Lowestoft Town 1 Harrogate Town 2
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Football sure knows how to kick you when you are down.
Lowestoft Town welcomed Harrogate Town to Crown Meadow having managed just one win in 12 matches, in all competitions, and for all they did right against the Yorkshire outfit the Blues were again left empty-handed as their miserable run of form continued despite a much improved performance.
Ady Gallagher's side were quickest out of the traps but the visitors found themselves ahead after just over quarter of an hour and despite getting themselves back in the game a late sucker punch saw the Trawlerboys slip to their fourth straight defeat.
The Blues were without the injured duo of Ryan Jarvis and Chris Henderson and Andrew Fisk was also sidelined through suspension.
Harrogate arrived at Crown Meadow in third place in the National League North table and showed their attacking intentions straight from the off when Brendan Daniels forced Jack Ainsley into making an early clearance.
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With seven minutes gone Michael Spillane found himself one-on-one with the visitors' keeper after an excellent through ball from Rossi Jarvis, but the midfielder was judged to have fouled the Town stopper.
Two minutes later and Jake Reed squandered a glorious opportunity for the Trawlerboys, after Danny Crow's back heel fell fortunately for the striker but his effort was easily saved by Peter Crook despite finding himself one-on-one, just ten yards out.
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Despite a promising start the Blues found themselves behind after 16 minutes when Daniels bagged his 12th goal of the season after capitalising on a suicidal back pass across the 18-yard box by Adam Smith.
Lowestoft responded well and remained a threat in the final third, especially from set-pieces with Crook producing two good saves in order to keep out efforts from Crow and Reed in quick succession.
The Blues' efforts were dealt a blow when Robert Eagle was forced off through injury after 36 minutes but Dean Mason stepped up.
With 38 minutes played the Trawlerboys finally made their pressure tell when Crow's in-swinging corner was only half cleared, allowing the ball to find its way back to the former Norwich City man's feet. He drove the ball back towards goal, allowing Jake Reed to deflect it into the visitors' net.
Lowestoft remained dangerous in the closing stages of the first half and picked up where they left off after the break with Jarvis almost turning Crow's corner into the Harrogate net but Crook was on hand to prevent the Blues going ahead.
Harrogate continued to struggle and weren't helped by losing their most promising player, Daniels, through injury just six minutes into the second half.
The visitors' first real chance of the second half didn't come until the 68th minute when Joe Colbeck raced past Smith on the left wing, before squaring to Paul Clayton but his touch was poor and his shot sailed over the crossbar.
As the clock ran down the momentum shifted towards the visitors and, with 82 minutes played, Lewis Turner's shot rebounded to Jack Emmett who stabbed the ball into the bottom corner of Harry Burgoyne's net.
The Blues pushed hard in the closing stages of the game, with Shaun Bammant coming on to boost their attacking options but in the end they were left with nothing to show for their efforts.
Gallagher's side are next in action in the Suffolk Senior Cup tomorrow night when they play host to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit Hadleigh United at the Meadow, kick-off 7.45pm.