Lowestoft Town 1, Horsham 0
A second-half goal by Adrian Forbes saw Lowestoft Town return to winning ways in the Rymans League Premier Division last night.
A three-game run with just two points to show for it had seen Town slip to sixth and seven points behind leaders Billericay.
And while victory over Horsham, the league's bottom side, was always on the cards, the Trawlerboys were made to work hard for the points.
The visitors, not surprisingly, tried to make life difficult, packing five men in midfield, but the ploy didn't work.
Town left-back Adam Smith had a sight of goal within the opening minutes after a lay-off from Forbes, but sent his low effort a yard wide of the left-hand post.
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Lowestoft began to find openings and on 15 minutes Forbes had the ball in the Horsham net after good work by Dale Cockrill and Joe Francis only for a linesman's flag to deny him.
Matt Nolan had the ball in the net from close range on 25 minutes, but the referee ruled that Erkam Okay's deep cross from the right had drifted out of play and then back in again.
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Town would have deserved the lead – Horsham were rarely an attacking threat, but with five men in midfield were proving difficult to break down. Joe Francis was often the route.
Francis might have broken the deadlock after 33 minutes, but, under pressure, headed Okay's cross just wide. Nolan sent a Smith free-kick back into the danger area just before half-time, but the tangle of bodies prompted only a blow on the whistle.
It was a tough first half for home spectators, but Horsham had stuck to their guns and were happy enough to defend the status quo for as long as it took.
Town began the second half brightly – skipper Greg Crane nodded a Lubo Guentchev corner wide early in the second half before Francis cut the ball back for Forbes who was denied by a superb block by Horsham's Ian Varley.
Tommy Youle blasted high and embarrassingly wider soon after as Horsham responded by trying to find their pacey forwards via the direct route.
Nolan forced keeper Ken Westoby into his first save on 53 minutes, which said a lot about the game.
Adrew Fisk then found the top of the net with a lob in the aftermath of a Guentchev free-kick and Francis had a shot blocked in the area before Lowestoft finally made the break through in the 59th minute.
With Horsham claiming one of their defenders had been fouled by Nolan as Lowestoft broke, Forbes simply kept his head on the left of the area before thumping the ball over the keeper and into the far corner.
Francis was causing Orome all sorts of problems on the left, although he should have done better than blast over on 67 minutes.
Lowestoft were camped around the visitors' area for long spells, Guentchev coming into the game again with some excellent footwork before laying off to Nolan, who drove an effort inches wide.
Nolan volleyed wide from Francis' cross, but there was always a suspicion the visitors could nick something – and Ray Freeman appeared to confirm that with a shot that needed a fine block by Nolan, who was then denied at the other end by a finger-tip save by Westoby in time added on.
• Lowestoft: Reynolds, Okay, Mitchell, Crane, Smith, Guentchev (Forshaw, 90), Fisk, Cockrill, Francis, Forbes (Frew, 80), Nolan. Subs: Gaughran, Ainsley, Onuchukwu.
Bookings: Okay (19), Crane (83), Cockrill (90).
• Horsham: Westoby, Orome, Salami, Varley, Dunne, McGeehan, Diedhiou, Youle, Pearoux (O'Keefe, 81), Hutchings, Nwachukwu (Freeman, 60). Subs not used: Brockhurst, Breivik, Ono.
Bookings: Orome (44), Youle (59), Varkey (85).
• Referee: Alan Dale.
• Att: 457