Lowestoft Town 2 Chorley 0 – Ryan Jarvis goes from villain to hero as Blues end poor run
- Credit: Archant
After a dismal run of eight matches without a victory, Lowestoft Town distanced themselves from the National League North relegation places with a deserved win over Chorley at Crown Meadow.
The visitors went into the afternoon 10 league places above the Blues and were looking to build on a solid start to the season, which had seen the Magpies pick up 16 points from their opening 10 league matches, including three wins from their last four fixtures.
Despite travelling to Suffolk in good form, Chorley started slowly with Blues defender Danny Burns, who was making his home debut after joining on loan from Cambridge United, forcing Sam Ashton into an early save after just five minutes having risen above Andy Teague to get on the end of a lofted ball into the penalty area by Erkan Okay.
Danny Crow was fundamental to Town's early success with the forward proving too much for Magpies defender Kieran Charnock. The former Peterborough United man worked hard to make space for himself and was able to float several attractive crosses into the area, with Ryan Jarvis almost finishing one off from close range after seven minutes.
Despite their poor recent form, there were no signs that Ady Gallagher's side lacked confidence and with 26 minutes on the clock the visitors' defenders stood off Ryan Jarvis allowing him time to turn and shoot in the Magpies' penalty area. However, his shot bobbled just wide of the upright as the hosts struggled to make their pressure tell.
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With 30 minutes on the clock, the visitors created their first meaningful chance of the afternoon but Harry Barker was on hand to clear Charnock's shot off the line.
Having escaped unscathed, Lowestoft were soon back on the front foot and with 36 minutes on the clock Jake Reed should have broken the deadlock after Ryan Jarvis pulled the ball back to the Blues' leading scorer, but his shot was fired high and wide.
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On the stroke of half-time, Sam Nunn worked hard to get on the end of Crow's inswinging free-kick – his glancing header beat the keeper but missed the target.
At the break, there was concern that the Blues would be punished for failing to convert one of their chances and 25 seconds into the second half Chorley almost did just that.
Marcus Carver's shot rebounded to the feet of Darren Stephenson who could only shoot straight into the arms of Harry Burgoyne, in the Lowestoft net, despite being in a one-on-one position.
On the hour the Blues thought they would finally have the breakthrough they deserved when they were awarded a penalty after Reed was bought down by substitute Lewis Guy.
Town's usual penalty taker Jack Ainsley was suspended so Ryan Jarvis stepped up, but his tame effort was saved by Ashton.
But the Blues' player soon went from villain to hero when, with 79 minutes gone, the former Norwich City favourite eventually made the hosts' pressure tell as he headed home from six yards out after Robert Eagle had stood the ball up perfectly.
Chorley offered little in reply and struggled to get the ball out wide, with Burns and Nunn forming a promising partnership in the centre of the Lowestoft defence.
Substitute Chris Henderson went close to making the three points safe with five minutes to play, but it was left to Eagle to make sure of the win in stoppage time as he and the Trawlerboys capitalised on Chorley being left short at the back.
The substitute finished off a well timed through ball from Reed.