Trawlerboys happy with a valuable point on their travels
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town returned from high-flying AFC Rushden & Diamonds with a well-deserved point after 1-1 draw – but with a bit of luck it could have been three.
Town – who gave a debut to new signing Marcus Wilkinson on the left flank – had the first strike on target as Henry Pollock slipped the ball through to Ben Fowkes, but his shot was saved by the legs of keeper Ben Heath.
Armani Schaar made inroads down the right and twice put in dangerous crosses, but giant central defender Liam Dolman was able to clear.
It was a lively opening for the Trawlerboys and their enterprise was rewarded when they took a 22nd-minute lead. The two Wilkinsons combined to win the ball back before slipping it through to Fowkes who took a touch before shooting low past Heath.
Shaun Bammant was next to try his luck, but Heath went full length to turn it around the post.
It had been a good first half for Lowestoft, but that bright 44 minutes was undone on the stroke of half-time. Ben Diamond chased a ball into the area and fell under minimal contact with the referee pointing to the spot. Ben Farrell stepped up to convert the resultant penalty.
Rushden came more into the game at the start of the second half with their three front men breaking with pace. Billy Johnson collected a dangerous cross from the right off the head of Declan Rogers and then Diamond put another chance across the face of the goal, but wide of the post.
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Lowestoft had a lucky escape just past the hour mark as Rogers crossed from the left and Tom Lorraine leapt high, but sent his header smacking against the foot of the post and back into play. The woodwork saved Lowestoft a second time as Sam Johnson's shot was parried by Billy Johnson but rebounded against Adam Tann and hit the post before being cleared.
As the game reached the final stages it was Lowestoft who were pressing again with Bammant setting up Pollock but he failed to make proper contact. Lowestoft penalty appeals were turned down as Fowkes was pushed in the penalty area in a similar incident that led to Rushden's penalty.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds: Heath, Reynolds, Berry-Hargreaves, Collard, Dolman, Rogers, Hopkins, Farrell (S Johnson 70), Lorraine (Bowen 77), Diamond (Acquaye 82), Hicks. Subs not used: Curtis, Punter.
Lowestoft: Johnson, Curry, J Wilkinson, Smith, Tann, Deeks, Schaar, Pollock, Bammant, Fowkes, M Wilkinson (Pinheiro 74). Subs not used: Hedge, Wren, Higgs, Putnins.
Referee; G Rollason; Att 575.