Kingstonian 0 Lowestoft Town 1
- Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher
Lowestoft Town maintained their promotion charge last night after Erkan Okay's superb first half strike gave them all three points at Kingstonian.
The former Histon man struck in the 37th minute with a dipping volley from the corner of the penalty area to extend the Blues' unbeaten run to 18 games in the league.
The visitors were dealt a blow in the warm-up when Curtley Williams pulled up with a hamstring injury, meaning Andrew Fisk came into the starting line-up and Scott Mitchell dropped in to centre half.
However, that change didn't stop Lowestoft being the quicker out of the blocks and K's goalkeeper Rob Tolfrey was called upon to make several good saves to keep the Trawlerboys at bay in the first period.
Mitchell's superb shot from distance looked to have beaten the K's shot-stopper but Tolfrey just managed to tip the former Ipswich Town midfielder's effort over the bar.
Lowestoft thought they had hit the front midway through the half when Lee Smith's corner kick drifted into the back of the net without a touch from any player but the referee blew for an infringement, much to the visitors' bemusement.
However, that setback appeared to galvanise Lowestoft and a moment of madness from Andre McCollin ensured they were firmly in the ascendancy. Kingstonian's top goalscorer inexplicably elbowed Blake Saker in the face, giving the referee no option but to send the forward for an early bath.
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The Blues took full advantage of their extra man before the break thanks to Okay's fantastic effort as he notched for the second consecutive away game following his goal against Metropolitan Police earlier this month.
Kingstonian made two changes at the start of the second period and the substitutions had the desired effect as Lowestoft were put on the back foot.
Lowestoft got deeper and deeper as the half wore on and their passing wasn't as sharp or accurate as it had been in the first period.
The travelling Blues fans had their hearts in their mouths on several occasions during goalmouth scrambles but goalkeeper Andrew Plummer was a reassuring presence all evening.
The victory lifts Lowestoft up to third in the table, 12 points behind leaders Whitehawk, who have played five games more.
– Lowestoft Town (4-1-4-1): Plummer, Saker, Gaughran, Mitchell, A Smith, Gleeson, L Smith, Okay, Fisk, Henderson (Benjamin 87). Defty (Frew 90).
– Attendance: 256