Lowestoft Town’s second friendly in the space of 24 hours ended in a narrow defeat at Crown Meadow this afternoon against last season’s Ryman League Premier champions, Billericay Town.

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Pre-season friendly

Lowestoft Town 0 Billericay Town 1

Lowestoft Town’s second friendly in the space of 24 hours ended in a narrow defeat at Crown Meadow this afternoon against last season’s Ryman League Premier champions, Billericay Town.

Rob Swaine’s close range finish on the stroke of half-time gave the visitors victory in what was a decent work-out for the Blues, who also drew with a young Norwich City XI 2-2 on Friday evening.

Lowestoft had numerous chances in the first period to open the scoring but both Nathan Stone and Michael Frew missed good opportunities.

Billericay were always a threat from set-pieces and their winner came when Swaine ghosted in unmarked to head Glenn Poole’s free-kick against the post before reacting first to slide the ball home.

Billericay should have opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Glenn Poole’s corner found Duran Reynolds charging in at the back post but the defender’s header flew just wide.

Lowestoft responded well though and had a chance of their own shortly afterwards when Joe Francis’ clever pass released Stone in behind the Billericay back four. The former Leiston man showed a decent turn of pace before firing just over the bar under pressure from Chris Wild.

Stone’s leading of the line impressed with the striker giving the giant centre-half pairing of Chris Wild and Swaine plenty to think about.

Jessup was almost caught out by a long range effort from Poole but Lowestoft were more than holding their own against last season’s championship winners. Frew sprung the offside trap in the 20th minute, latching on to Fisk’s chipped pass. Billericay keeper Joerg Stadelmann came off his line quickly to cut down the angle on Frew and the former Corby striker’s lob bounced agonisingly wide.

New signing Blake Saker’s moment of madness just after the half-hour mark almost presented the visitors with the lead. In trying to play out from his own penalty area, Harrison Chatting pick-pocketed the former Brantham man but, fortunately for Lowestoft, he shot wide from a tight angle.

Stone should have opened the scoring just before the break but shot wide in a one-on-one situation and Lowestoft were made to pay the price just before the break.

Swaine met Poole’s free-kick perfectly and when his glancing header bounced off the upright he was alive enough to prod home the rebound.

Jessup produced a fine save at the start of the second half to deny Billericay doubling their advantage as the young keeper again proved himself to be an able deputy for the injured Andy Reynolds.

An intelligent through ball from Andrew Fisk found Frew inside the Billericay penalty area and when the striker danced past Swaine he looked all set to restore parity. However, on his weaker left side, his effort was tame and substitute keeper Dale Brightly saved well with his feet. Brightly had to be alert once again on the hour mark to keep out Lee Smith’s effort after good work from Stone down the left wing.

Osiris was introduced for the last half hour and showed some nice touches, most notably shooting just wide from 20 yards late on.

- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Jessup, Saker, Gaughran, Crane, Eagle, Lee Smith, Amando (Mitchell 66), Francis, Frew, Stone (Osiris 66). Subs not used: Jones, Clark.

- Billericay Town (4-4-2): Stadelmann, Oates, Wild, Swaine, Reynolds, Lechmere, B Smith, Poole, Chatting, May, Osborne.

- - Referee: Shon Meale

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