Lowestoft Town 0 Whitehawk 0

Lowestoft Town missed out on the chance to close the gap on leaders Whitehawk this afternoon after playing out a goalless draw at Crown Meadow.

Following a drab first half the Blues came on strong in the second half and had a fantastic chance late on from Greg Crane to take all three points.

The defender, who was outstanding at the back all afternoon, headed over from close range when it looked easier to score.

But it means that nothing has changed in the race for promotion with Lowestoft still sitting 17 points behind Whitehawk, who have played six games more.

For the first 45 minutes this contest looked anything but a top of the table clash.

Lowestoft looked nervy in the opening stages whilst Whitehawk looked to hit the muscular Hakeem Araba up front whenever they could.

But any chance this had of being an entertaining encounter was prevented in the first half by an overly officious referee.

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Ian Fissenden failed to book Inderjeet Aujla for a heavy tackle on Andrew Fisk early on but appeared determined to right that wrong for the rest of the half.

The yellow card count stood at five after 15 minutes as the likes of Fisk, Sam Gaughran and Joe Francis were cautioned for menial offences.

The bumper crowd had to wait until the 35th minute for the first shot of the afternoon when Whitehawk winger James Fraser cut in from the left before letting fly from distance but his effort was wide of Andy Reynolds' right post.

Erkan Okay was trying to get Lowestoft going with a number of robust challenges in the middle of the park whilst the home side's first chance of any note came when Joe Francis whipped in a dangerous cross from the left that Lee Smith came within a whisker of meeting at the back post.

The former Bury man came even closer at the start of the second half when Sami El-Abd failed to clear his lines and the ball dropped to the winger but his stinging volley was well saved at the near post by Chris Winterton.

Lowestoft were dealt a blow on the hour mark when Sam Gaughran suffered a knee injury after tangling with Araba. The Blues skipper was unable to continue and Blake Saker came in at right back with Scott Mitchell filling in at centre half.

Chris Henderson came close to finding the winner with an audacious effort with 15 minutes to go. The Blues striker latched on to Okay's clipped pass and, in one motion, turned and volleyed but saw his effort fly just wide.

Crane had a golden chance late on when Winterton came out to claim Adam Smith's free kick and got caught in no-man's land as one of his defender's headed to the edge of the box. Okay's looped effort was cleared off the line but fell straight to Crane who looked to have the simple task of nodding the ball home. However, the big centre half contrived to head over the bar and Lowestoft had to be content with their third consecutive draw.

- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Reynolds, Mitchell, Crane, Gaughran (Saker 60) Smith, Fisk, Okay, Francis (Dawkin 82), Henderson, Defty. Subs not used: Eagle, Cunningham, Frew.

- Whitehawk (4-4-2): Winterton, Rossi- Branco, Lawrence, El-Abd, Knee, Jones, Aujla, Keehan, Fraser, Araba (Gargan 86), Malcolm (Mills 72). Subs not used: Pearson, Armstrong, Walker.

- Referee: Ian Fissenden

- Attendance: 871

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