Lowestoft Town 2, Carshalton Athletic 3

Jack Defty has been ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg against Bury.

Jack Defty has been ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his leg against Bury. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft joint-manager Ady Gallagher admitted it will be 'incredibly hard' for his team to win the Ryman Premier Division title after a shock defeat at home to bottom side Carshalton on Saturday.

Gallagher had warned the Blues they could not afford any more slip-ups against struggling sides, but the hosts found themselves 3-1 down and despite Lee Smith scoring a penalty with 15 minutes remaining, they could not repair the damage.

There was some consolation with leaders Whitehawk held to a draw by Bury – who Lowestoft play tomorrow – but the Blues now stand 13 points off top spot, with four games in hand.

Gallagher said: 'It was a disappointing performance and I feel it was an opportunity wasted.

'We showed much more spirit in the second half but we didn't have much about us in the first half. Dropping points is hugely disappointing and it makes it incredibly hard for us now.'

Lowestoft had enjoyed the perfect start when Lee Smith collected Jack Defty's flick-on to open the scoring in the first minute.

The joy was shortlived, however, as a minute later the visitors were back on terms following some hesitant defending.

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Lowestoft struggled to recover from that setback and Carshalton took the lead just before half-time.

After the break, Defty almost levelled matters when his header hit the post, but straight away Carshalton netted their third with a 25-yard shot to leave the hosts stunned.

Smith's spot kick reduced the arrears, but Lowestoft could not find a way through in the closing stages.

After also losing to Thurrock recently, Gallagher said such results are likely to prove costly: 'You can't dwell on things too much and I'm sure the players are hurting,' he said. 'We pointed out to them that we have dropped too many points against teams lower in the table and it is frustrating. It's an issue we have to address as a team and we have to face up to it and really go for it in our remaining games.

'Whitehawk dropped points on Saturday and they have some difficult-looking games left, but unless we take care of ourselves that is irrelevant.'

Lowestoft: Plummer, Saker (A Smith), Eagle (Araba), Gleeson, Crane, Williams, L Smith, Okay, Defty, Henderson, Benjamin (Dawkins).