Last-gasp penalty winner for Lowestoft

TWO first-half goals from Jamie Godbold and a dramatic stoppage-time penalty by Darren Cockrill wrapped up a glorious season for Lowestoft Town at Portman Road last night.

Elvin King

TWO first-half goals from Jamie Godbold and a dramatic stoppage-time penalty by Darren Cockrill wrapped up a glorious season for Lowestoft Town at Portman Road last night.

They completed a double after winning the Ridgeons League Premier Division title, but Needham Market pushed them all the way in a pulsating, end-to-end LB Group Suffolk Premier Cup final.

Needham hit back well after the break to score twice and equalise, but a late trip on substitute Ally McKenna gave Cockrill the chance to win the game for the FA Vase semi-finalists.


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Needham, who beat Ipswich Town in the semi-final, went behind in the 15th minute when a long ball from the left found Godbold in space on the right side of the area. Godbold cut inside and beat Liam Jones with a neat finish into the far corner.

And it was no surprise when the north Suffolk side added a second goal in the 29th minute when Gary McGee did good work inside the penalty area before sending a low ball skidding across the six-yard box.

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The ball evaded Jones, and Kevin Horlock was unable to intercept leaving Godbold alone at the far post to tap the ball into the net.

It could easily have been three two minutes later when Needham failed to clear a cross from the right and McGee headed down and against the foot of a post - with Needham able to clear as the ball ran loose in front of goal.

With former Norwich City defender Craig Fleming - now the Lowestoft coach - watching astutely from the back of the lower stand, the Trawlermen looked to have control of the game.

But in the 35th minute, Danny Phillips turned well away from his marker to bring a superb save out of Andy Reynolds in the Lowestoft goal. From the corner, Craig Parker sent a skimming shot across goal and a foot beyond the far post.

Good work by the impressive Phillips set up Pat Bexfield for a deep cross that a leaping Craig Parker almost converted with a flying header in the 52nd minute.

Needham pulled a goal back in the 66th minute when Phillips was unmarked beyond the far post to drill a shot into the goal at the near post through the keeper's legs.

Tommy Smith was unmarked in front of goal, but shot at Reynolds, before Needham equalised in the 69th minute after a run down the left by substitute Jon Sparks. He thumped over a cross and Smith was free at the far post to head powerfully high into the net from eight yards.

In stoppage time Danny Thrower sent an 18-yard free-kick through the wall - the ball hitting Reynolds and going for a corner.

But there was more late drama to come with Craig Parker tripping McKenna on the corner of the penalty area. Cockrill took two paces and placed the spot kick into the corner to Jones's left.

Amazingly, there was still time for Parker to almost make amends when his close-range backward header was plucked from under the bar by Reynolds.

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