FA Vase: Concord Rangers 0, Lowestoft Town 1
Michael Bailey Lowestoft Town are 90 minutes from a Wembley final after beating Concord Rangers in their FA Vase quarter-final.
Lowestoft Town are 90 minutes from a Wembley final after beating Concord Rangers in their FA Vase quarter-final.
On a glorious late winter's day on Canvey Island, Bradley Hough's 12-minute goal proved enough to separate the sides and although Town had to battle for every ball, resolute defence was more than a match for what the Essex side could throw at them.
With more than 700 fans in attendance in the Thames Road ground, 400 of them making the trip from Suffolk, the Blues continued their historic Vase run.
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Town joint managers Chapman and Gallagher named a more experienced line up for their historic fixture with Matty Potter, captain Marcus Saunders, Neil Plaskett and Jamie Godbold recalled to the staring 11.
Gary McGee and Joe Pike were dropped to the bench following Town's 3-1 win over Harwich last week, and joined Reece Hunn, Adam Rix and Ally McKenna.
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The Blues, who had Darren Cockrill suspended and Dale Smith away on county duty, played out some early tight exchanges but took the lead on 12 minutes.
King broke through the Rangers defence and although he was impeded by keeper Hussey as he knocked the ball past the goalkeeper, Bradley HOUGH was on hand to tuck the ball away from close range.
It remained a cagey affair although Rangers got their first sight of the Town goal on 18 minutes, Trenkel blasting over from 10 yards after a good knock down from Mully.
On 22 minutes, Poppy arrowed a long range effort which had keeper Hussey scrambling across goal and two minutes later Town produced the best move of the game so far but neither King nor a quiet Godbold could make the most of Poppy's deep cross from the right.
Concord continued to look dangerous from set pieces and on 26 minutes Reynolds, in the Town goal, produced a stunning save to keep out Trenkel's close range header.
Just before the half-hour mark both Mully and Trenkel had good chances to equalise from Ing's long throws, but neither could convert.
Poppy became the first name to go into the referee's notebook after Rangers' Hayzelden flung himself to the floor but the Rangers winger received a yellow card of his own after 40 minutes for a similar challenge on the Town right back.
A minute later, Town made their first change, Reece Hunn coming on for the injured Richard Woodrow and a couple of minutes before halftime, striker Michael Begg weaved his way down the Town right but his cross could only be headed past the far post by Trenkel.
Concord made their first change after 55 minutes with Butterworth making way for Hawkins as the home side looked to press for an equaliser.
And the substitute almost delivered one three minutes later but he failed to deliver the ball into the box after springing the Town offside trap.
On the hour mark Lowestoft had a good chance to extend their lead but Godbold's centre only produced a tame effort from Poppy.
Straight down the other end another Ing long throw caused confusion in the Town box but Begg could only scuff his effort on goal.
On 68 minutes, Concord made their second substitution with Lee replacing Turnbull as they looked to convert their pressure into chances. At the same time Lowestoft made their second change with McGee replacing Stock and the Town substitute almost created a chance out of nothing on 71 minutes but after he charged down a clearance by a rangers defender, Hough couldn't get a shot away.
The 400 or so travelling Lowestoft fans were in full voice as they continued to drive on their side.
Concord then had their best chance of the match as Begg cut in behind the Town defence but his low cross could only be blasted high by Cowley.
With six minutes of the match remaining Rangers came within inches of forcing extra time but Hayzelden could only drive against the underside of the crossbar after a scramble in the Lowestoft box with keeper Reynolds rooted to the spot. On 87 minutes Town made their final change, Matty Potter being replaced by Joe Pike, to help run down the clock and although Concord launched the ball into the Town box as the minutes ticked away Lowestoft hung in to record a memorable away-day victory and a place in the Vase semi-finals.
t Concord Rangers: Hussey, Ing, Ogilvie, Cowley, Easterford, Mully, Butterworth, Turnbull, Begg, Trenkel, Hayzelden.
Subs: Small, Lee, Webb, Heffer, Hawkins.
t Lowestoft Town: Reynolds, Poppy, Potter, Woodrow, Saunders, Plaskett, Godbold, D Cockrill, Stock, Hough, King.
Subs: McGee, McKenna, Hunn, Pike, Rix.
t Referee: G Scott.