Lowestoft Town 2 Enfield Town 1: Cotton at the double as Blues battle back to claim points

Nico Cotton celebrates after scoring his first goal in the 2-1 win over Enfield Town. Photo: Shirley

Nico Cotton celebrates after scoring his first goal in the 2-1 win over Enfield Town. Photo: Shirley D Whitlow. - Credit: Archant

Two second-half goals from Nico Cotton allowed Lowestoft Town to complete their second home victory in the space of a week.

The two goals couldn't have been more different for the attacking midfielder, on loan from Southend United, as his first was a sweet strike on his left foot and his second was a fortuitous deflected cross that looped into the net.

Both teams came into the match on the back of a similar run of form – winning only two of their last six matches in the league.

Ady Gallagher kept with the same XI that battled to a 1-0 victory over Jimmy Bullard's Leatherhead side last week.

Visiting manager Bradley Quinton made three changes to his Enfield Town side, as the north London team began the day eight points above their hosts.

Lowestoft started the game brightly, although the same couldn't be said for the weather, with strong winds and rain starting just after kick-off.

Ryan Jarvis' 10th-minute free-kick was well saved by visiting keeper Nathan McDonald after Jake Reed was fouled on the edge of the box.

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Both sides were defending well, with plenty of long balls to challenge for in the looping wind.

Enfield Town, in their bright yellow shirts, had their first real chance on 19 minutes, but Billy Crook's shot was comfortably saved by Jake Jessup.

In the corresponding fixture earlier in the campaign, an injury-time strike snatched victory away from Lowestoft Town as a 2-2 draw was the final outcome.

But in truth, the game adopted a similar style to Lowestoft's previous match against Leatherhead, with plenty of battling and strong challenges the order of the day.

After a promising start from the home side, it was the visitors who upped their game towards the end of the first half.

Billy Crook's free-kick was palmed wide by Jessup before the visiting midfielder went one better just minutes later.

A shot from Karl Oliyide was handled at close range by Rossi Jarvis, inside a packed penalty area, on 32 minutes, with referee James Turner pointing to the spot.

And as the Lowestoft players protested that the decision was harsh, Crook kept his composure to fire past Jessup for 1-0.

The game then sprung into life as Enfield Town looked certain to double their lead just three minutes later.

Oliyide knocked the ball past Jessup, but Travis Cole was on hand to expertly clear the ball off the line.

But the danger was still there as the ball fell back to the striker, and after crossing to Wynter, his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

It was a real let-off for Lowestoft Town and one they miraculously survived.

The Trawlerboys were forced into two quick changes at the start of the second half as Rory McAuley replaced the injured Harry Barker. This meant that Travis Cole was pushed across into the right-back position.

A few moments later, captain Rossi Jarvis had to be withdrawn with an injury, with Frazer Blake-Tracy entering the fray in the heart of the defence and Adam Smith taking over the captaincy.

Lowestoft were looking for a way back into the game, and were trying their best to get into the attacking areas.

Jake Reed got the better of Harold Joseph, but his pass was behind Bammant. At the other end, Mickey Parcell forced Jessup into a comfortable save.

But it was Lowestoft who showed real character and fight to get themselves back into the game.

A long ball over the top of the defence found Reed and his precise lob agonisingly hit the crossbar and back into play.

But from the rebound, the ball found Cotton, who brilliantly fired the ball past keeper McDonald, from just outside the box, for 1-1.

It was his first goal for the Trawlerboys, and it came just past the hour mark.

As the match progressed, it was pretty even as the sides attempted to score what could be the crucial winning goal.

Chris Henderson was brought on in place of Forshaw and as the game entered the final 10 minutes, it was impossible to call as to which team could possibly nick a winner.

Reed went close on 83 minutes after firing the ball narrowly over the Enfield crossbar.

But it was Lowestoft who completed a remarkable comeback just three minutes from the end.

Cotton's attempted cross deflected off a visiting defender and looped into the far corner for 2-1.

It was a fluke goal, but the home players and fans didn't care as Lowestoft held on for another valuable three points.

Lowestoft Town FC: Jessup, Barker, Smith, Fisk, Rossi Jarvis, Cole, Forshaw, Ryan Jarvis, Reed, Cotton, Bammant.

Subs: Blake-Tracy (Rossi Jarvis 48), Henderson (Forshaw 75) , Hodd, McAuley (Barker 46), Docherty.

Enfield Town: McDonald, Kiangebeni, Bihmoutine, Joseph, Kirby (capt), Muleba, Campbell, Crook, Wynter, Oliyide, Parcell.

Subs: Ottaway (Wynter 69), N'Wanze, Devyne (Parcell 85), Livings (Bihmoutine 79), Wilson.

Yellow cards: Enfield Town 1 (Joseph 53)

Referee: James Turner

Attendance: 433

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