Lowestoft Town beat Halesowen 5-1 to move five points clear of drop zone
- Credit: Archant
In-form striker Jake Reed made it back-to-back hat-tricks as Lowestoft Town recorded another impressive win to move five points clear of the relegation zone.
The Trawlerboys followed up their 3-1 success at St Neots on Saturday by turning on the style again at the Amber Dew Events Stadium to see off another side involved in the battle for safety.
They got off to a dream start by scoring three times in the first 13 minutes, with the opener coming after just 20 seconds.
The first attack of the game ended with a Halesowen player putting the ball in his own net and it got even better after eight minutes when Shaun Bammant flicked on Jack Wilkinson's long throw and Reed scored with a well struck half volley.
The pressure continued as Rossi Jarvis' header was cleared off the line and it was no surprise when Connor Deeks converted from Adam Smith's free-kick to make it 3-0.
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Lowestoft looked in complete control but any thoughts that the game was done and dusted disappeared on the half hour mark when a familiar face pulled one back. Former Coventry City and West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes may be 42 now but he still knows where the back of the net is and proved it by firing a powerful volley past keeper Nick Hayes, who was making his home debut.
It was a shock to the system but Lowestoft reacted well and could easily have added to their tally before the break, with Reed, Deeks and Bammant all going close.
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The hosts needed a fourth goal to kill off the game and finally got it in the 68th minute when Reed scored his second. A long ball gave him a run on goal and the in-form striker, who got all three goals at St Neots, beat two defenders before firing home into the bottom corner. The icing on the cake came three minutes from time when Reed chipped keeper Dan Platt to make it five.
Lowestoft Town: Hayes, Curry, Wilkinson, Deeks, Jarvis, Tann, Fisk (Pollock 42), Williams, Reed (Wren 90), Bammant (Zielonka 84), Smith. Sub not used: Putnins. Att: 389.
Fakenham Town reached the final of the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup when they beat Newmarket Town 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. The visitors took after just five minutes through Jack Hurrell with the Jockeys getting back on level terms just before the break when Ben Robinson's shot was helped in by Sam Gomarsall.
Swaffham Town were beaten 2-0 at home by Holland FC in the Division One Knock-Cup semi-final.