Lowestoft Town 1 Leamington 1: Bammant to the rescue for Blues
- Credit: James Bass
Shaun Bammant's third goal of the season rescued a point for Lowestoft Town against Leamington at Crown Meadow this afternoon.
The former Dereham man's 66th minute strike preserved the Blues' unbeaten record in the Conference North so far and, in truth, it was nothing less than the home side deserved.
Despite seizing the initiative for much of the first half the Trawlerboys were lucky to go in level at the break as Ashlee Jones saved his second penalty in the space of three days to deny Matthew Dodd. However, Lowestoft fell behind early in the second half through former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore's clinical finish.
Fears that would prove to be the winning goal proved unfounded though as Bammant struck from close range after Jefferson Louis' initial header had been well saved by Leamington keeper, Neil Collett.
Lowestoft were the quicker to settle and only a fine tackle by Stuart Pierpoint prevented Chris Henderson from getting in on goal after nice interplay with Robert Eagle.
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Eagle was getting some joy down the left flank and in the 17th minute he hung up a cross which Leamington defender Jamie Tank completely misjudged leaving Louis with the goal at his mercy. Unfortunately the Blues veteran's control him down for once and the chance was gone.
Curtis-Haynes-Brown was the next to go close when his marauding run forward from left-back was found by Bammant but the defender's shot from the corner of the penalty area was beaten away by Brakes' goalkeeper, Collett. Eagle was on to the rebound in a flash but his driven effort from the edge of the area was blocked by Jack Edwards.
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From the resulting corner Lowestoft thought they had got their noses in front when Henderson pounced at the back post but the referee ruled the former Bury man had used his arm to shovel the ball home. He was also booked for his trouble.
Leamington were more than happy to sit back and try to hit Lowestoft on the break with the Blues' fine start to the season perhaps making sides wary of the danger they can pose to teams.
The visitors' plan was almost executed to perfection just after the half-hour mark when, against the run of play, they won a penalty as Haynes-Brown's clumsy challenge on Dodd gave the referee no option but to point to the spot. Dodd took on the responsibility of taking the spot-kick but saw his tame effort saved by Jones low down to the goalkeeper's left.
Lowestoft almost took full advantage of their reprieve just before the break when a flowing move involving Bammant and Henderson gave Louis an opportunity from 12 yards but the ball wouldn't come down for the striker and his weak effort was easily saved by Collett.
Only superb defending by Jack Ainsley prevented Leamington breaking the deadlock early in the second half when the former Ipswich man blocked Moore's goalbound effort.
However, it proved to be a short stay of execution for the Blues as sloppy play by Andrew Fisk was lethally punished by the visitors. The former Norwich man stumbled on the ball and Edwards quickly dispossessed him. The Leamington midfielder took a touch before threading a sliderule pass into the path of Moore whose shot across Jones gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Lowestoft responded well with Bammant almost getting his side back on level terms when he rolled his defender only to see his right-footed shot saved by Collett. The rebound looped into the path of Jarvis, whose header was brilliantly tipped over by the Brakes' keeper.
The Blues didn't have to wait much longer though when Bammant struck in the 66th minute to restore parity. Eagle's corner was met at the back post by Louis, whose header was saved on the line by Collett but Bammant was there to prod the ball home from close range.
Lowestoft thought they had found a winner minutes later when Louis had the ball in the back of the net from Ainsley's free-kick but the referee had already blown for a foul to the amazement of the Blues' players.
- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jones, Ainsley, Hayles, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Henderson, Fisk, Jarvis, Eagle, Bammant, Louis. Subs not used: A Smith, Okay, Hodd, Clunan, Jessup.
- Leamington (4-5-1): Collett, Mace, Pierpoint, Tank, Morley, Dodd (Lee More 87), Batchelor, Edwards, Goddard (Magunda 80), Newton, Stefan Moore. Subs not used: Wint, Moore, Connolly, Maher.
- Referee: Mike George