Concord Rangers 3, Lowestoft Town 2
14:18 01 April 2012
A disastrous final 20 minutes saw Lowestoft throw away a two goal lead and three important points in the quest for promotion.
With Andrew Fisk suspended there was a recall to the starting line up for Joe Francis with Robert Eagle switching to a central midfield role.
Lowestoft started brightly and in the opening minutes the ball was played quickly between Francis, Matt Nolan and Scott Mitchell to Chris Henderson who screwed his shot just wide of the upright. A foul on Nicky Cowley just outside the penalty area gave Concord a free kick from which James Elmes’ curling effort hit the post and rebounded out.
It was then Lowestoft’s turn to go close from a free kick as Adam Smith played the ball into the area where Mitchell’s goal bound effort was fumbled by keeper Nicky Eyre but a tumbling Henderson saw his close range effort scrambled away.
Lowestoft took a 13th minute lead following a foul on Nolan just outside the penalty area. Mitchell stepped up to send the free kick around the wall and just inside the near post. Henderson was a constant thorn in the Concord defence and from another surging run down the left he picked out Robert Eagle but his volley was a couple of feet too high.
As the first half wore on Concord came more into the game but despite pressing Lowestoft back didn’t create much in the way of clear chances.
Lowestoft made an explosive start to the second half by doubling their lead within 49 seconds of the restart. Henderson dispossessed Ashley Miller in the Concord penalty area to shoot just inside the near post.
The defining moment in the game came with the introduction of Sherwin Stanley in place of the ineffectual James Elmes that turned the game Concord’s way. The burly striker immediately starting causing problems to the Town’s back four which had previously been quite comfortable.
With 20 minutes left Lowestoft struggled to clear the ball from the six-yard box and in the melee Greg Crane was adjudged to have brought down Stanley. The Blues skipper was shown a straight red card and Harry Elmes netted from the resultant spot kick.
Lowestoft were close to restoring their two goal lead with a Nathan Stone header from an Eagle corner that was a foot too high.
Concord levelled the scores in the 81st minute when a high ball into the area was nodded down by Stanley for Harry Elmes to net from 10 yards. Worse was to follow for Lowestoft as Concord completed their comeback by netting the winning goal just two minutes later. A break down the right from Cowley ended with Stanley shooting home from 12 yards. Stanley had a great chance to increase their lead as Stanley broke clear again but with just Reynolds to beat he shot wide of the target.
• Concord Rangers: Eyre, Miller, Robinson, Bowditch (Beckford, 78), King, Goodacre, J Elmes (Stanley, 57), Cowley, Harris (Lee, 87), H Elmes, Stokes, Subs (not used) White, Hahn
• Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Okay (Forbes, 87), Smith, Eagle, Crane, Gaughran, Mitchell, Sinclair, Nolan (Frew, 65), Henderson, Francis (Stone, 65), Subs (not used) Guentchev, Forshaw.
• Attendance: 247