Margate 0, Lowestoft Town 3

Another scintillating performance saw Lowestoft move back into second place in the Ryman League Premier Division following their three-goal victory over Margate.

And this afternoon the Blues have a vital game, hosting close rivals Bury at Crown Meadow (kick-off 3pm).

Joint manager Ady Gallagher said he was expecting a tough battle: 'It's a massive game. It's really tight at the top, there is no margin for error.

'We will go into the game confident – we have been playing well and keeping clean sheets.

'There is a lot at stake. It's a massive game. If we win we will stay second, if we lose feasibly we will drop out of the play-off places.


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'If we concentrate, we are confident we can get another good result.'

He urged Lowestoft fans to get along to the game, saying: 'Hopefully a good crowd will come along and get behind us.'

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Once the Bury game is over, there is just one more to go – a visit to bottom team Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.

Reflecting on Saturday's win at Margate, Gallagher said: 'It was a good performance and our sixth clean sheet on the trot.

'We have had to fight for everything and things have been starting to work for us, which is nice.'

The Trawlerboys dominated in all areas of the pitch with Lubo Guentchev outstanding down the right, well supported by Joe Francis on the left and the industrious Dale Cockrill and Scott Mitchell in the middle. Jamie Forshaw and Matt Nolan both took their tally into double figure with some clinical finishing, with the woodwork also coming to the Margate rescue twice.

The solid back four never looked like being breached with keeper Andy Reynolds enjoying another peaceful day in the sun.

Sam Gaughran saw his header from Joe Francis' corner cleared off the line by Tommy Osbourne.

The Blues opened the scoring on 11 minutes with Matt Nolan's exquisite ball inside the full-back releasing Lubo Guentchev who raced to the by-line before pulling the ball back for Jamie Forshaw to rifle into the net.

A rare error by Dale Cockrill saw him lose the ball to allow Tom Bradbrook a clear run at goal but he shot tamely wide. Lowestoft doubled their lead on the half hour with Andrew Cave-Brown and Guentchev combining on the right and from the latter's low cross Nolan dummied over the ball for Forshaw to volley, on the turn, high into the net.

A first half of total dominance ended with a third Blues goal just before half-time. Guentrchev moved onto Scott Mitchell's pass before crossing for Matt Nolan to convert from close range.

Although Lowestoft never reproduced the same tempo in the second period they still remained in control. Joe Francis saw his shot turned away at full length by Deren Ibrahim and the same player then chipped the keeper, only for the ball to land on the roof of the net.

Forshaw was close to completing his hat-trick but his header from another Guentchev cross flashed inches over. A jinking run by Stuart Ainsley ended with him playing the ball back to Russell Stock whose venomous strike hit the bar.

The immaculate Guentchev then set up a shooting chance for Scott Mitchell, with the ball again crashing against the crossbar.

Margate: Ibrahim, Osborne, Robinson, O'Brien, Cloke, Hill, Wilson, Groombridge (sub Miller 62), Welford, Pinnock (sub Quain 57), Bradbrook. Subs (not used) Turner, Lacey, Langiano.

Lowestoft: Reynolds, Cave-Brown, Ainsley, Mitchell, Gaughran, Haynes-Brown, Guentchev, Cockrill (sub Fisk 62), Nolan (sub Stock 70), Forshaw (sub Forbes 77), Francis. Subs (not used) Halliday, Hewitt.

Attendance: 403.

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