Regent Relief For 3 Points
Brightlingsea Regent completed a double over Lowestoft Town which almost virtually confirms safety
Tom Rothery and his team came into this game on the back of the disappointing late defeat at Enfield Town last Saturday.
The R’s had dominated most of that match but lapses of concentration had cost them dear. The Regent manager would be looking for a reaction from his players and the points that would go a long way to securing Premier Division football next season.
The first half began with both sides looking to be positive and move the ball quickly into the wide areas where their pace could create problems for the opposition.
Whenever either team did this they looked dangerous but both defences were looking fairly solid and good chances were limited. Lowestoft did win a few corners early on but James Bradbrook in the R’s goal and his defenders dealt with these well, frustrating the large contingent of Lowestoft fans behind the Regent Road goal.
Brightlingsea looked lively in the final third with Jake Clowsley’s energy and endeavour a constant thorn in the Lowestoft side. They were beginning to force some corners and chances of their own. An Aaron Condon strike following an R’s corner forced Elvijis Putnins in the Lowestoft goal to save smartly at his near post and then react again to deny George Keys from a yard out.
Regent were working hard all over the pitch and on twelve minutes they got their reward. Billy Hunt picked up the ball in midfield and ran at the centre of the Lowestoft defence. He broke a tackle before before firing a left footed shot from the edge of the box into the corner of Putnin’s net. 1-0 Regent.
The goal seemed to knock Lowestoft and certainly it quietened their travelling fans who had been very vocal until then.
Brightlingsea began to look the more likely to go on and score a second but the Trawlermen held on and as the teams trooped off at half time it was still all to play for.
Tom Rothery was forced to make a change at half time with Ricky Griggs replacing the hard working TJ Amass due to the latter carrying an injury.
Rothery and his coaching team would have been conscious that less than perfect game management and lapses in concentration had cost the R’s dear at Enfield.
A second goal would surely put this game to bed and Brightlingsea were exerting a lot of pressure on the Lowestoft defence forcing more corners and having two strong penalty appeals turned down by the referee.
The first saw Billy Hunt floored by Ross Marshall which led to the Regent striker being booked for diving much to the surprise of anyone who actually saw the incident. The second saw George Keys dragged to the floor as he attempted to collect a ball spilled by the Lowestoft keeper.
The visitors were now on the back foot and when they did manage to get forward their attacks were more than capably dealt with by R’s skipper Matt Cripps and his central defending partner Josh Gould who were both outstanding all afternoon.
New signing Michael Gage made another very assured substitute appearance in midfield replacing young Tom Dunningham who had once again demonstrated real maturity and ability in his performance.
The Brightlingsea faithful were starting to look at their watches, convincing themselves that the three points were safe and a rare clean sheet was in the offing. This was finally confirmed when on 90 minutes Regent appealed for their third penalty.
Billy Hunt was brought down by Andrew Fisk and this time the referee did point to the spot. The R’s number nine stepped up to take it himself and fired straight down the middle to make it 2-0.
Game over, a vital three points and clean sheet.
Report by Gavin Aplin