Lowestoft Town 3 Hitchin 2: Bammant secure points as 10-man Town battle back
- Credit: Archant
Ten-man Lowestoft staged an incredible fightback in the final five minutes to turn a seemingly lost cause into a dramatic 3-2 victory.
For the first 70 minutes this was a tame, lifeless affair between two teams looking for their first points of the season – but that all changed in a frenetic last 20.
There was a little sign of what was to come early on – Charlie Smith was behind most of Hitchin's attacking ideas and had the first effort on goal, his shot going straight at Elvijs Putnins. Kieran Higgs wriggled his way through the visiting defence but his final effort lacked the strength to worry Michael Johnson.
An Adam Smith free-kick was parried by the keeper onto Shaun Bammant's chest and back into his own hands before Smith sent a free-kick soaring over the Lowestoft bar.
The outlook seemed gloomy in the 53rd minute when Hitchin took the lead – a snapshot from 20 yards by Matt Spring crashed against the upright but Dan Webb was on hand to steer the loose ball home, via the far post.
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Lowestoft looked demoralised but got an equaliser out of the blue in the 73rd minute. Higgs found Jacek Zielonka in acres of space and he drilled the ball just inside the post from the edge of the area.
Suddenly Lowestoft were full of energy and Higgs should have done better than stab a Zielonka cross wide. Lowestoft's recovery looked like stalling as Matt Brown was dismissed after clashing with Lucas Kirkpatrick.
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And worse followed as the Canaries retook the lead with just six minutes left, substitute Ezra Forde netting from close range.
But this new Trawlerboys team, a mix of youth and experience, didn't fold and within two minutes levelled again, Adam Smith hammering the ball into the roof of the net at the second attempt.
Then, just two minutes later, sub Connor Ingram drew the keeper and squared to Bammant to slide into an empty net to secure the three points.
Lowestoft: Putnins, Curry, Brown, Smith, Jarvis, Tann, Zielonka, Deeks, Bammant (Schaar 88), Higgs (Awuah 82), Fowkes (Ingram 64). Subs not used: Wren, Pollock
Hitchin: Johnson, Fraser, Syme, Spring, Webb, Bickerstaff, Green, Smith (Burns 77), Bailey, King, Kirkpatrick (Forde 82). Subs not used: Tshikala, Charles, Thake.
Referee: A Marriott. Att: 461