Maldon Town 0, Lowestoft Town 2
Jonathan RedheadIt was a case of left-foot forward for Lowestoft Town last night as they took a step nearer to the Ryman League Division One North title.Jonathan Redhead
Maldon Town 0, Lowestoft Town 2
It was a case of left-foot forward for Lowestoft Town last night as they took a step nearer to the Ryman League Division One North title.
Powerful left-footed strikes in each half from Joe Francis and Adam Smith handed the Blues a comfortable victory.
In truth they were never in danger after taking control of the first period after the home side had a headed goal from a free-kick chalked off for a clear offside and keeper Andy Reynolds pulled off a great save to deny Laurant Hamici on 20 minutes.
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Leading scorer Matt Nolan spurned the best chance to put the visitors in the driving seat in the 30th minute. He brought Adam Smith's cross under control brilliantly with a chest trap, but fired his left-foot volley wildly over from the penalty spot.
Six minutes later Joe Francis forced home stopper Jack Smelt into a fine save from his blast from the edge of the box, but there was nothing he could do abut the opening goal a minute before half-time.
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Gary Holt's superb through ball fell into Francis' path and without breaking stride the left winger flashed his shot beyond Smelt and into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Francis had a chance to double his own and Lowestoft's tally ten minutes into the second period. But having gambled on a header back to the keeper falling short, he was unable to steer his volley goalwards.
However, a minute later, Smith did find the back after the best passing move of the night. Francis laid the ball to him and after a slick one-two with Nolan, he broke into the box and fired low beyond Smelt at his near post.
Nolan went close to extending the lead on the hour but his lob over the stranded Smelt drifted wide.
Holt fired wide from the edge of the box on 65 minutes after another slick move down the left with the league leaders in total command.
It was Francis' turn to fire wide in the 82nd minute, but by now all the fight had gone out of the home side and the Blues cruised to another victory. A brilliant 70-yard run from substitute Jamie Forshaw which was curtailed as he went to shot was the closest the Blues came to adding a third goal.
Lowestoft: Reynolds, Plaskett, Crane, Halliday, Smith, Holt, Fisk, Bussens (Forshaw 73), Francis (Cutajar 89), Dale Cockrill, Nolan (McGee 88). Subs not used: Bloomfield, Darren Cockrill.