Same old story for Lowestoft Town on the road as leaders AFC Fylde prevail
- Credit: Greg Kwasnik/Focus Images Ltd
A new year but the same story as Lowestoft Town slipped to another defeat on the road in the Conference North.
But there were signs the Trawlerboys could be closer to a cure for the travel sickness despite the latest reverse at the hands of league leaders AFC Fylde.
Centre forward Jake Reed could have had a first half hat-trick for the visitors as they showed plenty of attacking threat and more than held their own against the side from the North West.
He was denied twice by home stopper Ben Hinchliffe from two great chances and saw a third brush past the outside of the post. However, defensive failings saw the Blues concede two goals in two first half minutes to face an uphill struggle at Kellamergh Park.
A third goal in the second half confirmed defeat, despite a Town consolation from late substitute Jacek Zielonka.
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And although the Blues could draw positives from the performance, another away loss leaves them searching for the right formula to back up their more than decent home record.
It could have been different had Reed taken a golden chance in the very first minute. He went clean through after latching onto a loose Fylde pass, but his effort was saved well by home keeper Hinchliffe.
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At the other end, Ashlee Jones was called into action to deny Danny Rowe after a goalmouth scramble following Fylde's first corner after five minutes.
The Trawlerboys had looked comfortable for the opening ten minutes, but two quick strikes changed the complexion of the game. First, Rowe was left criminally unmarked to head home from a left-wing corner on 11 minutes, with the aid of a slight deflection.
Just a minute later and Jones was beaten high at his near post after Richie Allen burst into the box and fired a rasping effort beyond him.
The home side thought they had a third on 22 minutes after Jones brilliantly parried Rowe's header, but Danny Lloyd was offside as he gobbled up the rebound.
Town's danger man Reed was close to pulling the visitors back into contention but was again denied by Hinchliffe after getting on to a Bradley Woods-Garness cross.
He went even closer on 28 minutes when he nodded a mishit shot from Woods-Garness on to the post with Hinchliffe rooted to the spot.
As the home team sat back on their lead, the visitors had the lion's share of possession but could not conjure up any more chances leading into the interval.
There was little change at the start of the second half as the home side had a measure of control without threatening a third.
With half an hour to go, the visitors took off Dean Mason and replaced him with Joe Marsden in a bid to force a way back into the game.
Instead, the home side nearly added a third as Rowe robbed Smith by the corner flag but Lloyd was unable to turn home the burly striker's low centre.
But with 22 minutes remaining, the home side did wrap up the three points. From a deep free kick, Lloyd slipped the ball through to centre back Josh Langley and he fired home low from 15 yards past a helpless Jones.
Marsden forced Hinchliffe into a couple of routine saves with shots from outside the box.
Dawid Radomski and Zielonka came on for the visitors and it was the latter who combined brilliantly with Marsden and finished coolly with his second touch.
Suddenly, Town had renewed hope, and piled on the pressure with Marsden forcing Hinchliffe to tip another drive over the angle of post and bar. But it was to no avail and the away travails continue for the Blues despite more positivity in the final third.