Lowestoft Town 2 Hednesford Town 2
- Credit: Richard Land/Focus Images Ltd
Jake Reed's last gasp equaliser preserved a point for Lowestoft Town and confirmed their Conference North status in the process against Hednesford Town.
The former Dagenham & Redbridge striker struck in the third minute of injury time to complete Lowestoft's comeback after Hednesford had built a 2-0 lead.
James Osborne's superb long-range strike gave the Pitmen the lead before Lloyd Kerry doubled their lead on the hour-mark with a breakaway goal.
But Bradley Woods-Garness' fifth goal of the season pulled one back for the Blues and Reed's late strike ensured a point.
Lowestoft were the quicker out the blocks as the Blues looked to capitalise on the visitors careless nature in possession in the opening stages.
Robert Eagle came close to opening the scoring in the ninth minute when he latched on to Omar Sowunmi's flick from a long throw-in. However, the former Norwich City midfielder's clipped effort from eight yards was easily saved by Dan Crane.
Crane was beaten in the 20th minute by Sam Gaughran's downward header but fortunately for the Pitmen goalkeeper, Glenn Walker was on the line to head clear.
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Hednesford hadn't really shown much as an attacking unit but still managed to get their noses in front in the 25th minute thanks to a wonderful strike.
When Sowunmi was penalised for fouling Nick Rushton 50 yards from goal, Lowestoft started to file back to defend a free-kick but Osborne had other ideas as he spotted Jessup off his line and pinged the ball into the far corner.
Rossi Jarvis came close to pulling the Blues level just before half-time, forcing Crane into a fine double save.
But Hednesford doubled their advantage on the hour-mark and it was of Lowestoft's own making. The Pitmen broke at speed from a Lowestoft corner and when Nick Rushton held the ball up he spotted the untracked run of Kerry, who had the freedom of the Meadow to side-foot past Jessup.
The Lowestoft management decided to change things up by bringing on Joe Marsden and Shaun Bammant for Henderson and Eagle and both produced major conbtributions in getting the Blues back into the game.
Marsden had been on the field for just two minutes before beating his man and pulling the ball back for Woods-Garness to drill the ball home.
Lowestoft could sense Hednesford were there for the taking although they had to wait until the second minute of injury time to pull level.
Bammant beat James Hurst down the left flank before standing up a cross to the back post which was only cleared as far as Reed, whose left-foot finish arrowed into the corner.
There was still time for one heart-stopping moment for Blues fans when Richard Batchelor came within inches of finding a winner but couldn't connect at the back post with the goal gaping.
- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jessup, Ainsley, Sowunmi, Gaughran (A Smith 75), Haynes-Brown, Henderson (Bammant 65), Okay, Jarvis, Eagle (Marsden 65), Woods-Garness, Reed. Subs not used: Mason, Jones.
- Hednesford Town (4-4-2): Crane, Hurst, Westwood, Tunnicliffe, Walker, Osborne, Kerry, Batchelor, Todd, Rushton, Thomas (Diggin 55). Subs not used: Robinson.
- Referee: Carl Fitch
- Attendance: 615