Lowestoft Town hand visitors North Ferriby United the freedom of Crown Meadow
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
Lowestoft Town always knew there were going to be days like these in the Conference North.
Only a fantasist would have thought the Blues could maintain their upward momentum through the non-league pyramid, and against North Ferriby they were made to feel a very distant second best.
Make no mistake about it – this was one of the easiest afternoons North Ferriby would have had at this level.
The dynamism and desire to win that has been a feature in recent weeks for the Blues simply wasn't there. The crippling injury list that has undermined the club's Conference campaign so far this season looked to have caught up with them.
This was a very tired display and North Ferriby ruthlessly took advantage in the first period.
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Playing a narrow three-man midfield they always had an extra man in the middle of the park and you almost felt sorry for Andrew Fisk and Rossi Jarvis for the way they were continually over-run for 45 minutes.
This was addressed in the second half, with Robert Eagle coming off the flank to help, but the damage had already been done.
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North Ferriby didn't need any help in getting the three points, but the Blues offered it anyway. Only Jake Jessup, standing in for first choice Ashlee Jones due to a hamstring injury, will know why he rushed off his line in the 17th minute to claim a cross on the edge of his area.
When the young goalkeeper fumbled, Nathan Jarman was there to steal the ball and, in trying to rectify his error, Jessup pulled down the Villagers' striker, who made no mistake from the penalty spot.
While Jessup was at fault for the first goal, the blame for the game-clinching second laid squarely at the players in front of him. Jon D'Laryea had the freedom of the Meadow to look up on the halfway line and decide which of the three untracked runners he would pick out. He decided on Liam King, who cut in from the left and picked out Adam Bolder in the centre to side-foot the ball home. It was just too easy and North Ferriby couldn't believe their luck.
Lowestoft improved in the second half but that was perhaps down to the visitors protecting what they had because, in truth, the Trawlerboys never seriously threatened the iron grip they had over proceedings.
Even when substitute Jefferson Louis hammered the ball into the top corner in injury time, no-one seriously thought Lowestoft could snatch an unlikely point and so it proved.
If anything the goal heightened the frustration the management and fans feel towards Louis.
He is the most talented striker Lowestoft have got in their squad and if he showed the application he displayed in his cameo on Saturday he would unquestionably get the first team football he craves.
But too often this season the desire to muck in and do the ugly side of the game hasn't been there. Lowestoft cannot afford to indulge such a player at this level and they have found out why the veteran forward has had more clubs than Tiger Woods.
It is why he will soon be on his way out of Crown Meadow and it is imperative another striker is brought in that has the industry to go with their talent.
However, more important than any recruitment is getting their existing players fit because if there are many more tired displays like Saturday then a relegation battle awaits.