Blues suffer bitter blow as derby day defeat seals fate

Lowestoft Town v Needham Market 18th April 2022.

Heads up for Lowestoft's Tai Fleming against Needham Market at Crown Meadow. - Credit: Shirley D Whitlow

Lowestoft Town FC have been relegated from the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central division after two defeats in the space of three days.

Having picked up four points from their two league matches the previous week, hopes of a great escape had been raised.

But as they battled for survival The Blues fate was sealed with one match still to play after a derby day 0-1 home defeat to Suffolk rivals Needham Market on Easter Monday.

It came after they had matched their play off chasing hosts for much of last Saturday’s clash away at Alvechurch.

Teenage striker Josh Harvey skimmed the post and Adam Tann headed just over in the first half.

But against the run of play, Lowestoft were hit by two goals in the space of eight minutes just before the interval that eventually saw the home side triumph 2-0.

This defeat, coupled with the 0-1 loss in front of 485 fans at Crown Meadow on Monday afternoon and results elsewhere, has left Lowestoft six points off safety with just the one game remaining tomorrow (Saturday).

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Jamie Godbold’s men will head to the West Midlands tomorrow to take on fourth placed Rushall Olympic for their final match of a tough campaign.

The Blues cause was not helped as leading scorer Jake Reed limped off with an ankle injury that has hampered him for the past month within the opening 15 minutes of Monday’s match.

Eventually, with results elsewhere and a victory needed, Lowestoft were hit as they pushed for the opening goal and Harvey Sayer’s 55th minute effort proved to be the difference - a cross that eluded everyone before bouncing up and going in off the unfortunate keeper Luis Tibbles.

Ryan Jarvis, Kieran Higgs and Harry Knights all went close as Lowestoft pressed for a way back into the game, but The Marketmen held firm.

Reed, who had scored twice in five minutes against Rushall at Crown Meadow in September as Lowestoft recovered from 0-2 down before they were eventually hit by a 90th minute winner, is likely to be a doubt for tomorrow’s trip to take on The Pics at the Dales Lane stadium.

The home side have sealed their play off spot, but it all to play for in terms of final positions so another tough task is likely to await Godbold’s young squad.