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Lowestoft Town 1-1 Kingstonian

Not since the glory days of the Conference have Ks fans faced as long a trip as the 160 miles to Lowestoft, but those who made the midweek trek were rewarded with the most open and entertaining Ks game for some time. Both sides will be frustrated that they were able to take just one of the many chances both created; both will know that they need to improve their finishing if they're to have a chance at gaining promotion.

Lowestoft came out at a furious tempo, giving Ks no chance to settle in the game. Even with a rare flat back four and Bobby Traynor starting as a fifth midfielder, they were unable to prevent the Trawlerboys from dominating possession in the opening 20 minutes, a period in which they could easily have put the game out of sight, although only managed to get on the scoresheet once.

In just the second minute Ks afforded Dale Cockrill a free header from a corner, but he headed into the ground allowing Rob Tolfrey a comfortable save. Matt Nolan also missed an early headed chance but on just seven minutes the home side were gifted the lead, after Max Hustwick miscontrolled and Joe Francis had a clear run at goal. He beat Tolfrey with ease, the early deficit leaving Ks fans to reflect on what a long way 160 miles is on a Tuesday night.

Lowestoft did not relent in their pressure, Francis firing a free kick over and then narrowly failing to connect with what would have been another free header. The lack of pace in the Ks line-up allowed Lowestoft to camp in the Ks half with a high defensive line. Although Bashiru Alimi gave the visitors a brief respite by forcing Andy Reynolds to save with his legs they remained under the cosh, with Scott Mitchell firing wide, Cockrill producing a Tolfrey save and adventurous right-back Andrew Cave-Brown clearing the crossbar.

No part-time side could hope to sustain Lowestoft's relentless tempo however, and as they slowed down Ks came back into the game. Alan Dowson took the opportunity to push Traynor up front in a 4-4-2 on 25 minutes and it reaped immediate dividends. Mo Harkin produced an excellent run and chipped to Traynor. Reynolds blocked his header but Alimi followed up with one of his own, generating impressive power on a slow-moving ball and finding the corner of the net.

Hustwick had to block a a Cockrill shot but it was Ks who then had the best of the game before half-time, although they were unable to turn a plethora of corners into clear chances on goal.

Refreshed after the break, Lowestoft got back in control of the game. Matt Nolan miskicked in a good position and then the home side capitalised on a poor Joe Dolan clearance but Michael Frew fired over. Frew managed to beat Tolfrey on 53 minutes only to see Tom Bird clear off the line before Sam Gaughran had an effort deflected over and Frew had two more chances but headed one wide while his own player blocked the other.

Ks were barely able to get out of their own half during this period of pressure but once again Lowestoft could not sustain their performance through 45 minutes and Ks had the better chances to win the game in the final half hour.

Harkin saw an effort blocked and the rebound fell to Traynor, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper. Ks were finally starting to open up their tiring hosts and Cave-Brown had to make a desperate block to deny Traynor after a fine through ball from substitute Allan Tait. Adam Thompson was next to try, only for Stuart Ainsley to clear his header off the line.

Jamie Forshaw shot over Tolfrey's bar but Ks had the best chance of the half in injury time. Bobby Traynor capitalised on a Greg Crane error and honed in on Reynolds' goal without a defender in sight. The division's top scorer would have surely been backed to grab three unlikely points for Ks but Reynolds made a superb reflex save to deflect the ball onto the crossbar and the points were shared.

Tue 15th Feb 2011
Crown Meadow
Isthmian League Premier
Lowestoft Town1
1Rob Tolfrey
2Max Hustwick
3Tom Bird
4Adam ThompsonCautioned
5Joe DolanCautioned
6Simon HuckleCautioned
7Bashiru Alimi
8Mo HarkinCautioned
9Bobby TraynorCautioned
10Paul Vines14
11Jordan Cheadle12
12Sam Clayton11
14Allan Tait10
15Antonio Gonnella
16Nicky Greene
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Grier