Lowestoft Town 2 Solihull Moors 0: Blues show they belong after cruising to fine win
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Two games in and Lowestoft certainly look at home in the Vanarama Conference North.
Victory over Solihull Moors at Crown Meadow last night represents four points from their first two games at Step Two level and, whilst it is early days, the Trawlerboys certainly don't look out of place.
Chris Henderson set them on their way to victory with one of the cleanest strikes he will ever hit in the first half and, after a nervy opening, the Blues didn't look back.
Jefferson Louis showed what he can offer this season with an excellent finish midway through the second half and Solihull had no answer.
Goalkeeper Ashlee Jones kept the visitors at bay all evening and managing to extend his contract in the summer looks to be the club's finest piece of business.
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Lowestoft looked anxious in the opening stages and the visitors were the quicker to settle. Once again the Blues were without the assured presence of Dan Gleeson at the heart of the back four due to injury and his replacement, Rickie Hayles, almost gifted Solihull the lead in the 10th minute.
The former Hornchurch man tried to chest a backpass to Jones but succeeded in only diverting the ball into the path of Omar Bogle. Jones was quick off his line and managed to smother Bogle's shot against the striker and the ball ran agonisingly wide.
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The Moors looked confident in possession and were slowly turning the screw as the half unfolded. Owen Story was causing problems down the right flank and one flighted cross found the head of midfielder Aaron Brown, whose downward header was superbly saved by Jones, low down to his right.
It looked a matter of time before Solihull would break the deadlock but, against the run of play, Lowestoft struck the first blow.
The tireless Shaun Bammant harried Richard Taundry off the ball and he looked to have a clear run on goal. However, the former Dereham man preferred to try and find Louis in the penalty area and Rob Elvins headed away.
Unfortunately for the visitors the clearance only went as far as Henderson on the edge of the penalty area and the Blues talisman rifled home from 20 yards.
The goal settled Lowestoft and just after the half-hour mark a Robert Eagle piledriver almost made it 2-0 before Louis, who had looked sharp up front, forced a good save by Tony Breedon.
Solihull served notice of their quality once again though in the 39th minute when Story got free down the right before hanging up a cross that Jones could only tip as far as Darryl Knights, whose header came back off the post.
Both sides were looking capable of hurting each other with neither defence looking particularly tight. Just before the break Louis latched on to Andrew Fisk's chipped pass to get behind the Moors' back four but scuffed his shot wide.
The Midlands outfit almost got back on terms early in the second half with a fine volleyed effort by Story and Jones was relieved to see the ball whistle just wide.
But in the 65th minute Lowestoft all but wrapped up the points and it was a goal worthy of the occasion. Henderson checked in from the right flank and chipped a sumptuous ball to the back post for the waiting Eagle. The former Norwich City midfielder drilled the ball back into the area for the waiting Louis, who hammered the ball home from 12 yards.
The former Margate man had given a lesson in hold-up play all evening and thoroughly merited his goal.
Solihull knew they had to respond quickly and Jones was once again extended when Aaron Brown's 25-yard effort arrowed towards the bottom corner.
But Louis' second goal seemed to have drawn the sting from the visitors and Lowestoft managed to see out time relatively comfortably.