Lowestoft Town 4, Waltham Forest 1
Lowestoft Town showed signs of getting back to their best in their 4-1 win against Waltham Forest, according to joint boss Ady Gallagher. A brace from leading scorer Matt Nolan and further strikes from Jamie Godbold and Gary Holt mean the Blues are now seven points clear of nearest rivals Concord Rangers at the top of Ryman League Division One North with two games still in hand.
Lowestoft Town showed signs of getting back to their best in their 4-1 win against Waltham Forest, according to joint boss Ady Gallagher.
A brace from leading scorer Matt Nolan and further strikes from Jamie Godbold and Gary Holt mean the Blues are now seven points clear of nearest rivals Concord Rangers at the top of Ryman League Division One North with two games still in hand.
And after a couple of indifferent performances in the defeats to Concord and Brentwood, Gallagher feels his men are getting closer to reproducing their fantastic early season form.
“I think there were certainly glimpses in the first half an hour of us playing like we were before and we were right on it,” Gallagher said of the win over Forest.
“I just think we were guilty of taking the game a bit too lightly then and they got a break with the penalty and it allowed them back in the game.
“I think we dominated all of the second half and once they had a player sent off it looked as if there was only going to be one winner.
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“The second-half performance we controlled and we were playing right to the end and once we had the numerical advantage we picked them off and quite honestly could have had a couple more goals.”
The Blues have had to contend with an incredibly congested fixture list, with Saturday's win being the sixth game in 12 days, before a trip to Maldon Town tomorrow night makes it seven in 15.
Gallagher says such a schedule has made a couple of bad results inevitable - but his side are set to come out of it in a stronger position.
“Just because you get a couple of poor results people describe it as a blip but I think the reality is by Tuesday we'll have played seven games in 15 days,” he said.
“With these players playing that many games, having to mix the squad up to look after as many as you can and having to account for injuries and the fact these boys work is a hell of a schedule, and I think it's inevitable that you're going to drop points with that type of fixture congestion.
“The reality is that Concord were our nearest rivals and have failed to win since beating us, and we're better off now than we were before we played them.
“That's just the way it goes. I'm happy with the players and I think it's important we just concentrate on ourselves and not get too carried away with the league position or our rivals and just keep trying to get up for every game.”
With their heavy schedule of fixtures the Trawlerboys continued to rotate their squad and there were recalls to the starting line up following injury for Adam Smith, Greg Crane and Dale Cockrill.
Lowestoft made an ideal start by moving ahead after just six minutes. Scott Mitchell crossed fro the left beyond the far post where Dale Cockrill headed the ball back for Godbold to nod home.
Waltham Forest were pacy in attack and Robert Carter got to the byeline to cross low into the six-yard box but Danny Gabriel failed to get a proper contact and Andy Reynolds was able to snatch the ball.
Neil Plaskett's long throw was flicked on in turn by Cockrill and Jamie Forshaw for Mitchell to send a header inches wide.
Lowestoft increased their lead in the 24th minute with Godbold threading a pass through to Cockrill who was brought down in the area by a mistimed tackle from Andre Humphrey-Modeste and Nolan blasted home the resultant penalty.
Lowestoft were well on top. Plaskett was just too high from 30 yards. Waltham Forest were given a lifeline in the 35th minute when Smith brought down Danny Gabriel in the area and he reduced the arrears from the penalty spot.
For the next half hour the Blues could not get hold of the ball but Waltham Forest could make little headway against the Town defence.
The game swung dramatically Lowestoft's way when Waltham Forest were reduced to 10 men with Robert Carter receiving a straight red card for a late tackle on Crane.
Nolan saw a 20-yard effort blocked and from a Smith free kick Jamie Forshaw glanced a header wide. Substitute Joe Francis was introduced and from his first touch his shot was blocked by keeper Sam Tanner with Nolan hitting the rebound into the side netting.
Lowestoft added their third goal in the 74th minute. Following a neat interchange of passes between Joe Francis and Smith the ball was played inside to Nolan who took his time before sending a 15-yard effort into the top corner of the net.
Tanner did well to parry a shot from Francis with Nolan's follow up hitting the post before the Blues added their fourth on 89th minutes.
Francis robbed Des Thomas and raced to the byeline before pulling the ball back for Holt to celebrate his birthday by clipping the ball over the keeper into the net.
After the match, there was a charity collection by Rotary for the Polio Plus appeal to eradicate Polio round the world. A total of �172 was raised. Rotary said a big thank you to all the fans for their generous help.
t Lowestoft Town; Reynolds, Plaskett, A Smith, Holt, Crane, Halliday, Godbold, Dale Cockrill (Sub Fisk 71), Nolan, Forshaw (Sub Francis 71), Mitchell, Subs (not used) Darren Cockrill, Bussens, Cutajar.
t Waltham Forest: Tanner, Walsh, Gracey, Thomas, Knight, Harrison, Humpohrey-Modeste (Sub Stanley 71), P Smith (Sub Darr 89), Carter, Gabriel, Hornsley (Sub Frankis 71), Subs (not used) Okunowo, Adedokun.
t Attendance: 691