Lowestoft Town 2, Lewes 0
Lowestoft Town ground out three vital points at home to Lewes this afternoon courtesy of goals from Blake Saker and Jack Defty.
The Blues knew victory was all that mattered against a stubborn Lewes side to ensure league leaders Whitehawk couldn't extend their lead at the top of the table.
Lewes came with a game plan to make things difficult for the Trawlerboys and they succeeded in the opening period. With the Blues struggling to carve out clear chances it was going to take something special to break them down and Saker duly delivered early in the second half with a fantastic 25-yard strike.
Defty made the points safe late on with the kind of composed finish Lowestoft fans have grown used to seeing since his summer move from King's Lynn. With Whitehawk winning at Wingate the gap between the Blues and the summit remains 13 points, but the management team will be confident of closing that on this display with the four games in hand they have.
Lowestoft were in charge for much of the first period but couldn't make their possession count in the final third.
Defty's presence in the Lewes' penalty area almost led to a goal early on after good work down the right flank by Chris Henderson but the ball arrived at the big striker too quickly and the chance was gone.
Sam Gaughran then had a 20-yard effort that had Kieron Thorp scrambling to his right but the defender's effort flew just wide of keeper's post.
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The best chance of the half arrived just before the half-hour mark when Lee Smith, playing just off Defty in the first half, had a shot which deflected into the path of Scott Mitchell, who was suddenly through on goal. The midfielder steadied himself but Thorp stood tall and saved well with his legs.
Defty had a decent chance shortly before half-time when he shrugged off Steve Brinkhurst but instead of shooting for goal tried to play in Mitchell and Callum Donaghey made the interception.
Lowestoft had a scare just before the break when Lewes had the ball in the net from a corner but referee Mark Potkins had already blown for a foul on goalkeeper Andrew Plummer.
The second half started how the first ended with Lowestoft on top but struggling to carve out chances. It was going to take a moment of magic to break down an obdurate Lewes back four and that moment arrived in the 55th minute.
Saker picked up the ball 30 yards from goal before checking inside on to his left foot and unleashing a left-foot drive into the top corner that Thorp could only stand and admire.
Henderson had a half chance shortly after when Robert Eagle's cross fell to him on the edge of the area but the former Bury man blazed wide.
It was left to Defty to make sure of the points 17 minutes from time after some catastrophic defending from Chris Breach. The Lewes skipper inexplicably watched a harmless looking Saker ball over his head without realising Lee Smith was just behind him looking to capitalise. Smith bore down on goal before seeing his shot saved by Thorp but, fortunately for Lowestoft, Defty was on hand to guide the ball home from the edge of the area with a lofted effort.
- Lowestoft (4-4-2): Plummer, Saker, Williams, Gaughran, A Smith, L Smith, Okay, Mitchell, Eagle, Henderson, Defty. Subs not used: Fisk, Dawkin, Francis, Newson, Crane.
- Lewes (4-4-2): Thorp, Brinkhurst, Breach, Donaghey (Fergany 74), Hamilton, Dollery, Dunne, Beckford (Stubbings 83), Walder, Godfrey, Crabb. Subs not used: Kay, Wormull.
- Referee: Mark Potkins
- Attendance: 580