December 22 2013 Latest news:
By Steve Rogers
Monday, September 9, 2013
Hendon blogger Steve Rogers gives his verdict on Saturday’s 3-2 victory away at Lowestoft Town.
Back in April, on the last day of last season, I made the long journey to Lowestoft by train, only to see us have two men sent off in the first half-hour, and lose 1-0. Nine hours of travelling for that! It must be said that the nine men actually played very well…
On Saturday I returned to Lowestoft with another nine-hour round trip (I live in Luton so have to get into London before heading out to Ipswich and beyond). Was it to be a happier journey home this time?
After a minute of the game, I think we all feared the worst. We gave away a penalty, and our former loan striker Bradley Woods-Garness stepped up and scored the spot kick.
“Here we go again,” said one of my fellow travellers - but if truth be told, Lowestoft rarely tested us in the remainder of the half.
We had plenty of possession, but possibly showed them a bit too much respect at times, and didn’t create much in the way of clear cut chances. But nor did they.
That defensive solidity that was there in the past couple of games was there again, and Woods-Garness was seeing very little of the ball.
And so to the second half. Whatever Gary McCann said worked. Within five minutes we were back on level terms, and within another five we were ahead. Both were well-worked goals, a first for the club for Jack Bennett and a first of the season for Junior Morias.
Then, against the run of play, Lowestoft equalised. To be fair it was a goal worthy of a much higher stage - not just for the finish from Robert Eagles, but also due to the cross from Michael Frew. It was a goal that is very difficult to defend against, and no real criticism can be pointed at anyone.
However, we were to have the last say as Sam Flegg scored the winner shortly before the end of normal time. There was five minutes of stoppage-time to endure, but we saw that out comfortably.
It has to be said, Lowestoft are not good losers, and they do like to get in the face of the referee.
Yet this referee was having none of it, and he had an excellent game, keeping his cards firmly in his pocket until the dying minutes.
Lowestoft also get rattled easily when things start going against them, and if clubs can take advantage of that in the right way, I can see them losing plenty more games this season.
Lowestoft were one of the pre-season favourites but, based on this performance, they are definitely not as good as the last two or three seasons, despite making two or three astute signings.
Until this game they had a 100 per cent record at home and hadn’t conceded a goal, but we wrecked that record beautifully. They are now only three points ahead of us in the table.
Getting back to us, we were simply excellent in the second half - it was a real team performance.
Charlie Horlock was excellent in goal, claiming everything in the air, and he had no chance with the equaliser.
The back four look so much more solid, the engine room in midfield kept things ticking over nicely and the front men worked very hard to work those openings.
We have what will now be a rare away game at Earlsmead (which is also our home ground) this evening as we play our away fixture against our ground sharers Harrow Borough, who also won on Saturday, before beginning our FA Cup journey on Sunday with a home tie against Biggleswade United.
The FA Cup is extremely important for clubs at our level with the prize money on offer, and our record in the competition in recent years has been excellent. Hopefully we can continue that this season.