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Lowestoft Town 3-2 Kingstonian

If this was the night the opportunity of a late playoff surge was missed (and the maths would suggest there is still hope despite the pre-match 'must-win' mantra), it was also a game that will be remembered for two opportunities that were very much taken. At 2-0 down to Lowestoft within 20 minutes, having struggled to deal with crosses on both occasions, this looked like proving a dispiriting trip to deepest, darkest East Suffolk, but first Bobby Traynor and then Saheed Sankoh scored goals that few of the 50 Ks fans in attendance will forget.

Traynor's angled finish before the break was his 150th for the club. Played through by a canny pass from a Sam Clayton free-kick on the edge of the box, a routine often tried this season without success, the striker spun off the back of the wall and dragged the ball into the corner. 2-1 and game on.

Ten minutes after the re-start the comeback was complete. Sankoh picked up the ball 40 yards out, sailed past two Town defenders and smashed a 30 yard strike over Andy Reynolds into the middle of the goal. It was an extraordinary piece of skill that had the home side floundering. Sensing the win that would take them to within touching distance of 5th place, Ks started to play their best football of the night, the neat triangles of Tom Bird, Ryan Woods and Clayton forcing Lowestoft into desperate defending and niggly fouls.

Just as the momentum had swung K's way, Lowestoft's Ekran Okay, whose tackling had far from lived up to his name in the second half, was dismissed for a wild lunge. Down to 10 men, Lowestoft rallied, tightened up and sought to see out the game for a draw. There was even a song or two from their packed main stand.

Ks, and this proved crucial, stopped passing short and began pumping it long. With fifteen minutes left another devilish ball into the box caused panic in the away defence and referee John Magill spotted something - some Lowestoft fans claimed it was a tug on a shirt amid the melee - to award a penalty. Dean Sinclair sent Rob Tolfrey the wrong way to make it 3-2.

While Ks continued going forward they suddenly lacked the guile of the substituted pair of Matt Pattison and Ryan Woods and couldn't fashion one last clear-cut opening. Town had, it must be said, proved strong, the height of Greg Crane and Matt Nolan causing problems all night. But their opening two goals were gifted rather than created.

Chris Henderson had given them the lead in the 13th minute after the Ks defence assumed the ball had drifted out of play. Instead Sam Gaughran headed it back across goal for an easy header into the net. Lowestoft's second was no better, Andrew Fisk wandering into the box unchallenged. This was the defending of the first half of the Kingstonian season, not the rejuvenated second.

The positives: a memorable comeback against the odds almost brought a result at one of the league's best sides. If victories can be racked up from the final six league games, a finish with 73 points is possible - the exact total that enabled Harrow to sneak into 5th place last year (68 points were enough for K's in 2010).

Tue 27th Mar 2012
Crown Meadow
Isthmian League Premier
Lowestoft Town3
Traynor, Sankoh
1Rob Tolfrey
2Aaron Goode
3Tom Bird
4Gary MacDonaldCautioned
5Ian Gayle
6Simon HuckleCautioned
7Matt Pattison12
8Ryan Woods14
9Bobby TraynorCautioned
10Saheed Sankoh
11Sam Clayton
12Allan TaitCautioned7
14Louis-Rae Beadle8
15Chris Page
16Luke Wanadio
17Adam Faith
Match Report By
Taimour Lay