Hendon 1, Lowestoft Town 0
A defensive mix up nine minutes from time gifted Hendon the three points and saw Lowestoft slip a bit further behind leaders Billericay in the race for the Championship.
February is always a month when the Trawlerboys find winning difficult and despite their virtual non-stop success since being promoted to the Ryman League the February fixtures during those three years has seen Lowestoft win just four of 16 games played. Saturday was no different as despite enjoying the major part of possession they fell to a single goal defeat.
The game produced little in the way of goalmouth action on a pitch with an extensive covering of sand with both defences dominating. The one real chance in the first half fell to Chris Henderson whose fiercely struck shot after Matt Nolan had nodded down a Robert Eagle corner was blocked by keeper Berkley Laurencin. Michael Frew tried his luck from 25 yards but his effort was off target.
The second half brought little improvement but Lowestoft were close to taking the lead in bizarre fashion. Keeper Laurencin completely missed the ball as he tried to kick clear from a back pass and as he chased back to retrieve the situation chased by Henderson the keeper blasted his clearance against the Blues striker and into the side netting.
Andy Reynolds was finally called into serious action as a Darren Curries corner fell to Casey McClaren whose shot was blocked by the Town keeper. Lowestoft were seeing more of the ball and Andrew Fisk set up Matt Nolan whose shot on the turn flashed inches wide. Henderson then set up substitute Nathan Stone whose shot from 20 yards produced a superb tip over the bar from Laurencin.
The crucial point in the game came in the 78th minute as central defender Scott Mitchell limped out of the contest and just four minutes later Hendon scored the only goal of the game. A high punt down the pitch saw substitute Stuart Ainsley's attempted header back to Reynolds bypass the keeper allowing Isaiah Rankin a simple tap in for the only goal of the game.
Lowestoft pressed for the final few minutes but the Hendon packed defence denied them any clear openings.
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• Hendon: Lauerencin, Parker, Cousins, Wharton, Fisher, Maclaren, Godfrey (Diedhiuo, 89), Ngoyi (Rankin, 74), Currie, Busby (Charles, 46), subs (not used) Federico, Lewis.
• Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Forbes, Smith, Fisk, Mitchell (Ainsley, 78), Gaughran, Frew (Stone, 74), Sinclair, Nolan (Guentchev, 88), Henderson, Eagle, Subs (not used) Francis, Godbold.
• Attendance: 210