McGee strike keeps Lowestoft Town in FA Cup
Jonathan Redhead Gloucester City 1, Lowestoft Town 1: Lowestoft Town are away to Gloucester City in the FA Cup with a place in the first round proper at stake and you can follow the game live here.
Gloucester City 1, Lowestoft Town 1
A last-gasp Gary McGee strike kept Lowestoft Town in the FA Cup and earned them a fully-deserved replay after a battling performance in the west country.
McGee struck from close range in the fifth minute of stoppage time after an effort from Darren Cockrill had crashed off the bar in a goalmouth scramble.
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Now Town will entertain the Tigers at Crown Meadow on Tuesday on a high after outplaying their opponents for much of a game severely affected by high winds at City's temporary Corinium Stadium home in Cirencester.
And the Blues could even argue they deserved to win the match after taking the fight to a team from two leagues higher.
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However, in the end it was their sheer willpower and determination which has earned them another crack at Gloucester just as it looked like their terrific FA Cup run was about to end following Greg Crane's unfortunate 73rd minute own goal.
With the wind at their backs in the first half, Town bossed the game and should have taken the lead through Adam Smith on two separate occasions.
After just ten minutes Smith broke clean through but drilled his shot over when City keeper Mike Green came out to close down the angle.
With the swirling wind making it difficult to play good football, excellent work from Gary Holt and an astute pass from Andrew Fisk created another opportunity for Smith on 35 minutes, but again he fired over from the edge of the box.
The Tigers offered little in the first half, but were better after the interval, but most of their attacks floundered on the excellent centre back pairing of Crane and Matt Halliday.
The pair could do little in the 68th minute however, when left wing back Lee Marshall fired in a thunderbolt free-kick from 20 yards which had town stopper Andy Reynolds beaten, but crashed against the post and to safety.
But it was another Marshall free-kick five minutes later which proved Town's undoing.
The kick was swung into the far post, and Crane, apparently deceived by the wind, could only send a looping header over his own keeper and in.
Town's response was to send on Darren Cockrill and play three men up front and as the home side sat back, the visitors pressed eagerly.
Smith found his found his range with a powerful free-kick which Green parried to safety, but the former King's Lynn man thought he had done even better and come to his side's rescue with just four minutes remaining.
He expertly curled a free-kick 25 yards out over the wall, but could only watch as it hit the bar and bounced down onto the goal-line and away.
In the final minute, Holt sliced open the home defence with a terrific through ball to McGee who tried to round Green but was thwarted by the Tigers stopper.
There was a cheer from Town's fantastic following of fans when the assistant referee signalled for four minutes of added on time, but they had used that up and more when McGee finally pounced to send the fans, his team-mates and management home happy.