Bognor Regis Town 0, Lowestoft Town 2
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town claimed an impressive win at Bognor Regis on Saturday but saw their title hopes all but ended yesterday when leaders Whitehawk saw off Leiston.
Whitehawk's win means they need just a point from their remaining home game against East Thurrock to be mathematically certain of top spot although with a far superior goal difference to the Trawlerboys they are already champions in all but name.
Hopes were high that Saturday's win, which came courtesy of goals from Michael Frew and Erkan Okay, would crank up the pressure on the Sussex outfit but Sam Gargan's double at Victory Road settled any nerves.
Lowestoft joint boss Ady Gallagher admitted that realistically the Blues are now playing for second place and the home advantage that would entail in the play-offs but insisted they would keep going right until the end.
'Realistically now it's a massive ask but stranger things have happened,' said Gallagher, whose side's title challenge was undermined by a series of postponements at the start of the year. 'We never say never – where there is a mathematical chance then we will keep going.
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'We will just focus on trying to win our remaining games and see where it takes us. It's very unlikely now that we will win the league – we have to accept that but we just have to stay focused on our games and finish as high as we possibly can.'
Lowestoft made light of their fourth game in eight days to claim the points at Bognor Regis.
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Michael Frew opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with an excellent strike and could have doubled the Blues' lead just before the break only to miss the target.
Bognor goalkeeper Craig Stoner made an excellent save to deny Robert Eagle at the start of the second half and the home side had a fantastic chance to equalise from the spot midway through the second half.
However, Andrew Plummer made an excellent save to thwart Terry Dodd from 12 yards and the Blues 'keeper sprung to his feet to ensure Ollie Pearce couldn't take advantage of the rebound.
Hakeem Araba should have made it 2-0 in the 69th minute but the former Whitehawk man shot wide when one-on-one with Stoner.
However, the introduction off the bench of Okay proved crucial as the former Histon man calmly slotted home in the 80th minute for his fourth goal of the season.
Gallagher paid tribute to the way his squad handled the latest game in their marathon schedule.
'It was our fourth game in eight days and when you consider that it was a very good performance,' he added. 'It's a five-hour coach journey for us and we had a number of players unavailable just through the sheer volume of games we've had to play.
'Considering that the performance was excellent – we looked tired at times but we came through again and I think that says a lot about our side.'
• Lowestoft: Plummer, Saker, Williams, Gleeson, A Smith, L Smith, Fisk, Eagle, Dawkin (Okay), Frew, Araba (Benjamin). Subs not used: Reynolds, Nelson, Henderson.
• Attendance: 448