Ryman Premier: Injury-hit Lowestoft Town rally to beat high-flying Dulwich Hamlet 2-0
- Credit: James Bass
Lowestoft Town beat fellow promotion hopefuls Dulwich Hamlet 2-0 this afternoon, despite having just 12 senior first-team players fit for selection.
The depleted Trawlerboys showed great spirit to put on a good display of passing football and energetic pressing at Crown Meadow to move up to sixth place in the Ryman Premier Division table.
Both sides had to deal with a very strong wind blowing from one end of the pitch to other, blowing in the direction of Lowestoft keeper Ashlee Jones in the first half and making goal-kicks particularly perilous.
The match only went ahead after an 8am pitch inspection, following the midweek postponement of Lowestoft's home match against Wealdstone for a waterlogged pitch.
Indeed the match was one of just five which went ahead in the Ryman Premier because of bad weather, allowing Lowestoft to leapfrog Lewes and Bognor Regis in the table, who both saw their matches called off.
Once Lowestoft had survived a tricky first half, they made sure to use the wind in their favour after the break, although playing attractive football became more difficult as heavy rain became almost horizontal.
Just four minutes into the second half the Trawlerboys took the lead, through skipper Sam Gaughran.
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A Robert Eagle corner from the right somehow saw the ball squirm through the packed box and the centre-back was there to stoop and head home from close range.
Seven minutes later Lowestoft really took control of the game, after former Norwich City and Luton Town midfielder Rossi Jarvis doubled their lead.
It was fellow Canaries youth product Eagle who was again responsible for creating the goal.
The winger was initially set free in the centre of the pitch after a strong tackle by midfielder Erkan Okay on Hamlet's 13-goal Turkish midfielder Erhun Oztumer.
The Charlton Athletic academy product stands at just 5ft 4ins tall and Lowestoft were sure to close him down quickly whenever the tricky playmaker received the ball.
On this occasion Okay slammed into a challenge on Oztumer to set Eagle free, who unleashed a low left-footed shot skidding along the turf towards the bottom right-hand corner.
Dulwich keeper Phil Wilson thrust out a strong left hand to tip the shot round his post for a corner. Eagle then took the set-piece and, with the help of the wind, his in-swinging corner almost looped straight into the net.
A Dulwich defender managed to clear on the line, but only as far as Jarvis, who poked home from close range.
Lowestoft could have had more goals in the remaining 30 minutes of the match but focused on staying strong defensively to ensure they ended a run of three matches without a win.
The Trawlerboys are in derby action on Boxing Day, when they travel to 14th-placed Leiston, as they look to close the six-point gap to the play-off paces above them.
Man of the match: Robert Eagle