Lowestoft Town 1 Rushden & Diamonds 1: Blues denied by last-gasp penalty
- Credit: Archant
A harsh last minute penalty cruelly denied Lowestoft a second consecutive win against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
The Trawlerboys had held the lead for three quarters of the game following Kieran Higgs superb 18th minute goal and, despite having to defend heroically in the closing minutes, looked set for the three points until that final minute.
There was almost a disastrous start for Lowestoft with Tom Lorraine sending a week header straight at Elvijs Putnins from an Albert Hopkins cross. Playing some delightful football Lowestoft soon pegged Diamonds back in their own half with Shaun Bammant and Higgs proving to be a real handful.
The Trawlerboys had already gone close before they thought they had taken the lead in the 14th minute. A long cross from Jack Wilkinson picked out Bammant at the far post whose header beat Ben Heath only to be ruled out by the assistant referee's flag.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds' reprieve though was short lived as Lowestoft took the lead just four minutes later with an excellent team goal. Andrew Fisk threw his head amongst the boots to win the ball and send it forward to Higgs who carried the move forward before taking a return pass from Bammant, moving inside two defenders and crashing the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
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Lowestoft tried to press home their superiority at that stage and Bammant pressured Sam Brown into lobbing the ball over his keeper and own crossbar and then the big striker crossed for Adam Smith to send a volley flashing just wide.
Another Smith drive was too hot for Heath to hold but Sam Brown just beat his Lowestoft opponent Matt to the loose ball at the expense of a corner.
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The defining moment of the game came in the 60th minute when Bammant went down injured and had to be replaced by Henry Pollock. Without the big man up front to hold up the ball the Diamonds started to come more into the game forcing Lowestoft back for long periods.
Declan Rogers saw his effort curl just past the angle of bar and post and both Ben Diamond and Ben Farrell had shots blocked as Lowestoft defended desperately.
Just as Lowestoft seemed to have weathered the storm in the final minute John Dean went down on the edge of the penalty area in a melee of players and the referee pointed to the spot for Farrell to convert the spot kick.
Lowestoft Town: Putnins, Schaar, Wilkinson, Deeks, Jarvis, Vega, Smith, Fisk, Bmmant (Pollock 60), Higgs, Brown. Subs not used: Hedge, Pinheiro, Wren, Reynolds.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds: Heath, Reynolds, Brown, Ashton (Farrell 50), Dolman, Westbrook, Hopkins, Rogers (Dean 70), Lorraine, Diamond, Hicks, Subs not used: Curtis, Barrett
Referee: M Morrison