Town through in FA Trophy………………..just!
Lowestoft Town 0 Enfield Town 1
Liam Hope’s 89th minute winner was the difference between the two sides as Town notched their first win at Crown Meadow at the seventh attempt on Saturday.
The Trawlerboys came into this game having secured just one league point from their previous six games and with a number of injuries, but recent form went out of the window as their young side showed plenty of enthusiasm and commitment to make life difficult for the visitors.
In the opening exchanges Conor McKendry, eye-catching throughout, fired an early free-kick too high while, at the opposite end, home keeper Elvijs Putnins grabbed a dangerous cross from Aaron Greene. Adam Tann’s header flew narrowly wide for the Blues and then Billy Bricknell’s header from Remi Sutton’s cross was tipped round the post by Putnins. Lewis Taaffe cut inside from the left and shot wide, while Matt Johnson had a header saved. All this action came in the first twenty minutes but, as the game wore on and the conditions worsened, the game became a more attritional affair.
Sam Hatton tried his luck from distance and Matt Johnson got a touch but the ball flew narrowly wide and then McKendry cut inside from the right and fired in a left foot shot, but it failed to test Joe Wright. Town were forced to make a defensive change as the half drew to a close when Dam Rumens picked up a knock and was replaced by Rian McLean.
Half-time: Lowestoft Town 0 Enfield Town 0
The heavens opened as the second half got underway and, with certain parts of the pitch soft already, Town’s usual passing game was put to the test. Sam Youngs found Bricknell, whose shot was saved and then Youngs himself blazed over. In the 56th minute, Rob Eagle whipped in a low free kick which was gathered safely by Wright and shortly afterwards Kieran Higgs was tackled just as he was about to shoot. The next few minutes saw Lowestoft’s best spell of sustained pressure before Town came back into it. Taofiq Olomowewe’s header from Taaffe’s corner flew off target and then, midway through the half, an almighty scramble in the home box after Putnins had parried Youngs’ effort ended with the danger being cleared upfield.
With fifteen minutes or so left, the hosts missed their best chance of the match when a good run and cross down the right by Henry Pollock found substitute Shaun Bammant, but he blazed over the top from close range with the goal at his mercy.
At this point both sets of supporters could have been forgiven for thoughts turning to a midweek replay but, with the game entering its final minutes, a poor challenge by Higgs, which sparked a melee and subsequent yellow cards for both him and for Youngs’ retaliation, gave Town the chance of a final push. The free kick was floated in, flicked on by McLean and, as the ball landed on the edge of a crowded six yard box, sub Liam Hope reacted quickest to force the ball over the line.
In a tough, uncompromising encounter which could have ended differently on the day, Town’s gritty, determined performance was rewarded with a place in the next round to send the travelling supporters home happy; looking forward to the draw in a competition in which Town have had a fairly lean time in recent seasons.
Lowestoft Town: Elvijs Putnins, Adam Tann, Matt Brown, Henry Pollock (Andrew Fisk 85), Rossi Jarvis, Matt Castellan, Kieran Higgs, Connor Deeks, Armani Schaar (Shaun Bammant 79), Conor McKendry, Rob Eagle. Unused subs: Cion Wren, Ben Fowkes, Danny Pinheiro. Booked: Schaar, Deeks, Tann, Higgs.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Remi Sutton, Matt Johnson, Taofiq Olomowewe, Dan Rumens (Rian McLean 42), Lewis Taaffe, Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell (Liam Hope 79), Sam Youngs, Aaron Greene (Mickey Parcell 69). Unused subs: Bilal Sayoud, Brandon Adams.Booked: Parcell, Youngs.