Lowestoft Town 4 Heybridge Swifts 1
Lowestoft Town set up a home tie against Leiston in the next round of the League Cup with a dominant 4-1 victory over Heybridge Swifts.
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Fisk (Haizel 81 mins), Williams, Brown, Adam Smith, Jack Ainsley, Stuart Ainsley, Okay, Eagle (Taylor 87 mins), Fitzgerald, Bailey (Doddington 66 mins)
Subs: Haizel, Doddington, Barwick, Greengrass, Taylor
Heybridge Swifts: Wiseman, Amass (Loveridge 65 mins), Smith, Cousins, Moore, Hastings, Bantik, Thomas Hession-Harris (Frank Hession-Harris 74 mins), Callender, Cheek, Malton
Subs; Loveridge, Frank Hession-Harris
Lowestoft Town set up a home tie against Leiston in the next round of the League Cup with a dominant 4-1 victory over Ryman North side Heybridge Swifts.
On a fantastic looking pitch Lowestoft fielded a strong starting line-up containing seven first team players and a number of promising reserve and youth team players.
The match got off to a ferocious start with both sides showing a high tempo to their game and with just four minutes on the clock, Heybridge took a shock lead. A ball was sent in from the left and with Cousins in acres of space, he found it all too easy to drill a shot under Jessup from just inside the area for an early 1-0 lead (4 mins). In truth it turned out to be the only real Heybridge chance of any note for the remainder of the half, as Lowestoft went through the gears and turned up the pressure.
Reserve team striker Luke Bailey is a big and powerful figure for such a young lad and he was starting to win plenty of headers and balls up top, as Lowestoft started to get their passing going.
Jessup had to be quick off his line to hammer the ball out of play and away from the lurking Cheek but Lowestoft were the team who were in full flow. Fisk was in an unusual right back position for him but as always with this guy it was looking like another braveheart performance with him covering plenty of ground, tackling well and always being right on the heels of the opposition.
It had been a lively opening fifteen minutes but Lowestoft were now starting to dominate the Ryman North side and as has been the case in the last few games, Eagle and Adam Smith were proving to be the main outlet down the left.
Heybridge keeper Wiseman was called into action as Bailey chested the ball down to Fitzgerald and from a sharp angle, Wiseman had to turn his shot behind. The keeper was then worked again with Adam Smith bending a free-kick in from 25 yards, only to see the keeper save well with it heading for the top corner. A Fitzgerald shot was then fumbled behind by the keeper and moments later Okay bent one in but it was somehow kept out, as the thirty minute mark approached and Lowestoft were really cranking it up.
At the back for Lowestoft it was the master Williams who was vocally guiding and supporting the talented apprentice and central defensive partner Liam Brown. However, in what had been a fairly watchful half for the pair, a long ball nearly brought trouble with it finding the striker and with a ricochet off him and Jessup the ball rolled wide of the goal.
Things were getting a little tasty as halftime approached and following a couple of cynical fouls, Cheek went into the referees book and was shortly followed by Fisk, getting a silly booking for kicking the ball away.
Heybridge had a half chance just before the break but Jessup was quick to it and the chance hit his legs without causing any real danger to the Lowestoft goal.
It was looking like Lowestoft would go in at halftime wondering how they were one down, after having the large share of possession and chances. However, with first half injury time entered Okay tried his luck from distance and with the keeper unable to keep hold if it, Jack Ainsley stroked it home from the angle to level things up on the half time whistle; 1-1 (45+ mins).
The second half was when the dominance of Lowestoft really came shining through and the tone was set early on by Jack Ainsley, who was having another impressive match. After great work in the right corner he sent a ball right across the box with Bailey just short of getting on the end of it.
It wasn't long before Lowestoft grabbed the lead though with Eagle winning the ball well in midfield and finding Fitzgerald, who hit a fizzing shot that cracked the woodwork, came down onto the line and amazingly stayed out but with the keeper still on the deck Bailey followed in with pace to slide it over the line for 2-1 (49 mins).
Lowestoft were now right in the ascendancy and with Stuart Ainsley and Okay putting in industrious performances in the middle, the Lowestoft engine was purring and a third goal came. A ball over the top by Jack Ainsley saw Bailey bearing down on goal and with a calm finish it was 3-1 (53 mins).
To be fair to Heybridge they were still trying but Lowestoft looked fairly comfortable, even when they had a short spell of wayward passing.
The sixty minute mark approached and but for a booking for Fitzgerald and substitutions from both sides, a fifteen minute spell passed without any real threat to either goal.
Lowestoft had introduced some young and enthusiastic legs from the bench in the shape of Doddington and Haizel and with the final ten minutes entered both players were now working well with Eagle, as Lowestoft started to knock it around with ease again.
The blues were looking hungry for a fourth goal and with Jack Ainsley bursting down the right and picking Doddington out with a perfectly placed pass, Doddington tucked away with ease for 4-1 (82 mins). Heybridge were now looking a beaten side as Lowestoft continued to look sharp, showing good movement and passing.
An Eagle free-kick was turned round the post by Heybridge keeper Wiseman and Keegan Taylor was introduced for the final few moments as Lowestoft looked to see the game out.
A burst forward by Cheek in the closing stages saw him brought down by Williams with the Lowestoft defender going into the book and giving away a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Brown followed him into the book after charging down the free-kick but the retake was blasted high and wide, as the final whistle sounded and Lowestoft secured a comprehensive League Cup victory.
It was yet another good all round performance by Lowestoft and the Reserve and Youth team players who were involved did themselves proud.
Again a number of players were right up there in regards to individual performance, with Stuart Ainsley and Okay bossing central midfield and Bailey impressing with his strength up top, while also taking his two goals well. Halfway through the second half Fisk jokingly shouted over to me from right back "am I as good as Cafu". To be fair to him he wasn't far off with that shout and had put in another magnificent performance in a position that wasn't familiar to him.
The Man of the Match honours though go to Jack Ainsley who followed up his excellent performance on Saturday with another great showing. He worked hard throughout and sent in some excellent deliveries yet again to cap a brilliant individual performance with two assists and a goal.
After the match I caught up with a happy Reserve team striker Luke Bailey:-
I guess it's fair to say that you must have enjoyed that?
"Yeah it was decent to be fair. I wasn't feeling too great at half time and I said to Fleming give me another five or ten minutes and fortunately I came up with a couple of goals, which is nice".
You did seem to get clattered in the box at one point?
"Yeah he caught me on the chin and sat me down, so I was struggling for a bit but it was a good performance, especially after the first goal".
How did you get your first goal, as it looked in from Fitzy but you appeared from nowhere to finish it off?
"It bounced on the line, whether it was in or not I'm not sure but the whistle hadn't gone, I was hungry to get there and the keeper was flapping a little bit. So I got there just before the defender to score, which was nice".
I guess you'll be hoping for more call ups based on that performance?
"Yeah I've been in and around for the past few weeks but with a small squad and injuries I just keep training and working hard. When I get called, whether it's two minutes, twenty minutes or a start I just keep trying hard and hopefully I'll get a few more calls soon".
With Leiston beating Needham Market, Lowestoft will now be at home in the next round of the cup to their Suffolk rivals. In the mean time the focus returns to league action with Lowestoft hoping to follow up their impressive result on Saturday with a home match against another promotion hunting side, Hornchurch.