The Ryman Football League
Published 3rd May 2012
....and that seems a fitting climax to the season as the clubs finished the season in second and third place respectively, both with eighty-three points.
Lowestoft scraped through their home semi-final against Wealdstone on Wednesday night.
Dean Sinclair’s penalty in the 5th minute of added time produced a 2-1 victory over a Wealdstone side by then reduced to nine-men.
Chris Henderson had given the Trawlerboys a 21st minute lead but Wealdstone gradually gained the upper hand and it was no surprise when Scott Fitzgerald levelled the scores in the 63rd minute.
The Stones might have been the favourites at that stage but they proceeded to shoot themselves in both feet, losing Chris O’Leary to a second yellow card and, shortly afterwards, Sean Cronin to a straight red.
It looked as if they would hang on to force extra-time, although the odds would have been stacked against them, but Lowestoft have become notorious for scoring late winners and they did it again.
It was more comfortable for Hornchurch as they beat Bury Town 3-1 with an outstanding second half performance.
Bury started brightly and John Sands went close with a header. But the Urchins soon had the upper hand. The lively Lewis Smith was twice denied by excellent saves by Marcus Garnham and then fired a shot against the bar.
The visitors almost grabbed the lead 3 minutes after the interval when Sam Reed’s shot was turned on to a post by home keeper Joe Woolley. He then collected the corner that followed and launched a punt downfield which bounced over Garnham.
Bury scrambled the ball out for a corner which was half-cleared to Smith on the left of the penalty area and he drilled in a low shot to give Urchins the lead.
It was 2-0 just 5 minutes later, Smith this time the provider with a low cross which was turned in by Martin Tuohy for his thirty-first goal of the season.
Bury pulled one back in the 64th minute with the goal of the night, a long-range drive by Billy Clark which screamed into the top corner of the net.
Hornchurch regained their two-goal lead 8 minutes later as Tuohy broke on the right and crossed low for Carl Rook. Garnham saved his shot at point-blank range but the ball bounced back on to Rook and cannoned into the net.
The Urchins never looked in danger of letting the game slip and it took a goalline clearance to deny Tuohy his second of the night.