Lowestoft Town keep pressure on with win at Cray Wanderers
Cray Wanderers 0 Lowestoft Town 2
Lowestoft Town ensured that the battle for second place in the Ryman League Premier Division will go to the last day with a hard-earned victory in Kent.
It means that they are level on points with Hornchurch, who hold second place but have a much better goal difference (+32 against Lowestoft's +24).
The Trawlerboys finish their regular season on Saturday with a trip to newly crowned champions Billericay and have to better Hornchurch's result at home to an already relegated Leatherhead if they are to ensure they stay at home through both rounds of the play-offs. They are already assured of home advantage in the sem-finals.
Lowestoft were first to threaten last night when Scott Mitchell overelapped down the right, but from his cross Joe Francis' volley was inches too high.
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Play then settled down to a cagey midfield battle until Lowestoft broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute with Lubo Guentchev's corner nodded down by Adrian Forbes for Francis to knock home from close range.
The second half continued in similar vein with neither defence conceding any ground.
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But Cray were reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute when Joe Vines was sent off for striking Greg Crane.
And Lowestoft doubled their lead in the 85th minute. Adam Smith and Francis combined down the left and, from Smith's cross, Michael Frew brought the ball down and steered it just inside the far post.
Lowestoft: Jessup, Mitchell (Halliday 52), Smith, Eagle (Ainsley 73), Crane, Gaughran, Guentchev, Sinclair, Forbes, Henderson (Frew 65), Francis.
Unused subs: Forshaw, Stone