Crane 3 Lowestoft Railway 2
Division 4NECrane 3 Lowestoft Railway 2CRANE achieved yet another narrow victory to stand clear at the top of the division against a side that had beaten them soundly in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Crane 3 Lowestoft Railway 2
CRANE achieved yet another narrow victory to stand clear at the top of the division against a side that had beaten them soundly in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
They made heavy weather of it though by conceding inside the first minute. An accidentally raised hit from the halfway line looped high towards Crane sweeper Phil Larbey who opted to control the ball rather than let it hit his body. Crane expected play to be halted but as the defence dithered the opposing centre forward nipped in to score and teach the hosts a valuable lesson about playing to the whistle.
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Despite this set back, Crane set about their game plan with a purpose and created several good chances only to be thwarted by the excellent Lowestoft keeper, particularly a spell of four direct strikes at goal from a penalty corner that the keeper repelled.
Crane then slipped further behind as Lowestoft's second attack produced their second goal, a straightforward deflection from a cross from the left.
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As if things couldn't get any worse for Crane, Robin Johnson received a yellow card and there seemed no way back as they were reduced to 10 men.
Bizarrely, Crane started to really make some progress and moments later Craig Bloomfield's persistence resulted in him breaking through the defence and scoring.
Mark Campbell levelled things up from a penalty corner strike shortly afterwards and Crane were playing brilliantly.
The second half resulted in more of the same, with Lowestoft restricted to the odd chance and penalty corner whereas Crane mounted persistent pressure on the break.
That nearly brought the breakthrough when Campbell found Bristow at the top of the circle with a quickly taken free hit. Bristow turned and struck his shot only to see the keeper pull off an excellent diving save to send it high and wide.
The only goal of the half came soon afterwards as Crane put together a three-pass move that completely stranded the Lowestoft defence. Paul Muchal struck a sideline ball from the right into Bristow at the top of the circle, Bristow slipped the reverse pass to Bloomfield who had ghosted down the right hand channel, drawing the keeper. Bloomfield then cut back to Andel Williams who tucked away the winner.
Man of the match: Craig Bloomfield.