Lowestoft Town 3, Canvey Island 2
Lowestoft Town staged a miraculous second half comeback to secure their place in the semi-finals of the Alan Boon Cup at Crown Meadow.
Canvey Island breezed into a 2-0 lead in the first half thanks to goals from Jason Hallett and Leon Gordon and the Trawlerboys looked to be on their way out of the competition.
However, Jamie Forshaw's introduction from the bench proved the catalyst for the second half turnaround as the former Norwich City academy product pulled his side level with an excellent finish after Robert Eagle had headed his side back into the contest.
The comeback was complete in the 78th minute when Lubo Guentchev tapped home from close range after fine approach play by Michael Frew and Forshaw.
Canvey signalled their intent early on when the lively Jay Curran played in Alex Rhodes, who dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.
Robert Eagle, in his second game for the Blues after signing on a non-contract basis, looked neat on the ball but the Blues were not functioning well as an attacking unit whereas the front three of Canvey looked potent whenever in possession.
And in the 36th minute Curran, who had given Adam Smith a difficult first period, found space down the right hand side and delivered an excellent cross to the back post for Hallett to nod home for his ninth goal of the season.
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Andrew Fisk was trying to inject some life into his side's display with several biting challenges but in injury time at the end of the first half it got worse for the Blues.
Eagle lost possession in midfield and, when the ball was worked to Hallett, he played in strike partner Gordon, who showed a great deal of composure in sliding the ball past Reynolds.
Lowestoft looked brighter at the start of the second half and in the 53rd minute they halved the deficit thanks to a fine header from Eagle. Greg Crane was allowed to advance down the right flank and the big defender produced an excellent cross to the near post for Eagle to glance his header over James Russell.
Lowestoft suddenly looked the better side. Forshaw's introduction gave Nolan the support he had been lacking in the first period and in the 68th minute the diminutive striker had drawn the Blues level.
He brought down a long ball on the edge of the area with an excellent first touch and when the Canvey defence allowed him to turn he proceeded to rifle home from the edge of the area.
The comeback was complete 12 minutes from time and once again Forshaw was the architect. His smart turn midway inside the Canvey half allowed him to release Frew, who crossed for Guentchev to prod home.
• Lowestoft Town (4-5-1): Reynolds, Mitchell, Gaughran, Crane, A Smith, Guentchev, Fisk, Cockrill (Forshaw, 50), Francis (Henderson, 50), Eagle, Nolan (Frew, 76). Subs not used: Ainsley, Godbold.
• Canvey Island (4-5-1): Russell, Ward, Sheehan, Easterford, Dumas, King, Kerrigan (Game, 61), Curran, Rhodes, Gordon, Hallett (Heale, 46). Subs not used: Matthews, West, Foster.
• Referee: Stephen Artis
• Attendance: 338