Heybridge Swifts were dumped out of the FA Cup by Ryman Premier Lowestoft Town but the game could have gone either way in mixed weather conditions.
Heybridge Swifts were dumped out of the FA Cup by Ryman Premier Lowestoft Town but the game could have gone either way in mixed weather conditions. Heybridge keeper Jason Willis was called into action early on when Michael Frew hooked the ball into the air and Willis stretched to tip the ball over the bar.
Heybridge got off to the perfect start immediately after on fourteen minutes when a run and cross from Ricky Griggs was tucked home from close range by prolific scorer Bertie Brayley from inside the six yard box.
Michael Frew got sight of goal on twenty minutes when he made room for himself and got past Crossley before turning a shot goalwards which Willis dived low to save. Swifts came close to doubling their lead shortly after when a darting run on the right from Griggs who beat the keeper Reynolds and crossed the ball in where Captain Crane almost sliced the ball into his own net.
Adam Smith turned two shots narrowly wide in the final eight minutes of the half, both from free kicks with the second a 30 yarder on the stroke of half time.
Lowestoft came out into the second half much stronger and determined to get back on level terms and hit the bar early on. The visitors applied more pressure just before the hour when a cross from Guentchen was knocked back across the face of goal by Mitchell only for Matt Nolan to head over the bar.
Heybridge defender Nathan Smith was forced into clearing off his own line on the hour when a low drive along the by-line was saved by Willis with the ball rebounding upwards where Smith cleared.
Lowestoft were always going to level and did so on 62 minutes when Nolan delivered from the left and Lubomir Guentchen headed home at the far post. The tie wasn’t level for long as the Suffolk side went up again on a counter attack and Michael Frew latched onto a long ball and controlled but defender Hawes nicked the ball away but only guided it into the path of Matt Nolan who took the ball forward and finished with a low drive past Willis.
Heybridge didn’t give up and two late chances in the final fifteen minutes showed the agony they were in at going behind, compounded by the fact that Luke Hammond was red carded for a second bookable offence.
Bertie Brayley saw the ball rebound nicely off a defender from Griggs’ deliver and Brayley smashed the ball goalwards but straight into the arms of keeper Reynolds. In the dying embers of the game Sean Crossley saw his snapshot blaze over from close range and had the same chance fallen to a striker it would surely have been buried.
The Suffolk side held firm and their second half comeback sees them into the next round of the Cup.