Oxford City 2 Lowestoft Town 1 – Missed chances cost Blues as injury jinx strikes again
- Credit: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Limited
Failing to take chances proved costly for Lowestoft as they fell to defeat at Oxford City, having taken the lead.
The injury jinx struck again with Danny Crow falling heavily and damaging his shoulder with just 37 minutes on the clock and Sam Gaughran taking a fierce volley straight into the face and substituted just past the hour.
Lowestoft were forced into making three changes to their starting line-up with Lee Smith suspended and Dan Gleeson and Erkan Okay both ill.
Into the side came Andrew Fisk, Shaun Bammant and Omar Sowunmi whose loan from Ipswich Town has been extended for a further month.
There was almost a dire start for the Trawlerboys as Sowunmi misjudged a bouncing ball to allow Adi Jussuf direct on goal but the young Ipswich defender reacted superbly to recover his ground and put in a saving tackle.
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Both sides were putting in a lot of effort on a very heavy pitch which had passed a late inspection but with few clear chances at either end.
Jussuf was denied by another excellent Sowunmi tackle whilst at the other end a couple of Jack Ainsley crosses caused problems for home keeper Mark Scott.
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Gaughran moved up with the attack but saw his goalworthy attempt tipped over by Scott before Crow was forced to retire a few minutes after his initial injury to be replaced by Bradley Woods-Garness.
Lowestoft were pressing forward as the half came to an end with Jake Reed's flicked header falling straight into the arms of Scott.
Lowestoft took the lead on the stroke of half-time with Reed turning Lee Henderson on the edge of the area only to be wrestled down by the Oxford defender who received a yellow card for his efforts.
Justice was done as Robert Eagle stepped up to send the free-kick screaming past the wall into the roof of the net.
However, Oxford levelled six minutes into the second half through the award of a penalty. In a crowded penalty area Declan Benjamin fell under a tackle from Fisk with leading scorer Yussuf converting the spot-kick.
The game was beginning to open up with chances coming at both ends. Tom Winters managed an amazing miss as the ball arrived at his feet two yards out in the centre of the goal but somehow he managed to place his shot wide.
Three excellent chances fell to Woods-Garness as he used his speed to get clear of the back four but each time he fired the ball wide.
Dean Mason had enjoyed a good game and he got to the bye-line but his attempt to tee up Dawid Radomski was intercepted by L Henderson before Oxford snatched a winning goal six minutes from time with Yussuf scoring from close range after good work by Samuel Obot.
Oxford cleverly played out the remaining few minutes, preventing Lowestoft any chance of getting a point from the game.
Chris Henderson came off the bench for the final three minutes for his first taste of football since sustaining injury against the same opponents back in October.