Lowestoft Town put on a five-star performance for Gallagher
- Credit: Archant
Lowestoft Town produced arguably their best all-round team performance under Ady Gallagher's managerial stewardship.
The Blues boss has been hit by a seemingly endless injury list, but it all came together as they smashed in five goals without reply.
There were strong performances in every area of the pitch, but none more so than in the back four where Rory McAuley was outstanding – winning everything in the air despite being up against a seven-foot striker – ably supported by the experienced Dean Leacock and with full-backs Travis Cole and Harry Barker limiting the supply from the flanks.
In midfield the quartet of Adam Smith, Jacek Zielonka, Harvey Hodd and Sam Borrer dominated proceedings and with the hard running Cruise Nyadzayo always willing to move inside, Jake Reed received more support up front.
The Hillians were first to threaten with Barker clearing a header from Ibrahim Diallo off the line, but it was soon Lowestoft on the offensive with Smith sending Nyadzayo through only for the youngster to stab the ball the wrong side of the post.
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Zielonka twice went close from distance and McAuley flashed a header wide before Lowestoft took a 13th-minute lead. Reed won the ball just inside the Burgess Hill half and ran through only to see his shot blocked – but Nyadzayo was up in support to slam home the rebound for his first senior goal.
The lead was doubled in the 34th minute with Nyadzayo getting up well to flick on Cole's forward ball to Reed who raced clear to shoot past James Shaw.
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Any Burgess Hill thoughts of a second-half fightback were dashed within three minutes as Lowestoft netted their third. Reed did exceptionally well to hold off Gary Elphick before laying the ball back to Zielonka who let fly from some 25 yards.
Zielonka returned the compliment in the 56th minute, slipping the ball through for Reed to again slide past the keeper. With the points in the bag Nyadzayo made way for 19-year-old Josh Greenleaf, who soon got in on the act, netting the fifth goal in the 73rd minute. Cole, who played a real captain's role in his first game with the armband, found Zielonka who in turn picked out Greenleaf. His sharp turn completely lost his marker before slamming the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net.
Burgess Hill Town: Shaw, Diallo, Fisk, Taylor, Elphick, Toure, Harding (Merzouk 46), O'Neill (Richmond 51), Diau, Smith-Joseph (Nezval 68), Harding. Subs not used: Adalukan, Cook.
Lowestoft Town: Dudzinski. Cole, Barker, Smith, McAuley, Leacock, Zielonka, Borrer (Westlake 80), Reed (Wren 87), Hodd, Nyadzayo (Greenleaf 58). Sub not used: Putnins.
Referee: S Hughes
Tuesday's game against Folkestone Invicta has been postponed and next Saturday Lowestoft are now at home to Kingstonian and not Leatherhead.