Lowestoft Town 1 Bury Town 0

Chris Henderson once again proved the scourge of former club, Bury Town, this afternoon as his second half strike maintained the Blues' promotion challenge.

The Trawlerboys' talisman struck in the 68th minute of a dour affair for his 15th goal of the season to ensure Lowestoft kept pace with leaders Whitehawk, who won at Hastings.

Lowestoft struggled to find any rhythm going forward in the first period but came on strong in the second half and deserved all three points given to them when Henderson met Adam Smith's free kick to prod home.

Bury will be sick of the sight of the striker, who hit a brace against them in Lowestoft's 4-2 win in the Suffolk Premier Cup final last season.

The Blues were given a boost before kick-off with the news Jack Defty had shrugged off an ankle injury, which kept him out of the draw against Leiston on Saturday.

The former King's Lynn striker was paired with new signing Hakeem Araba, who was brought in over the weekend after being released by Whitehawk.

It was very clear early on that the Blues would look to hit the front two at every opportunity but neither could hold the ball up well enough in the first half to bring their midfielders into play.

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Bury looked comfortable and could have gone in front in the 16th minute when the lively Jordan Patrick cut in from the left flank before unleashing a shot that stung the palms of Andrew Plummer.

Lowestoft only had a long range effort from Araba to speak of in the first half, which Marcus Garnham easily saved.

Lowestoft were dealt an injury blow just before the half-hour mark when Sam Gaughran pulled his hamstring in blocking a John Sands effort. The Lowestoft skipper was replaced by Blake Saker, who went to right back as Dan Gleeson filled in at centre half.

Sands almost profited from the reshuffle in the 40th minute when he got in behind Gleeson but the former Luton man did just enough to force the striker wide and his effort slammed into the side-netting.

Lowestoft should have had a penalty just before the break when Henderson, the Blues' brightest spark in the first period, showed Adam Tann a clean pair of heels before being hacked down by the defender. The home fans expected referee, Christopher Francis, to point to the spot but the decision was not forthcoming.

Henderson almost broke the deadlock early in the second half when he latched on to Defty's knockdown but his left-footed strike flashed across the face of the goal.

Lowestoft were finally functioning as an attacking unit and Gleeson should have done better when he blazed over after Garnham had fumbled under pressure from Araba.

The pressure told in the 68th minute when Henderson stole in to meet Adam Smith's delicious in-swinging free-kick to haunt his former club again, just as he did in the Suffolk Premier Cup final last season.

Lowestoft almost made sure of victory late on when substitute Joe Benjamin latched on to Scott Mitchell's long pass but the former Billericay man's effort was well saved by Garnham.

Bury almost stole a point late on when Sands choked a shot wide after Logan's flick but Lowestoft held on to keep their title dream alive.

- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Plummer, Gleeson, Mitchell, Gaughran (Saker 29), A Smith, L Smith (Benjamin 74), Fisk, Okay, Henderson, Defty (Frew 88), Araba. Subs not used: Dawkin, Eagle.

- Bury Town (4-1-4-1): Garnham, Short, Tann, Bullard, Coulson, Parker, Logan, Reed (Wales 81), Kennedy (Key 90), Patrick, Sands. Subs not used: Hunter, Nunn.

- Referee: Christopher Francis

- Attendance: 873