Jake Reed takes centre as Lowestoft Town confirm their Step Three status

PUBLISHED: 17:23 21 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 21 April 2019

Lowestoft Town's Jake Reed celebrating his hat-trick against Stratford Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Lowestoft Town's Jake Reed celebrating his hat-trick against Stratford Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Shirley D Whitlow

Lowestoft Town needed just one point to confirm their step three status for next season - but they took all three from a pulsating five-goal thriller.

Henry Pollock prepares to send in a cross from which Jake Reed scored Picture: Shirley D WhitlowHenry Pollock prepares to send in a cross from which Jake Reed scored Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

The day belonged to Jake Reed who completed his third hat-trick since his return from Leiston with five minutes remaining to make it a century of goals for the club.

Lowestoft dominated the early stages and deservedly took the lead after 27 minutes. Dylan Williams was looking lively for the Trawlerboys and his shrewd pass between the two central defenders saw Reed slide the ball past Ross Etheridge.

Lowestoft emphasised their superiority eight minutes later with a second goal. There seemed little danger as Reed collected the ball some 40 yards out but he promptly breezed past three challenges before firing home from the edge of the area.

Stratford were given a lifeline four minutes later following a mix-up between Josh Curry and Elvijs Putnins. Attempting to head back to the keeper Curry failed to put enough pace on the ball and it found its way to Nabil Shariff to tap in.

Referee Abi Byrne books Stratford Town player Albi Skendi Picture: Shirley D WhitlowReferee Abi Byrne books Stratford Town player Albi Skendi Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

That goal spurred Stratford into action and 90 seconds into the second period they equalised when Dan Creaney's downward header from a corner somehow squirmed under Putnins' body and into the net.

Putnins soon atoned for his error with a superb point blank save from top scorer Michael Taylor and after surviving that bout of pressure Lowestoft started to get back into the game. Shaun Bammant played Reed through but the striker was denied by a superb tackle by Jordan Williams but the hosts did have the final say when Henry Pollock's low cross was turned into the net by Reed from close range.

Lowestoft Town: Putnins, Curry, Smith (Wren 90), Barker, Tann, Deeks, Zielonka (Pollock 82), Fisk, Reed, Bammant (Schaar 71), D Williams, Subs not used: Reynolds, J Wilkinson.

Stratford Town: Etheridge, Wilson, Fisher (Taylor 46), Fry, Sebbeh-Njie (Grocott 40), J Williams, Carvalho, Skendi, Shariff, Creaney, Isaac (Williams 88), Sub not used: Shergill.

Action from Lowestoft's win over Stratford Picture: Shirley D WhitlowAction from Lowestoft's win over Stratford Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Referee: A Byrne. Attendance 461.

Lowestoft's Shaun Bammant about to challenge Stratford Town's Lewis Wilson Picture: Shirley D WhitlowLowestoft's Shaun Bammant about to challenge Stratford Town's Lewis Wilson Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Lowestoft Town's Jake Reed about to score his second goal Picture: Shirley D WhitlowLowestoft Town's Jake Reed about to score his second goal Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

Hat-trick hero Jake Reed scoring his first goal for Lowestoft against Stratford Picture: Shirley D WhitlowHat-trick hero Jake Reed scoring his first goal for Lowestoft against Stratford Picture: Shirley D Whitlow

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