Jake Reed strikes late to win Suffolk Premier Cup for Lowestoft Town
- Credit: Su Anderson
Substitute Jake Reed's 103rd-minute strike broke Whitton United hearts as ten-man Lowestoft Town lifted the Suffolk Premier Cup for the 12th time last night, after a 2-1 extra-time win.
The striker struck in a cagey first period of extra-time to settle the contest in front of 425 spectators at Victory Road.
Earlier, Omar Sowumni had given the Trawlerboys a 44th-minute lead from close range, but Miles Powell gave the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side hope from the penalty spot after Jack Ainsley had upended Ethan Clarke.
Lowestoft had chances to win the game in normal time but were made to fight right until the end, especially after Shaun Bammant was red-carded for a dive in the box.
A drab first half saw chances at a premium, especially for Whitton, although Powell's fifth-minute grass-cutter from range caused goalkeeper Jake Jessup more problems than it perhaps should, the stopper fumbling the ball out to safety.
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The Trawlerboys soon responded and showed their class two minutes later when Joe Marsden took down a long high ball from Curtis Haynes-Brown but dragged his left foot volley wide of the near post.
Lowestoft's Bradley Woods-Garness then volleyed straight at Liam Jones from close range after a good left wing cross from Dean Mason.
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The spectators then had to wait until the half-hour mark for the next sight of goal, Woods-Garness missing a golden chance to put the Conference North side ahead.
Bammant did well to get away from Mead down the right and squared the ball for Woods-Garness who, under pressure from a sliding Scott Marjoram, blazed the ball over the bar with the goal gaping.
Rossi Jarvis was next to test Jones in the Whitton goal, but again the stopper was in the right position to get behind the midfielder's flick.
The game looked set to be goalless going into half-time when on-loan Ipswich defender Sowumni struck.
The big defender jumped for Adam Smith's inswinging free-kick with Jones and after the stopper failed to gain purchase with a punch, the youngster was in the right place to fire home from two yards out.
The second half was to be a much more open affair and Bammant volleyed narrowly wide with a long range half-volley on 47 minutes.
Then, a lifeline for Whitton. Full-back Ainsley failed to control the ball in the penalty box and upended Ethan Clarke as the pair went for the loose ball.
After a shoving match between the duo, order was restored and up stepped Powell to send Jessup the wrong way from the spot on 63 minutes.
Jones then saved Whitton minutes later, denying Rob Eagle before Joe Marsden cleared the bar for the Trawlerboys.
Jarvis had the ball in the net for Lowestoft on 75 minutes but was adjudged offside, before Sowumni went close with two chances.
First his long range blockbuster was well parried out of danger by Jones. Then, with seconds left of stoppage time, the defender cleared the bar, inches out after Lee Smith's free-kick was palmed out by Jones.
Reed gave Lowestoft the lead in the 103rd minute, his shot hitting Jones, via the post and rolling in, before Bammant was dismissed in late drama.
Lowestoft Town: Jessup, Ainsley, Smith, Okay, Sowumni, Haynes-Brown, Marsden (Smith), Jarvis, Bammant, Woods-Garness (Reed), Mason (Eagle). Subs not used: Gaughran, Radumski
Whitton United: Jones, Sheppard, Mead (Noguiera), Trevivian, Knott, Marjoram, Anton Clarke (Bevis), Dye (Squibb), Powell, Williams, Ethan Clarke. Subs not used: Copeland, Brittain
Referee: Darren Stobbart