Maidstone United 0, Lowestoft Town 1

Lowestoft Town players responded to what joint manager Mickey Chapman described as a gee-up at half-time and delivered a win made all the more important by other results.

'We started really slowly and were not at the races, second best to everything,' said Chapman.

'The boys got a gee-up at half-time. Flem (coach Craig Fleming) had a right dig at them. They took it on the chin and put in a much better performance.'

He said: 'It was a good day at the office. It was a great result for us. The pitch was again difficult to play good football on. It was a hard-fought battle but we showed that side of our game, that we can mix it and dig out results.

'It was thooroughly deserved, the second game in succession we have won ugly. You can't win every game with free-flowing football,' said Chapman.

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An excellent strike from Jamie Forshaw following the one piece of quality football in the game earned Lowestoft the three points that moved them up to third place in the table.

The importance of the victory soon became apparent with Lowestoft being the only side in the top six to gain maximum points on the day.

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Lowestoft were forced into three changes to their starting line up with Andrew Fisk and Dale Cockrill out and Matt Nolan dropping to the bench, Stuart Ainsley, Adrian Forbes and Jamie Forshaw recalled to the starting line-up.

A bumpy pitch and swirling wind was not conducive to good football but neither side was lacking in effort.

The first real goal threat fell to Maidstone when, from a left-wing corner from Alex Flisher, the ball fell to the feet of Jay Saunders who stabbed his shot across goal and wide of the far post.

Michael Frew and Joe Francis combined to send Forshaw racing through on goal but keeper Andy Walker was out quickly to save at the striker's feet.

Adrian Forbes then created a shooting opportunity for himself which Andy Walker could only parry, and although Forshaw was quick to pounce on the loose ball his follow-up effort was also blocked.

The all-important breakthrough came six minutes into the second period.

Curtis Haynes-Brown took a long throw from just inside the Lowestoft half to Francis. He passed the ball on the Forbes who dissected the home defence with a delightfully weighted pass to Forshaw who steadied himself before firing a tremendous rising drive into the top corner of the net.

Inspired by the goal Forshaw was close to doubling the lead moments later as he let fly from 25 yards only to be denied by an excellent tip-over save from Walker

Maidstone refused to lie down and came back strongly in the final half-hour. A needlessly-conceded free-kick by Scott Mitchell saw Danny Hockton skim the outside of an upright. Hockton was later substituted and his replacement Gary Wharton also tested Andy Reynolds from 30 yards.

Maidstone's final chance to rescue a point fell to striker Jay May, signed from Tonbridge Angels the day before. The ball fell to his feet inside the six-yard box from a right wing corner, but Reynolds produced an outstanding double save to block both his close-range effort and his follow-up from the same distance.

• Maidstone United: Walker, Paul, Marsh-Brown, Saunders, Abraham (Humphris, 56), Glover, Phillips, Richmond (Whitnell, 80), May, Hockton (Wharton, 64), Flisher, Subs (not used) Mills, Boyle.

• Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Smith, Ainsley, Crane, Haynes-Brown, Forbes (Stock, 67), Mitchell, Forshaw (Halliday, 82), Frew, Francis, Subs (not used) Gaughran, Nolan, Clark.

• Att: 311

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