Harlow Town 1, Lowestoft Town 2
FA Trophy third qualifying round: Lowestoft Town's visit to Harlow Town on Saturday was their third FA Trophy tie of the season and as in the previous two rounds they had to come from behind after conceding an early goal.
A freak injury at work on Friday ruled Andy Reynolds out of the game with Jake Jessup filling the goalkeeper's jersey. The 18-year-old again demonstrated his potential with a string of excellent saves to keep his side in the contest.
A feature of this season's Trophy run is the Blues giving away a sloppy goal inside the opening quarter and it happened again on Saturday. There seemed little danger as Greg Crane collected the ball to the right of his penalty area but he scuffed a clearance straight to Pier Wixon who rifled the ball low past Jessup from 20 yards.
Lowestoft's best move of the first half followed shortly with Joe Francis sending Matt Nolan away down the left and his square pass to Stuart Ainsley saw him curl the ball inches over the crossbar.
Young Jessup was handling the ball confidently but he produced an outstanding save to prevent the Blues falling further behind. Luke Marshall had left Adam Smith in his wake and picked out James Peagram inside the six-yard box but the Blues keeper reacted quickly to get down to block the ball. A disappointing first half for the Blues ended with Michael Frew sending in a goalworthy effort which keeper Bertrand Bossu tipped over the bar.
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The second half started with another scare for the Blues as Peagram broke clear but his shot flashed across the face of the goal. Lowestoft started to get back into the game and Nolan took a return pass from Frew but screwed his shot wide. A foul on Crane saw Adam Smith's 25-yard free-kick tipped over the bar by the home keeper.
At the other end Andrew Fisk was penalised just outside the area and Mark Taylor's 20-yard free-kick rebounded out off the crossbar. Just past the hour Lowestoft sent on substitute Jamie Forshaw for Lubo Guentchev in what proved to be a masterstroke as the diminutive striker gave the Blues the cutting edge that had been missing.
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Lowestoft levelled the scores in the 71st minute with Harlow failing to clear from a set ball situation with Scott Mitchell eventually laying the ball back to Forshaw who drilled it home from 12 yards. Spurred by this goal Lowestoft pressed forward and Francis was denied by an excellent diving save by Bossu.
Lowestoft scored the winning goal with seven minutes left. Crane returned the ball over the home defence where Forshaw pounced to clip the ball over the keeper into the top far corner.
To their credit Harlow pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing minutes and the Blues needed to be grateful for their young keeper for some excellent saves to keep their goal intact.
• Harlow Town: Bossu, Bruno (Deane, 74), Brown, Haverson, Kirby, Kilapi, Marshall, Lalite, Wixon, Peagram, Taylor (S Smith, 83). Subs (not used) Wheeler, Maxwell, Dumoulin
• Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Okay, A Smith, Fisk, Crane, Mitchell, Guentchev (Forshaw, 62), Ainsley, Nolan, frew, Francis (Gaughran, 86). Subs (not used) Henderson, Onuchukwu, Manning.
• Attendance: 353