Town win Cup semi final after dramatic late goals over the Trawler Boys at the Arden!
By Andy Chilton
Late, Late show sees The Blues march into the CSS League Cup Final!
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford Town 3 v 2 Lowestoft Town HT (0-1)
Tuesday 09 April, 2019 7.45pm
CSS SOUTHERN League Cup Semi Final
• And thus the whirligig of time…..
This was a topsy turvy game of football, full of incident and surprises with a pleasing denouement for the home faithful following the disappointment of the weekend’s game against Rushall. Chris Cox was to be the hero clinching the winner in a 5 goal thriller with a close-range header on 89 minutes.
With Jordan Williams and Jamie McAteer still injured Tom Fishwick came into the starting eleven partnered by Albi Skendi in central defence. Lewis Wilson and Nabil Shariff were rested and Will Grocott started. There was still no place for Mikey Taylor.
The game was barely a minute old when Travis Cole took a heavy knock while contesting an aerial ball with Dan Creaney. It seemed routine and innocuous at the time but Cole left the pitch, returned briefly, to retire for the duration on 6 minutes. We were to learn later that Cole had a suspected broken nose probably needing a hospital visit. Best wishes to the unfortunate Cole.
The game had barely restarted when the Trawlermen nearly took the lead. Kicking towards the Knights’ Lane end Jake Reed strode forward unchallenged on the right and his delightful cross only just evaded the onrushing Jacek Zicloka. Town responded and a superb Grocott volley (9 minutes) was turned aside by Elvijs Putnins.
Town was to have much the better of the first half in a surprisingly open encounter. Creaney was twice to head over and Grocott (34 minutes) and Carvalho (43 minutes) both missed golden opportunities. In between Lowestoft took the lead. Following a corner on 37 minutes a teasing cross was played back into the box and Dylan Williams was brave and quick in beating Ross Etherington to the ball to head home.
The second half was to prove even more frenetic with Lowestoft spurning two great opportunities to wrap the tie up. On 47 minutes Skendi fouled Jake Reed just inside the area and from the subsequent penalty Etherington saved magnificently from the star striker. On 54 minutes Adam Schaar was clean through the centre and from 12 yards he was over deliberate with his strike and Fishwick cleared off the line, the ball miscuing into Etherington’s arms.
This signalled the introduction of Mikey Taylor and his pace and energy seemed to galvanise the Town boys. Wilson Carvalho was nearly in being pulled back by Adam Tann (yellow card) and Taylor rounded Putnins only to see his shot from a tight angle hacked off the line. In between Town achieved parity in the strangest of circumstances. A Grocott corner fell at the feet of Cox (63 minutes) and his weak shot went through a crowd of players before ‘nutmegging’ the surprised Putnins. Embarrassment for the otherwise excellent keeper.
With both sides stretched Lowestoft quickly restored the advantage. A routine long ball caught out the Town defence and as Fishwick and Etherington dithered Schaar nipped in but was felled by the Town keeper just inside the area. A yellow for Etherington and no chance from Deeks’ thunderous spot kick.
The game was to ebb and flow and it wasn’t until the 86th minute that Town restored parity. Following a period of pressure the ball fell kindly to Carvalho who fired home from close range. Three minutes and later and Cox headed in from Grocott and rapture as the popular wing back took the plaudits of the ecstatic young Townites behind the Knights’ Lane goal. A late Lowestoft corner deep in stoppage time caused a few flutters but the mood in the camp, and the bar, after the game was distinctly upbeat at the thought of a final next week against Cinderford.
• And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges. Twelfth Night Act5 Scene1
Man of the Match Chris Cox
Saturday 13 April 3.00pm Royston (H) EvoStik PDC