Lowestoft Town 2 AFC Sudbury 2: Former Blue Robert Eagle rescues point for visitors
- Credit: Mike Griffiths/Focus Images Ltd
Former Trawlerboy Robert Eagle came back to haunt Lowestoft Town with a 95th-minute equaliser as AFC Sudbury grabbed a share of the spoils at Crown Meadow.
Joe Marsden looked to have won it for Lowestoft with a superb volley in the 84th minute and Ady Gallagher's men missed a string of chances, including a saved penalty, to wrap up the points.
A combination of some inspired goalkeeping by Marcus Garnham, another ex-Blue, and some poor finishing allowed Eagle to pounce from close range at the death.
Lowestoft went in front during a dominant first half display when Chris Henderson drove home from inside the penalty area. However, Craig Parker smashed Sudbury, managed by ex-Blues legend Jamie Godbold, level early in the second half.
Henderson looked particularly lively in the opening 45 minutes and the former Bury man no mistake when presented with a chance early on. Jamie Forshaw spread an excellent pass out to Henderson, who ghosted past Adam Tann before driving a left-footed shot past Garnham from 10 yards.
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Fraser Blake-Tracy then came close to adding to the Blues lead after Henderson had been upended on the edge of the box but the former Dereham defender's effort flew just over the bar.
Blake-Tracy is already looking like a shrewd addition to the Trawlerboys' squad and a superb pass from the left back got Jake Reed in behind the Sudbury back four just before the half-hour mark. Reed's first touch was superb but he unnecessarily took a second which allowed James Baker to make an excellent block.
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Sudbury, who had shown very little from an offensive point of view, almost got back on level terms shortly after when a piece of ingenuity by Parker almost caught Jake Jessup off his line but his chip flew agonisingly over the bar.
The game reverted to its normal pattern for the rest of the half with Lowestoft looking to add to their lead. Reed should have done better when through on goal in the 40th minute but decided to try and square the ball to Henderson instead of shooting, which allowed Sudbury to clear.
On the stroke of half-time Garnham made a fantastic save to deny Reed after the striker's header looked destined for the back of the net after rising highest at the back post.
Sudbury had a lot more urgency at the start of the second half and only excellent defending by McAuley prevented Eagle from bringing Sudbury level.
Luke Callender's introduction had given the visitors more of a focal point going forward but it was Parker that got Sudbury back on level terms just after the hour mark.
Parker was inexplicably allowed the freedom of Crown Meadow from 20 yards and the striker made no mistake with a fearsome drive that gave Jessup no chance.
The momentum was with Godbold's men as the Blues were being overrun in midfield. However, the introduction of Marsden swung the match in Lowestoft's favour.
Marsden's energetic impact had the desired effect for the Trawlerboys and six minutes from time the former Wroxham man scored what should have been a glorious winner.
Henderson clipped a pass into Marsden who controlled the ball, flicked the ball over Baker, before swivelling and volleying into the top corner.
Lowestoft should have wrapped up the points a minute later when Jack Wilkinson was adjudged to have handled Reed's shot inside the penalty area but Garnham produced an excellent save to deny Henderson.
Forshaw then went through on goal but again Garnham denied the Blues and moments later Henderson missed a sitter. With just the goalkeeper to beat, the forward somehow side-footed wide.
The miss would come back to haunt the Blues and in the 95th minute Eagle pounced from close range after a goalmouth scramble to grab a share of the points.
- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jessup, Barker, Cole, McAuley, Blake-Tracy, Henderson, Fisk (A Smith 56), Rossi Jarvis, Bammant (Marsden 66), Forshaw, Reed (Deeks 86). Subs not used: Fitzgerald, Glover.
- AFC Sudbury (4-4-2): Garnham, Tann (Robinson 46), Henshaw, Baker, Wilkinson, Eagle, Newman (Callender 46), Clark, Greene, Parker, Wales (Bantick 80). Subs not used: French, Cowley.
- Referee: Alistair Wilson
- Attendance: 580