Lowestoft Town 0 North Ferriby 3: Blues waste chance to secure survival
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Lowestoft Town had a free hit at securing their National League North status last night... and they squandered it.
The Trawlerboys knew going into their game in hand against North Ferriby that victory would relegate Brackley.
However, the Blues produced a strangely subdued performance, allowing a classy North Ferriby side to three of the easiest points they will gain all season.
The only crumb of comfort for Lowestoft is that their destiny is still in their own hands and victory at home to Gloucester on Saturday would ensure survival.
North Ferriby didn't arrive at Crown Meadow until 7.45pm, meaning kick-off was pushed back to 8.20pm, but they showed no ill-effects from their journey and first half goals from Mark Gray and Tom Denton put them firmly in charge.
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Danny Clarke wrapped up the win just before the hour mark and Lowestoft's night was capped by Shaun Bammant's sending off, just four minutes after coming on as a substitute.
North Ferriby's late arrival seemed to disrupt Lowestoft's preparations rather than the visitors judging from the opening stages and it came as no surprise when Ferriby hit the front in the 12th minute.
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A looping cross from Wayne Brooksby hung in the air for an age and, as Elvijs Putnins stayed rooted to his line, Gray stole in to glance the ball home from inside the six-yard area.
The Villagers almost doubled their advantage five minutes later as Putnins was forced into a fine smothering stop to deny Brooksby, who had capitalised on Adam Smith's slip to go through on goal.
Lowestoft suffered a further setback when Andrew Fisk had to be substituted due to a muscle strain with Dean Mason coming on in his place. Jack Marsden moved into central midfield whilst Mason occupied the right flank but Lowestoft were given a huge mountain to climb late in the half when Bateson was allowed to get to the bye-line and cross for Denton to head home.
It didn't get any better for the Blues in the second half. Just before the hour mark Clarke lashed the ball home after Lowestoft failed to deal with a long throw.
Jake Reed and Bammant were thrown on in a bid to salvage something but within four minutes of their introductions Bammant was shown a straight red card for ungentlemanly conduct.