Suffolk Premier Cup: Lowestoft Town 3, Brantham Athletic 2
Lowestoft Town spluttered into the second round of the Suffolk Premier Cup despite being in cruise control for much of the tie against Brantham Athletic.
A dominant first half display did the damage for the holders in the end as a Nathan Stone brace and Robert Eagle curler gave the a Blues a 3-0 lead to take into the break.
However, Brantham were allowed to come back into the contest in the second half when Lee Grimwood pounced on Blake Saker's poor backpass. Josh Mayhew ensured a nervy finish when he sidefooted home from a corner but the Blues held on.
Any notion Lowestoft would take the competition lightly was dispelled at the sight of the team sheet with the likes of Scott Mitchell, Lee Smith and Dan Gleeson all included in the starting XI.
But it was Stone who made the biggest impression in the first period. The game was only three minutes old when Joe Francis burst down the left flank before crossing for Stone at the back post with the former Needham Market forward bundling the ball home and colliding with the post in the process.
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Lowestoft doubled their advantage in the 17th minute thanks to an excellent strike from the classy Eagle. Ryan Bedingfield produced an excellent save to deny Francis but the ball ran to the former Norwich City man on the edge of the box and he proceeded to curl home a sumptuous right-footed effort that went in off the post.
Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side Brantham looked woefully out of their depth and it came as no surprise when Lowestoft effectively put the tie out of their reach in the 37th minute thanks to Stone's second after good work down the left by Francis again.
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Brantham managed to pull one back at the start of the second half after Blake Saker's poor backpass was cut out by Grimwood, who rounded Jake Jessup before tapping home.
Lowestoft took their foot off the pedal in the second half, failing to hit the heights of their first half display. Mayhew ensured a tense finish when he drilled home after Sean Gunn's corner had been allowed to roll all the way through the penalty area.
• Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jessup, Saker, Gleeson, Mitchell, Ainsley, L Smith, Jones, Eagle, Francis (Fisk 84), Frew (Defty, 70), Stone (Okay, 90). Subs not used: Clark.
• Brantham Athletic (4-5-1): Bedingfield, Pryke, Bloss, Sibbons, Ryland (D Grimwood, 46), Lawler, Smith, Garnham, L Grimwood, Brothers (Gunn, 73), Mayhew. Subs not used: Mann.
• Referee: Chris Pollard
• Attendance: 206