Lowestoft Town 0 Stalybridge Celtic 2: Blues slip deeper into trouble
- Credit: Richard Calver
Lowestoft Town lost the chance to put a bit of breathing space between themselves and their rivals at the bottom of the league as they fell to a two-goal defeat at home to Stalybridge Celtic.
Lowestoft were missing key players throughout the squad with the injured Jake Reed, Jack Ainsley and Andrew Fisk joining the suspended Michael Spillane on the sidelines.
New loan signing Harry Kyprianou from Southend United made his debut in the centre of defence with fellow loanee Danny Burns. Teenage keeper Mark Smith and Harry Barker made up a very young back line of defence with Rossi Jarvis dropping back to add a touch of experience.
The absence of Jarvis and Fisk in midfield weakened that department of the side and hard as they tried Harvey Hodd and Adam Smith struggled to fill that void.
Lowestoft had started quite brightly and had early shouts for a penalty turned down as Hodd fell in the area under the challenge of Hughes. Lowestoft were given a warning as Peter Wylie was given time and space to cross for Alec Mudimu to send a header straight at Mark Smith. The reprieve though was short-lived as Chris Simm broke from the halfway line and, although Mark Smith blocked his shot, the big centre forward reclaimed the ball to shoot between the keeper and the covering Rossi Jarvis.
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With Hodd being floored some 25 yards out Robert Eagle tried his luck with a direct free kick which went straight to the keeper.
Lowestoft then gave away a second goal when from a left wing corner allowed Jack Higgins to send a downward header bouncing up and in off the underside of the bar.
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Lowestoft came out for the second period with renewed aggression and penned the visitors back for most of the 45 minutes.
Their most likely avenue back into the game came from the lively and probing runs of Hodd and Eagle with Chris Henderson also coming more into the game.
Adam Smith was also beginning to make his presence felt in a holding midfield role and he moved up to pick up a Hodd lay off and send a 25 yard screamer just over the bar.
Ryan Jarvis sent a shot across the face of the goal and just wide of the far post and then was inches away from converting a driven Hodd cross with Barker also inches away.
Eagle saw a shot charged down by a defender and a Ryan Jarvis shot cannoned into the keeper's body with Kyprianou shooting just too high as all Lowestoft's attacking came to nought. In the end it was the height and strength of Chris Sinn up front and Jack Higgins at the back for Stalybridge that proved decisive.