Striker Frew turns goalkeeping hero for Lowestoft
Lowestoft Town 1, Canvey Island 1: Michael Frew saved a second half penalty as 10-man Lowestoft Town came from behind to grab an unlikely point at Crown Meadow last night against Canvey Island.
With the score at 1-1 in the second period the injury-ravaged Blues lost goalkeeper Andy Reynolds to a back injury and with no substitute goalkeeper Frew took the goalkeeper's jersey.
He survived the inevitable aerial bombardment from the visitors but when Dale Cockrill gave away a penalty for a foul on Leon Gordon, the Blues' luck looked to have run out with the midfielder also seeing red.
Rob King, who had given his side the lead with a header in the first-half before Matt Halliday equalised before the break, stepped up and unbelievably saw his low spot-kick saved by the stand-in shot-stopper.
Despite being without several first team regulars, Lowestoft settled the quicker and should have been in front as early as the third minute when Joe Francis' free kick from deep found Sam Gaughran at the back post but the former Peterborough man couldn't keep his header down from six yards.
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Had either Michael Frew or Matt Nolan gambled on Henderson firing across goal in the 11th minute then they would have had a tap-in but, as it was, midway through the half the Blues fell behind.
Andrew West tossed a free kick in from the halfway line and King, who had inexplicably been left unmarked at the far post, looped a header past Reynolds and suddenly Lowestoft had a mountain to climb.
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It got worse for the Trawlerboys soon afterwards when Andrew Cave-Brown hobbled off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Jack Marsden at left back, prompting a reshuffle which saw Stuart Ainsley go into central midfield and Erkan Okay fill in on the right side of the back four.
Just past the half-hour mark the Crown Meadow faithful finally had something to cheer when Lowestoft hauled themselves level.
Ainsley's free kick picked out Sam Gaughran, who headed across to defensive partner Halliday and he firmly planted a header past James Russell. It was just the shot in the arm Lowestoft needed and after being overlooked so far this season a timely reminder from Halliday that he still has much to offer the Blues squad this season.
Just when Lowestoft thought it couldn't get any worse from an injury point of view a robust challenge from a Canvey player saw Reynolds land awkwardly on his back. With no goalkeeper on the bench, Frew had to take the goalkeeper's gloves with Cockrill coming on in midfield.
Shortly after Cockrill then brought down Leon Gordon inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot, sending Cockrill off in the process. King looked all set to grab his second of the evening from the spot but Frew read where he was going to put it and parried away low to his left hand side.
Joe Francis had a great chance to make himself a hero late when he went through on goal but Russell made an excellent save.
• Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Reynolds (Cockrill, 65), Cave-Brown (Marsden, 26), Halliday, Gaughran, Ainsley, Henderson, Fisk, Okay (Forshaw, 71), Francis, Frew, Nolan. Subs not used: Forbes, Stock.
• Canvey Island (4-4-2): Russell, West, Sheehan, Easterford, Dumas, Gonnella (Hallett 46), Game, King, Rhodes, Gordon, Heale. Subs not used: Everett, Ward, Kerrigan, Matthews.
• Referee: Nick Cooper
• Attendance: 633