Doubles all round as Lowestoft close in on safety
PUBLISHED: 18:40 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:40 14 April 2019
Shirley D Whitlow
Lowestoft Town's first ever Southern League double, secured after a 3-1 win at Hitchin, gave the Trawlerboys their third successive away win and, more importantly, went a long way to guaranteeing survival.
The Blues have an eight-point gap over the relegation places, a 23 goals difference advantage over St Neots, the only team that can catch them – and just three games left to play.
Lowestoft looked sharp from the start and got the early goal they needed after just 14 minutes. Jacek Zielonka did the spade work, holding the ball on the right before slipping it to Adam Smith and on to Dylan Williams who glided past a defender before shooting home from 10 yards, for his first Lowestoft goal.
The Blues were rampant at this stage, with Jake Reed finding Shaun Bammant whose effort was turned around the post by Michael Johnson. From the corner Josh Curry headed in at the far post, but the flag was raised for offside. Undeterred, Lowestoft added their second in the 23rd minute. A long punt forward by Elvijs Putnins saw Dan Webb misjudge the bounce, allowing Reed to nip in behind and clip the ball over Johnson.
They had barely finished celebrating when Hitchin reduced the arrears in the 27th minute, through Charlie Thake.
Hitchin came more into the game and had a great chance to level the scores just before the break but Scott Belgrove skied the ball high over the top.
Lowestoft returned to the offensive in the second period with Williams racing through the middle but his effort was well saved by Johnson. Although Hitchin were having their fair share of the ball their tactics relied on a long ball forward. In contrast Lowestoft’s more cultured approach stretched the home defence resulting in a superbly-worked third goal as Bammant slipped the ball inside Jack Green to Reed who nonchalantly played it into the corner.
Hitchin: Johnson, Green, Anderson (Mensah 61), Dowie, Webb, Ferrell, Belgrove (Mullins 76), Thake, Forde (Nolan 76), Galliford, Bird.
Lowestoft: Putnins, Curry, Smith, Barker, Tann, Deeks, Ziekonka (Pollock 76), Fisk, Reed (Hedge 90), Bammant, Williams (Schaar 87). Subs not used: J Wilkinson, Wren
Referee: M Smith. Att: 401