Lowestoft Town 0 AFC Telford United 1 – Sending off proves costly as unbeaten run ends
- Credit: Matt Wilkinson/Focus Images Ltd
Lowestoft Town saw their four-match unbeaten league run come to an abrupt end after they lost their composure during a 1-0 defeat against relegation rivals AFC Telford United.
Ady Gallagher's game plan seemed to be going well as his side frustrated the hosts during a close first half before posing a real second-half threat. However, a momentary lapse in concentration allowed Dwayne Samuels to slot home the game's only goal before Michael Spillane sealed his side's fate, receiving a straight red card for stamping on the Telford goal-scorer.
The Bucks had won only two league games at home coming into the tie but had the better of the early exchanges, with Sean Clancy firing inches wide with a powerful effort.
It took the Trawlerboys 30 minutes to have their first real attempt on goal, coming when the game had opened up a little allowing space for Jake Reed to send an effort fizzing over the crossbar.
But the Bucks, who hadn't won in four league games, smelt blood and came within inches of the opener when a Clancy corner flew into the box only to elude a sea of scrambling bodies and slip wide of Ben Killip's goal.
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Pressurising their visitors, Telford had a series of corners before the ball came out to Dwayne Samuels whose looping cross was tipped over by Killip.
First-half injury time saw counter-attacking Lowestoft create a rare chance of their own when Harvey Hodd controlled a long ball forward before beating his man and unleashing Ryan Jarvis who fired just over.
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With the wind at their backs, the Blues charged forward at the start of the second half and came within inches of taking the lead when a Robert Eagle cross found Hodd but just as he was about to volley home from two yards out he was dispossessed by a perfect Jack Rae challenge.
Now in the ascendancy, the visitors had several corners, forcing James Montgomery into two flying saves before Ryan Jarvis saw his 54th-minute effort from long range fly over.
Just as the visitors looked comfortable Telford hit them with a sucker punch on 61 minutes when a quickly-taken corner allowed substitute Sam Austin to cut inside before finding Samuel inside the box whose low, hard shot gave keeper Killip no chance.
Gallagher's side weren't beaten yet though and Eagle charged forward down the flank before steering the ball into the box where Telford defender Tom Tonks did well to clear.
With 11 minutes remaining the visitors were dealt a final blow when the game boiled over after Spillane stamped on Samuels. The Bucks full-back responded by grabbing Spillane and once the ensuing melee had been sorted by the referee, the influential Lowestoft defender was shown a red card.
And yet it was 10-man Town who nearly had the final say with substitute Bradley Woods-Garness nearly earning them a point deep into injury time only for his 30-yard effort to go just the wrong side of the post with the keeper scrambling across his area.
The defeat – to a team they had beaten 3-0 at Crown Meadow on the opening day – leaves the Trawlerboys just a point above the relegation zone ahead of a visit from play-off chasing Boston United on Boxing Day.
Telford: Montgomery, Samuels, Brownhill, Wynter (Austin 53), Hutchinson, Tilt, Tonks, Rea, Hibbert (Dawson 92), McCarthy (Rowe 64), Clancy. Unused subs: Slade, Hassan,
Lowestoft: Killip, Barker, Eagle (Woods-Garness 87), Fisk, Ainsley, Spilane, Jarvis (Henderson 75), Jarvis, Reed, Hodd (Mason 81), Bammant. Unused subs: Garrod, Nyadzayo
Referee: Steve Copeland