Photo galleries: Lowestoft Town brought back to earth as they lose feisty fixture at Gloucester City
- Credit: Tom Smith/Focus Images Limited
Lowestoft Town's quest for a third win on the bounce was ended in a bad-tempered affair at Gloucester.
The Trawlerboys struggled to find any form in a game that saw both sides reduced to 10 men at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Gloucester too are fighting to move away from the Vanarama Conference North relegation places and had recently strengthened their squad with three signings – Femi Orenuga and Sahr Kabba starting and Mo Diop on the bench.
For Lowestoft Andrew Fisk, returning from suspension, and Robert Eagle, making a comeback from injury, took their places on the bench.
From the start the two newcomers for the hosts were instantly in the action with Oreguga finding Kabba whose mazy run was eventually blocked by the combined efforts of Sam Gaughran and Jack Ainsley. Kabba should have put Gloucester ahead moments later when despite his diminutive stature he rose highest to win a cross from Chris Knowles but put his header wide of a gaping goal.
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The early stages also brought a chance for the Trawlerboys as a Lee Smith corner was knocked on by headers from both Rossi Jarvis and Gaughran but Jake Reed hooked the ball straight into the hands of goalkeeper Paul White.
As Lowestoft mounted another attack in the 10th minute the referee's attention was summoned by his assistant at the other end and after a brief consultation the man in the middle promptly sent off the impressive Kabba, apparently for kicking out at Gaughran.
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Strangely the player's dismissal seemed to affect Lowestoft more than their hosts with the equally diminutive Orenuga catching the eye. A clear run at goal from a quick counter saw Omar Sowunmi cut across to make a saving tackle. The winger then made another strong run into the area and set up a simple tap in for Harry White but from just three yards out in the centre of the goal he lifted his shot onto the roof of the stand.
Little was seen as an attacking force from Lowestoft but a Smith corner fell to Sowunmi but his volley was the wrong side of the post.
Gloucester took the lead in the final minute of the first half as White raced clear of the Lowestoft defence only to be brought down in the area by Ashlee Jones who received a yellow card. Billy Jones stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot kick.
If Lowestoft were looking to improve in the second half their hopes were dashed within 10 minutes.
Firstly in the 52nd, Smith and his Gloucester opponent Chris Knowles challenged for a 50-50 ball which resulted in the Lowestoft midfielder being shown a straight red which seemed a harsh decision. Within a couple of minutes Gloucester had doubled their lead as Orenuga was played through the inside left channel and used his pace to get clear and from a narrow angle his shot squirmed through Jones and into the net for a second goal.
Despite sending on both Fisk and Dean Mason Lowestoft still struggled to find a way back and had to thank Sowunmi for a goalline clearance after Tom Webb had rounded both Ainsley and Jones. The Town keeper was also called upon to make a superb reflex save to prevent a third goal from Lewis Hall and then dived bravely at the feet of the same player who had been set up by Mo Diop.
The loss leaves the Blues – who return to action at home to Colwyn Bay on Saturday – sitting 13th in the table and seven points clear of the bottom three.
Match ratings by Terry Bullen
To see more pictures from Lowestoft's away defeat at Gloucester on Saturday visit www.edp24.co.uk/sport