Lowestoft Town 3, Wealdstone 0

Jack Defty's hat-trick gave Lowestoft Town three crucial points against Wealdstone this afternoon to thrust the Blues right back in the promotion race.

The summer signing from King's Lynn struck was at his bustling best in an authoritative display from the Trawlerboys to send out a statement to the rest of the division the Blues plan to be right in the title race at the end of the season.

Defty opened the scoring midway through the first half with a fine header before side-footing home at the start of the second period to establish a two-goal lead.

The big striker capped a fine individual display late on when Danny Cunningham's free-kick found him free at the back post and he made no mistake.

Lowestoft were on top early on and in Joe Francis, they possessed a constant outlet down the left. The winger could have opened the scoring in the seventh minute when he dispossessed James Esmond but his left-footed effort from the edge of the box was weak.

Francis had a decent chance three minutes later when Chris Henderson, operating down the right flank, hit an excellent crossfield pass to his wing counterpart, who flashed his shot just wide.

Rikki Banks then had to be at his best midway through the half when Francis sprung the offside trap with the Wealdstone stopper producing a wonderful save to keep his side on level terms. However, from the resulting corner Lowestoft gained the lead their enterprising opening deserved when Defty stooped to head home Francis' corner into the net.

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The goal appeared to temporarily wake Wealdstone from their slumber and only an excellent block on the line by Blake Saker from Sean Cronin's stabbed effort preserved the Trawlerboys' advantage.

Banks produced another good save to deny Francis before Lee Chappell almost levelled things up shortly before the break with an overhead kick from close range.

Lowestoft made the perfect start to the second half with Defty on the scoresheet again as he bagged his sixth of the season. Francis showed Esmond a clean pair of heels down the left and his pull-back laid it on a plate for Defty who duly side-footed home from 10 yards.

Henderson came close to putting the result beyond doubt shortly after when he danced his way through the Stones' back four but his left-footed effort was deflected over the bar.

Banks denied Francis with a fine save when the forward got in behind the defence and the Stones' 'keeper had to be at his best to deny Michael Frew's speculative effort from 20 yards.

But five minutes from time the points were in the bag when Defty rose highest at the back post to head home substitute Danny Cunningham's superb in-swinging free-kick.

- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Plummer, Saker, Williams, Gaughran, Cockrill, Henderson, Mitchell, Okay, Francis (Cunningham 81), Frew, Defty (Newson 88). Subs not used: Eagle, Fisk, Jessup.

- Wealdstone (4-4-2): Banks, Esmond, Parker, Cronin, Tumwa (Brooks 60), Webb, Dyer, O'Leary (Pett 60), Chappell, Dean (Jolly 46), Moore. Subs not used: McCubbin, Hazhia.

- Referee: Andrew Parker

- Attendance: 576