Conference North: Lowestoft Town 0 Gloucester City 3
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town crashed to their biggest home defeat of the season as a struggling Gloucester City side gained a flattering victory.
The Trawlerboys' dismal display was in complete contrast to the fine autumnal weather.
Following the fortnight's break both Dan Gleeson and Rossi Jarvis were able to reclaim their places in the starting line-up, but the injury crisis saw no let-up as Andrew Fisk, Chris Henderson and Bradley Woods-Garness were all ruled out.
Lowestoft started brightly, building attacks down either flank, but crosses from both Adam Smith and Lee Smith were comfortably cut out by Gloucester keeper Jamie Stephens. Despite shading possession, Lowestoft's final ball into the area was woeful and easily dealt with by the visiting defence.
It was 20 minutes before Lowestoft managed a real attempt on goal, but Curtis Haynes-Brown got underneath the ball and sent his header way over the top.
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With half an hour gone a keeper was called on to make a save for the first time in the game as the tricky Nathan Modest cut inside Jack Ainsley and forced Jake Jessup to save low at the foot of his near post.
Lowestoft pressed as the half came to an end with a tantalising Haynes-Brown cross dropping just beyond the far post. Ainsley was fouled as he attacked down the right, but from Adam Smith's free-kick Rickie Hayles' diving header was deflected for a corner. Stephens then dived bravely at the feet of Shaun Bammant to collect a low cross from Ainsley.
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Lowestoft thought they had broken the deadlock six minutes after the break, with Lee Smith converting a cross from the left, but his effort was ruled offside.
Although Gloucester showed little as an attacking force, the Blues were given a warning when Tom Webb worked his way through and around Jessup only to be denied at the last moment by a superb saving tackle from Haynes-Brown.
With a goalless draw looking on the cards it looked like a slip would settle the issue – and unfortunately it came from Lowestoft in the 64th minute when Dan Gleeson slipped as he turned, allowing Modest to race into the area, draw Jessup from his line before squaring the ball to Matt Groves to shoot into the empty net.
Lowestoft made a double substitution, sending on Jefferson Louis and Robert Eagle to replace Bammant and Adam Smith. The two substitutes were soon in the action, combining to create a shooting chance for Jake Reed who blazed high over the bar.
Louis then tried his luck from 18 yards, but Stephens dived to push away his effort.
A foul by Haynes-Brown on Modest a couple of yards outside the penalty area saw Billy Jones send his free-kick round the wall and into the roof of the net to double Gloucester's lead in the 81st minute.
The icing was put on an excellent victory for the visitors in the 88th minute as a demoralised home side left Harry White completely unmarked to head home a third goal from close range.
It was Lowestoft's fourth defeat in their last five outings – and they now face two away games, at Guiseley next Saturday and, the following Tuesday, at Stalybridge Celtic.