Lowestoft Town were frustrated in their attempt to kickstart their season after a goalless draw at home to East Thurrock this afternoon.

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After six consecutive postponements the Blues finally got back into action but they couldn’t make it a winning return.

The Trawlerboys looked rusty in the opening period with Robert Eagle’s 20-yard effort the closest they came to opening the scoring.

East Thurrock looked more than happy to settle for a point as the game unfolded and Lowestoft grew into the contest in the second half. Chris Henderson hit the bar with a clipped effort midway through the second period and substitute Joe Francis missed a gilt-edged chance late on. A disappointing afternoon was complete when defender Curtley Williams saw a straight red card for a late fracas.

Lowestoft were understandably slow out of the blocks after such a long spell without a game and East Thurrock were more than happy to sit back and watch the Blues toil.

The first shot of the afternoon came in the 21st minute from Liam Burgess but his effort was sliced horribly wide and summed up a lacklustre first half.

Lowestoft’s first sight of goal came just before the half-hour mark when Scott Mitchell advanced through the midfield before letting fly from 25 yards but his shot was well wide.

Jack Defty then had a half chance shortly after thanks to good work down the left by Robert Eagle but the big striker miscued and although Henderson claimed the second ball but his effort was straight at the keeper.

The best chance of the half came in the 37th minute when Erkan Okay’s biting challenge robbed Tom Stephen before the midfielder fed Eagle. The former Norwich City midfielder turned on the edge of the area and his left-footed shot looked to be heading for the bottom corner before Elliott Justham dived to his left to tip wide.

Lowestoft had a left-off at the start of the second half when a clumsy challenge by Williams saw Kye Ruel go to ground but the referee waved away East Thurrock’s protests.

The Trawlerboys could have had a spot-kick of their own shortly after when Spencer Harrison appeared to charge down Henderson’s shot from the edge of the area with his arms but, again, the referee was unimpressed.

Lowestoft were slowly gaining a grip on proceedings and Henderson went close again after Defty picked out Saker’s excellent run down the right. The Blues full-back pulled the ball back for the former Bury man but his effort from 10 yards was cleared off the line by Ben Wood.

Henderson was certainly the man that looked most likely and he came even closer to breaking the deadlock in the 67th minute. Lee Smith dummied Saker’s pass into Henderson’s path and his curling effort from the edge of the area clattered against the crossbar.

The goal wouldn’t come though despite a golden chance for substitute Joe Francis in injury time. The winger was picked out by Mitchell at the back post but, after his initial shot had been blocked by a defender, his follow up was saved at Justham’s near post.

Lowestoft’s afternoon got even worse shortly after when Williams was shown a straight red after an alleged stamp in the penalty area.

- Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Plummer, Saker, Williams, Gaughran, A Smith (Crane 90), L Smith, Mitchell, Okay, Eagle (Frew 85), Henderson (Francis 82), Defty. Subs not used: Dawkin, Fisk.

- East Thurrock United (4-5-1): Justham, Sammons, Wood, Harrison, Stephen, Lawson (Newby 66), Gilbey, Collins (Menga 70), Burgess (Parmenter 66), Ruel, Higgins. Subs not used: Peddie, Keith.

- Referee: J Steel

- Attendance: 553

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