Croydon Athletic 0, Lowestoft Town 2
Lowestoft gained another three points in their push for a play-off place with a two-goal victory over struggling Croydon Athletic. But the win came at a cost with Michael Frew fracturing his leg in a freak accident after half an hour, which will rule him out for the rest of the season.
'It was an unfortunate incident,' said joint manager Ady Gallagher. 'As he attempted to win the ball he stood on it and fell awkwardly.
'We're gutted for him, it typified our luck this year. He will probably have to have his ankle pinned.'
Gallager was pleased by the Blues' overall performance. 'People have drawn attention to the fact that we have not won as many games as we wanted to. But that is now four clean sheets on the bounce and two wins from four games.
'We have been encouraged by the way we have been playing, we are looking more like our old selves, which obviously brings confidence. And that should help us create more chances and score more goals.'
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Sam Gaughran replaced the suspended Curtis Haynes-Brown in an otherwise unchanged starting line-up.
Lowestoft started brightly, forcing Croydon on to the back foot, and a quickly-taken free-kick by Adam Smith played Joe Francis through, but his low shot was turned round the near post by Adam Peck.
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A flowing move saw the ball played between Greg Crane and Matt Nolan to provide a shooting chance for Andrew Cave-Brown but Peck was again up to the task.
Having weathered the opening quarter, Croydon started to come more into the game and Stefan Joseph seemed through on goal only to be thwarted by a superbly-timed tackle by Crane. A snap volley from 20 yards by Helge Orome just cleared the Lowestoft bar.
Lowestoft broke the deadlock in the 28th minute with a well-worked goal. The ball was played between Francis, Scott Mitchell and Nolan to Adrian Forbes and his rising drive from the edge of the penalty area took a slight deflection on its way into the net.
Two minutes later tragedy struck Frew. His close control and tight turn took him past Alan Bray but he stood on the ball and fell awkwardly and was in obvious pain. He was carried off and taken to hospital where the extent of his injury was determined.
Lubo Guentchev replaced the injured player as Lowestoft began to take a stranglehold on the game.
Nolan played the ball inside the full back for Francis but his attempted chip was tipped over the bar by Peck. Dale Cockrill robbed Kieron McCann 30 yards out but his drive flashed wide. Scott Mitchell's right-wing corner picked out Forbes whose close range header was cleared off the line by Kevin Sefaah.
Lowestoft dominated the second half but couldn't find that second goal. Forbes was proving a handful to the Croydon defence sending a powerful header inches wide and then seeing his chip tipped over the bar by Peck.
Adam Smith's 25 yard free-kick brought another excellent save from the home keeper who then stretched to hold a looping header from Nolan.
Lowestoft's nerves were finally soothed with the second goal 12 minutes from time. Jamie Forshaw fed the ball out wide to Guentchev, who moved inside the full-back before sending a low drive just inside the post from the edge of the area.
• Croydon Athletic: Peck, Hartburn (Sub Lohourignon, 83), Bray, McCann, Cartledge (Rasmussen, 46), Sefaah, Elgar, King, Whitnell, Joseph (Baidoo, 68), Orome.
Subs (not used): Best, Bada.
• Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Smith, Mitchell, Crane, Gaughran, Forbes (Forshaw, 75), Cockrill, Nolan (Stock, 87), Frew (Guentchev, 30), Francis.
Subs (not used): Halliday, Clark.
• Attendacne: 104