Layne but his effort was slightly too high and cleared the bar.
Lowestoft had started fairly well though and were getting forward, forcing three corners in succession. From the third corner, Eagle sent the ball in and it initially looked like it was going directly in from the corner flag but was helped on its way into the net by the keeper. The crowd and players celebrated the goal but unbelievable the referee ruled the goal out, for reasons that only he knows, as an infuriated Lowestoft bench showed their dismay at the decision.
As Lowestoft were clearing their heads following the bizarre decision, they nearly lost focus and got caught out at the back but survived a potentially threatening moment on their goal.
Sappleton was the key player in the reverse fixture for Billericay and following a lovely touch by the big and powerful forward, Kouassi looked to be away on goal but a superb last ditch tackle by Haynes-Brown denied him a chance at goal. However, Kouassi managed to pick the ball up again and flashed it across the box but the attacking player at the far post positioned himself awkwardly and couldn't get on the end to prod home.
Billericay were now stretching the game by using their wide players well to play some good passing football in the Lowestoft half as the fifteen minute mark passed.
The game was opening up and with a good dummy by Reed, Bammant crossed for Eagle at the far post but his effort was turned behind by the away keeper Lumley.
A late foul on Jack Ainsley saw Dunne go into the book for the visitors as the game continued to open up with both teams getting into each other's final third.
Reed showed great footwork to squirm his way into the Billericay area and while the referee was waving away claims of a penalty, with him going over, Henderson had a hard shot saved by the keeper as the thirty minute mark of the match passed.
Bammant was yet again looking effective for Lowestoft; winning plenty of balls and looking good with his strong and robust style of play. Lowestoft were not using enough width though to get balls in from out wide, in order to take full advantage of the prowess of Bammant and Reed in the air.
As the final fifteen minutes of the half arrived the game started to fizzle out somewhat from its earlier tempo and both sides were now putting the ball in the air more often and firing it straight up to their forwards. The aerial spell of play continued up to the half time whistle, when Lowestoft left the pitch knowing that they somehow needed to find a way through for a much needed win.

Ten minutes into the second half the game really wasn't looking like it would deliver a goal and even when a poor kick by Jones was latched onto by the away side, Ekim bent his effort wide.
Out of the two teams it was Lowestoft who were desperate for the win but they seemed to be lacking ideas and were looking very narrow at times.
The home crowd were now trying to spur their side on, as a good ball from the right by Bammant was taken down nicely by Eagle on the edge of the box but his shot on the spin was high and wide.
At the other end of the pitch a back pass was slightly short and Jones had to come off his line to deal with it but thumped it into a Billericay player, resulting in the ball ricocheting back towards goal but luckily rolling past the post of an open goal.
Misplaced passes were not helping Lowestoft, who were still lacking any real width to their play. That was until Jack Ainsley took it upon himself to start pressing on more from right back and as a result he was causing Beavan issues, with the left back going into the book after pulling him to the ground on the touchline.
An Eagle corner flashed right across the goalmouth but nobody was on the end and this was soon followed by Eagle putting Reed in round the back but his effort flashed across goal and yet again nobody could get on the end to make it count.
A nice touch by Bammant found Henderson but his shot across goal was blocked and seen behind by Scott in the Billericay defence, as the final fifteen minutes of the match arrived and the tension increased for play-off chasing Lowestoft.
Jack Ainsley was continuing to try and make a difference by coming forward from right back and with him sending in a sweet cross from the right, Bammant headed the ball back across goal from the far post and Reed was at hand to head home and give Lowestoft a vital 1-0 lead (75 mins).
Both sides turned to the bench in what has been a long and testing season, as Smith replaced Haynes-Brown for Lowestoft and Imudia replaced Ekim for the visitors.
Reed had fallen awkwardly earlier in the half and with the final five minutes of the match remaining, he was also replaced as Frew entered the fray. Lowestoft had their lead though and were not about to surrender it, as Fisk replaced Okay and Lowestoft set about seeing out the final minutes.
A short intake of breath was taken by the home fans when Layne spun in the Lowestoft area but with the defence tight to him, his effort was high and flew out of the ground.
Lowestoft had to scramble the ball away in stoppage time, following a miss punched clearance by Jones but they hung on and sealed a massive three points.

It was a game that was far from being a spectacle but it was all about the points and the three points is all that matters at this stage, even if you have to win them ugly at times.

Lowestoft struggled to get Henderson and Eagle involved and were lacking width for most of the game but in the second half Jack Ainsley pushed himself higher up the pitch from right back and played his part in the goal with a great delivery from the right. Bammant yet again impressed and looks the perfect foil for Reed with his strength, aerial abilities and great positional play.
However, my Man of the Match was team captain Dan Gleeson, who was faced with the task of dealing with the man-mountain Sappleton. He not only lead his team well from the back but kept the big forward quite for most of the game and played a big part in Lowestoft not only claiming a vital three points but their twenty-third clean sheet of the season.

As the game finished news came through that Hornchurch and Dulwich Hamlet had lost, resulting in Lowestoft moving into the play-off places in fifth place. The testing period for the players doesn't relent though as two games remain, staring on Monday when they travel to rivals Bury Town as they continue to push and try to secure a play-off spot.

Terry Bullen

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

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2
3
Lewes
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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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