Lowestoft Town 1 Lewes 1
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Lowestoft Town saw their five-match winning streak come to an end as Lewes held on for a battling point at Crown Meadow.
The Trawlerboys got off to the perfect start when Robert Eagle curled the ball home in the 10th minute to give his side a deserved lead. But Lowestoft failed to press home their advantage allowing Luke Blewden to equalise for the visitors on the stroke of half-time.
The Blues huffed and puffed in the second half without creating any real opportunities. Rossi Jarvis came closest to finding a winner when the former Norwich midfielder let fly from range only to see his effort superbly tipped over the bar by Lewes goalkeeper Rikki Banks.
The draw at least stretched Lowestoft's unbeaten run to eight matches and the point leaves them in sixth place, two points off AFC Hornchurch, who occupy the final play-off position.
Jake Reed was the latest to be afflicted with the virus that has struck the Lowestoft camp recently but this gave Chris Henderson the chance in his preferred central striking role alongside Michael Frew.
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The pair certainly hit it off in the early stages as they combined in the 10th minute with Henderson latching on to Frew's flick-on before being bundled over on the edge of the area by Lewes defender Ben Davies.
From the resulting free-kick Lowestoft took the lead as Eagle's 20-yard free-kick found the corner of the net with the aid of a slight deflection.
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It was nothing less than Lowestoft deserved as the confidence that five consecutive wins breeds was there for all to see. The Blues should have doubled their lead midway through the half as Jack Ainsley's corner found Sam Gaughran completely free at the back post but the defender somehow headed over from inside the six-yard box.
Lowestoft were getting a lot of joy down the right flank with Curtley Williams and Jack Ainsley combining well on several occasions. However, the Blues couldn't make their dominance tell and too often the final pass let them down in the first period.
Lowestoft were made to pay on the stroke of half time when, completely against the run of play, Lewes equalised. The Blues back four couldn't clear the danger from a throw-in and with the ball bouncing around inside the area Blewden seized his opportunity and rifled a fierce volley past Ashlee Jones to level matters.
It was the same story in the second half with Lowestoft offering all the enterprise going forward whilst Lewes couldn't find any attacking fluency.
Andrew Fisk came close in the 53rd minute with a smart side-footed effort from the edge of the box only to see his effort roll just wide.
Only a fantastic save by Lewes stopper Rikki Banks prevented Lowestoft from re-taking the lead when Rossi Jarvis' 25-yard strike looked destined for the top corner.
Lowestoft's lack of options on the bench were exposed in the closing stages as Adam Smith, normally a full back, came on in place of Michael Frew.
Smith was asked to as a left winger as Robert Eagle went to the right flank. Jack Ainsley joined Chris Henderson in attack but the reshuffle failed to have the desired effect with Lewes looking more and more comfortable in defence as the game wore on.
Eagle had a decent effort late on after nice interplay with Jack Ainsley but his curling effort went straight into the arms of Banks.
A frustrating afternoon got worse for the Blues in the closing stages when Henderson limped off to be replaced by Stuart Ainsley.
- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jones, Williams, Gaughran, Gleeson, Haynes-Brown, J Ainsley, Fisk (Okay 82), Jarvis, Eagle, Frew (A Smith 77), Henderson (S Ainsley 89). Sub not used: Jessup.
- Lewes (4-5-1): Banks, S Crabb, Pearson, Austin, Gore, Logan (Murrell-Williamson 82), Treleaven (Brandford 90), Walder, Dixon, M Crabb, Blewden. Subs not used: Lovett, James, Badger.
- Referee: Alex Guy