Lowestoft suffer frustration on opening day of campaign
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft were desperately unlucky to come away from their opening game of the season without a point after dominating the second period and carving out several good opportunities before losing 2-1 at Hednesford.
Lowestoft gave a debut to keeper Luis Tibbles with three other new signings on the bench for this Southern League Premier Central test.
There was an early scare for the Trawlerboys when the ball squirmed away from Adam Tann to leave Brad Wells with a clear shot at goal, but Tibbles was out quickly to save with his chest.
Jacek Zielonka and Josh Curry both had powerful efforts charged down whilst Brad Wells saw his drive flash just over the bar.
The breakthrough came in the 32nd minute when Ben Bailey's long throw was flicked on by Kieran Wells to Jack Halahan who controlled the ball and squeezed it through a forest of legs and just inside the post.
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It took just six minutes for Lowestoft to hit back. A series of passes between Jake Reed and Zielonka split the Pitmen's defence and Zielonka's run was ended as he was brought down in the area. Connor Deeks stepped up to drill home from the spot kick.
If the first half was fairly even the second was controlled by the Trawlerboys for long periods. Within minutes of the restart Rossi Jarvis played Curry away down the right and from his cross Dylan Williams' shot was superbly saved by Dan Platt in the home goal.
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Reed was played clear again but, with just the keeper to beat, shot tamely well wide. Platt then excelled again in parrying from Zielonka. Williams also raced clear and seemed destined to score until a superb tackle by Bailey saved the day for the Pitmen.
Totally against the run of play Hednesford regained the lead with their first threatening attack of the second half which ended with Deeks pulling down Dan Glover, who converted the spot kick, despite Tibbles getting a hand to the ball.
The final quarter saw non-step pressure on the home goal with Lowestoft forcing a series of corners, but you could sense it was not going to be their day at Cole's header thundered against the underside of the bar and bounced out.
Hednesford: Platt, Curley, O'Hanlon, Bailey, Morris, Scott (Gatter 80), Hallahan, Elliott, K Wells (Glover 59), Daniels (Evans 62), B Wells. Subs not used: Reid, Abadaki.
Lowestoft: Tibbles, Curry, J Wilkinson (Richardson 87), Jarvis, Tann (Cole 52), Deeks, Zielonka, Fisk, Reed, Bammant (McIntosh 80), Williams. Subs not used: Blowers, M Wilkinson.
Referee: R Eley