Ryman Premier Division: Maidstone United 2, Lowestoft Town 0
- Credit: James Bass
Ten-man Lowestoft came away empty-handed from their first visit to Maidstone's brand new Gallagher Stadium – and once again found themselves on the backfoot after a quickfire double from their opponents.
The Trawlerboys – who had Dan Gleeson sent off with 20 minuets to go – were again faced with playing on a 3G artificial pitch and, as in the recent visit to Harlow, fell to two second-half goals in the space of three minutes.
With Andrew Fisk joining Bradley Woods-Garness on the injured list Lowestoft brought in Jake Reed, recently released by Dagenham & Redbridge, and Luke Bailey, who has impressed in the reserves this season.
Kick off was delayed for five minutes to allow a massive crowd time to get into the ground, and it was Lowestoft who made the brighter start.
Jack Ainsley and Curtley Williams combined well down the right but the latter's 15-yard drive flashed inches wide. Robert Eagle tried his luck but his low 20-yard drive didn't carry sufficient power to beat Lee Worgan.
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A poor throw out by Ashlee Jones was seized upon by Frannie Collin who was wrestled to the ground by Gleeson, earning him his first yellow.
In the second half, Chris Henderson's header from a corner was cleared off the line and when the ball fell to Jack Ainsley his shot suffered the same fate.
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Moments later, in the 59th minute, came the breakthrough for Maidstone as they broke quickly down the left, Alex Flisher's shot deflected off a Lowestoft defender straight into the path of Collin who made no mistake from 12 yards.
Lowestoft had no time to recover from the setback before Maidstone added a second, a real contender for goal of the season. The danger again stemmed from the left with Zac Attwood's cross met with a stupendous volley from Flisher which rocketed into the roof of the net.
Lowestoft's hopes of staging a fightback where dampened in the 71st minute with Gleeson sent off for receiving a second yellow card.