Lowestoft Town 3, Harrow Borough 0
Andy Reynolds says he is determined to play a full part in the Trawlerboys' promotion challenge, despite being at the centre of a pre-match scare at the weekend.
Reynolds underwent extensive treatment after picking up an ankle injury in the warm-up, but hobbled through 90 minutes of an impressive Lowestoft victory against one of their biggest rivals.
The Lowestoft management team – who rarely name a keeper on the bench – summoned back-up in the shape of young Kai Hewitt, although he didn't arrive until after kick-off.
By that time Lowestoft were well in charge – with Reynolds delighted at the level of protection afforded him by his rock solid defence on a day when Harrow were made to look ordinary. 'I was just warming up, going through the usual routine,' explained Reynolds. 'As I was stepping backwards my foot slipped. I took another step and realised something wasn't right. We haven't got cover so I didn't know what was going to happen.
'It wasn't ideal in your mind going into a game, but we dealt with it and fortunately I didn't have much to do either. We have been doing things well recently and if the lads needed anything to focus their minds yesterday it might have helped. I found myself redundant regardless – they'll start charging me to come in soon.
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'I don't think it's going to be serious enough to miss any games. I broke my ankle before and I know it's not that and it's not ligaments. It may be a bruise on the bone and with those sort of injuries you have to play through them, which I will.'
Lowestoft moved into fifth place – the final play-off spot – with the win, while Harrow dropped from third to sixth, and if this was evidence of the sides' credentials, then you'd back the Trawlerboys to have an extended season.
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Meanwhile, Sutton United have been confirmed as champions after Bury Town lost out at home to Cray Wanderers to hand them the title.
Lowestoft started well, taking the game to their visitors and playing some good football on a bumpy playing surface.
The excellent Sam Gaughran saw a goalbound header come back off Wayne Walters while Dale Cockrill forced keeper Nick Jupp into a full-length save, with Jamie Forshaw unable to profit from the follow-up.
Matt Nolan was denied from close range on 25 minutes, but Cockrill put the ball to the back post where it was bundled in by right-back Andrew Cave Brown for his first goal of the season. Scott Mitchell forced Jupp into a fine save from a free-kick before Reynolds was called into action for the first time, carefully tipping over a cross-shot from the lively Kenta Nakashima.
But it was soon back to the other end, where Cave-Brown turned provider on 34 minutes, his determination on the right enabling him to cross for Joe Francis to head home at the back post.
Nakashima forced Cockrill to clear off the line early in the second half, before Jupp saved brilliantly to deny Gaughran again, Nakashima clearing Curtis Haynes-Brown's follow-up away at the foot of the post.
Reynolds' only big save came from his own player, Cockrill trying to scoop the ball away, forcing his keeper to push it away high to his left.
But it was all over on 83 minutes when Jupp spilled Forshaw's effort on the run from the edge of the penalty area and Lubo Guentchev smashed the rebound high into the far corner – the lively striker's second goal in two games since signing from Hendon.
• Lowestoft: Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Smith, Guentchev, Cockrill, Mitchell, Francis, Nolan (Stock 86), Forshaw. Subs: Halliday, Fisk, Ainsley, Hewitt.
• Harrow Borough: Jupp, Frempong (Constant 78), Walters, Jinadu, Watts, Hart (Fenton 69), Ijaha, McGonigle, Nakashima, Clarke, Delgado (King 83). Subs: Leech, Hall.
• Attendance: 724.