Lowestoft Town 3-0 AFC Hornchurch (partially found footage of Isthmian League Premier Division play-off final; 2014)

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The Trawlerboys celebrate promotion to the Conference North after four consecutive play-off finals.

Status: Partially Found

On 5th May 2014, Lowestoft Town hosted AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian League Premier Division play-off final to determine which side would play within the Conference next season. The encounter was ultimately won by Lowestoft, who finally earned a promotion to the Conference North after losing the previous three play-off finals.


At the conclusion of the 2013-14 Isthmian League season, Wealdstone became champions and were promoted to the Conference South after accumulating 96 points.[1] By contrast, Lowestoft and Hornchurch finished fourth and fifth, scoring 84 and 83 points respectively.[1] Both were behind Kingstonian and Bognor Regis Town, who were both on 85 points, with the former ahead on goal difference.[1] The four teams qualified for the play-offs, with Kingstonian hosting Hornchurch, and Bognor Regis taking on Lowestoft.[2][3] With both matches held on 30th April, Hornchurch defeated Kingstonian 1-0, while Lowestoft came from behind to beat Bognor Regis 2-1 in a match self-regarded as the team's best.[2][3][4] Since Lowestoft were the higher placed side, the final would be held at its ground, Crown Meadow.[3][1]

For Lowestoft, it was a case of déjà vu, as they had previously reached the play-off final on three consecutive occasions.[5][4] However, they had lost all three encounters.[5][4] In the 2010-11 season, Lowestoft were narrowly beaten 4-3 by Tonbridge Angels.[6] In 2011-12, they were actually defeated by rivals Hornchurch 2-1 after extra time.[7] The 2012-13 encounter was the first where Lowestoft held the home advantage, but they lost 2-1 to Concord Rangers.[8] Thus, Lowestoft were seeking to end their cursed streak while also achieving vengeance against Hornchurch.[9][5][4] Meanwhile, Hornchurch were relegated back to the Isthmian League after a year in Conference South, but were motivated to make another immediate return.[10][9] Both sides were missing key players, but were nevertheless still considered solid teams heading into the final.[4][7]

The Match

The final itself occurred on 5th May in front of 2,697 fans.[4][5] Lowestoft initially gained the upper hand with a few close calls within the first ten minutes.[5][4][7] However, the hosts suddenly lost Jordan Henderson to injury, and Hornchurch nearly capitalised on this with some crosses that forced Lowestoft goalkeeper Ashlee Jones to tip a shot just over the crossbar at one point.[5][4][7] However, in a counter-attack, Ross Jarvis hit the ball with his arm, but the officials failed to notice.[5][4] It enabled him to pass to Robert Eagle, who beat the goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to Lowestoft after 29 minutes.[5][4][7] By half-time, Lowestoft were deemed the stronger side, with Hornchurch failing to capitalise on the corners they received.[5][4][7]

Just four minutes into the second-half, Lowestoft doubled their lead thanks to Jake Reed, who scored his 20th goal of the season.[5][4][7] The Trawlerboys began to control the game, and were rewarded when Curtis Haynes-Brown received a header and hit a low volley to make it 3-0 after 59 minutes.[5][4][7] Later on, Haynes-Brown almost made it 4-0, but was ultimately blocked.[5][4][7] Regardless, Hornchurch appeared disorganised, and were now unable to establish opportunities now that the hosts opted for a defensive formation.[5][4][7] Hence, Lowestoft won the encounter 3-0, much to the delight of the fans who invaded the pitch in celebration that their team had finally been promoted to the Conference North.[1][4][5][7]


A seven-minute highlights package was available on Football Exclusives, which was also uploaded to YouTube on 7th May 2014. But aside from this package, no other footage has emerged, and it is unclear as to the status of the uncut tape of the match.



Football Exclusives' highlights of the game.

See Also