Lowestoft Town 2, Concord Rangers 0

Lowestoft Town started 2011 with bang at Crown Meadow after second half strikes from Adam Smith and Joe Francis saw off Concord Rangers.

A dour contest was brought to life early in the second half thanks to a trademark Adam Smith free kick and Francis made sure of the three points from close range after good work by Matt Nolan.

Lowestoft appeared to always just have the edge in a tetchy affair with the visitors contesting almost every decision from the officials, culminating in the second half dismissal from the bench of joint manager Danny Cowley.

New signing Russell Stock came on for the final three minutes after signing from Kirkley while the club also revealed they have signed Ian Dawson after his contract was cancelled at Walmer Road.

It was novel to see the Crown Meadow pitch not under a few inches of snow but the playing surface was not conducive to a good first half of football.


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Chances were at a premium thanks in large part to the bobbly surface, which made any kind of intricate passing impossible although Adam Smith almost broke the deadlock with a driven free kick from 25 yards that Concord goalkeeper Dale Brightly did well to tip round the post.

Francis failed by inches to pick out Scott Mitchell who had made a well timed run into the Concord penalty area and Dale Cockrill should have done better after Brightly had spilled an A Smith cross but the midfielder blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

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Nolan, who was making his first league start of the season due to elbow and Achilles injuries so far this season, was struggling to get into the game with some of his flicks and tricks not coming off.

Concord had an excellent chance five minutes before the break when Sam Gaughran's clearance only found Lee Noble on the left flank. His cross caused confusion in the Lowestoft penalty area before Harry Elmes' effort was deflected just wide.

Concord striker Tony Stokes almost left Andy Reynolds red-faced with an audacious 45-yard effort after seeing the Blues 'keeper off his line but the home faithful were relieved to see the ball land on the roof of the net.

The Blues finally got the breakthrough they craved in the 51st minute and it was well worth waiting for.

When Joe Francis was fouled on the edge of the area, Adam Smith's eyes lit up with excitement. The former King's Lynn man proceeded to curl the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner leaving the Concord goalkeeper with no chance.

Seven minutes later and the game was wrapped up and yet again Adam Smith was the architect. His free kick was headed down in the penalty area by McGlone, who found Nolan at the back post. The striker kept his cool before finding Francis in the six yard area and the winger couldn't miss form close range.

Concord almost found a way back into the match immediately when Stokes once again tried to lob Reynolds but the Blues 'keeper backpedalled quickly to tip over the bar and maintain his side's two-goal advantage.

Reynolds was at it again soon afterwards when he produced a fine stop from Cowley's flicked effort.

• Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Gaughran, Crane, A Smith, Mitchell, Cockrill, Fisk, Francis (Godbold, 81), McGlone (Stock, 87), Nolan (Ainsley, 72). Subs not used: Forshaw, Halliday.

• Concord Rangers (4-4-2): Brightly, Miller, King, White, Glozier, Noble (Malton, 69), Dafter (Hawes, 70), Cowley, J Elmes, H Elmes, Stokes. Subs not used: Skelton, Ogilvie, Johnson.

• Attendance: 786

• Referee: Keith Yeo

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