Lowestoft Town defeated Wingate and Finchley 2-1 on a chilly winter afternoon on the East Coast. A penalty from Ryan Jarvis and a second half strike from Chris Henderson ensured they took all three points. Wingate did pull a goal back through Max Kyte 10 minutes from time, but it was not enough to get anything out of the game.
It was a slow start with limited opportunities for both sides, as they cancelled each other out. Wingate were missing key players with Ryan Sellers was ruled out through suspension, while Rob Laney was only fit enough for a place on the bench. Long-term absentees Tommy Tejan-Sie and Billy Healey did not travel.
The home team started to apply some pressure on the half-hour mark. Jake Reed thought he had given Lowestoft the lead when he tapped in at the back-post, but the goal was disallowed for offside. That should have served as a warning sign for Wingate, who were under the cosh for the rest of the half. Reed, a constant threat upfront for the home side, then headed over from a Frazer Blake-Tracy corner.
The opening goal came on 37 minutes when Harvey Hodd was brought down in the box by Sean Cronin. Ryan Jarvis stepped up and coolly converted the penalty, hitting it low and hard into the right hand corner. Clear cut chances were few and far between for Wingate, who never really got going in the game. Their best chance of the half came from a Steve Wales free-kick, but Ahmet Rifat could only divert the ball wide of the post.
Lowestoft started the second-half brightly and when Reed sent Henderson through on goal, Shane Gore had to race out and smother the ball before he could get a shot away. The Trawler Boys then doubled their lead midway through the second-half. Chris Henderson danced through the Wingate defence and exchanged a quick one-two with Shaun Bammant, before firing the ball past Gore.
The visitors’ response was immediate. Rifat forced a smart save out of Jamie Waite and Rob Laney came off the bench to try and get Wingate back into the game. Fellow substitute Max Kyte did not take long to make an impact. His close-range side-foot finish from Tanasheh Abrahams’ cross handed the away side a much needed lifeline.
Wingate’s way back into the game was almost brought to an abrupt end as Reed sprinted through on goal. But Alfie Young was well placed to make a fantastic last ditch sliding tackle and stop Lowestoft regaining their two goal advantage. Gore then pulled off a diving save to deny Joel Glover in the last minute of normal time, before Cronin headed a powerful shot off the line. All of that heroic defending was in vain, however, as Wingate left Crown Meadow empty-handed.
Attention now turns back to the FA Trophy with Wingate travelling to face Wealdstone in the First Round Proper on Saturday 10th December.
WingateTV: Joe Sharpe Post Lowestoft Town: HERE
Report by Sam Jones