Gloucester City picked up a vital three points in an ill-tempered affair against Lowestoft Town.
A late first half penalty from Billy Jones and a brilliant solo goal from Femi Orenuga secured Tim Harris’ side victory despite playing for 40 minutes with 10 men after new signing Sahr Kabba was dismissed for an off the ball incident.
However the sides were level on numbers in the 55th minute as Lee Smith picked up a red card after a lunging challenge.
The Tigers’ afternoon could’ve been even better but Harry White will have nightmares over a goal-line miss after being excellently played in by Orenuga; but on a similar note, Lowestoft’s Jake Reed will wonder how he didn’t convert from four yards.
The win was vitally important in a six pointer as Gloucester extended the gap between them and the relegation zone.
The Tigers started the game at a thunderous pace, with Kabba making a bursting run that Erkan Okay recovered well.
Kabba was at the heart of the action again with an excellent header from six yards out that went wide.
The frenetic pace continued, and the next opportunity fell to the Trawlerboys’ Jake Reed but goalkeeper Paul White spectacularly saved from four yards.
Then came the moment of contention, as the hotshot Kabba was dismissed for an off the ball incident that only the linesman apparently saw, much to a bemused Tigers team and bench.
However the 10 man Tigers line-up committed themselves to the cause and were by far the better team and should’ve gone into the lead but Harry White unbelievably blazed over the bar from a metre out.
Another open goal came and went, this time for Lowestoft, where Omar Sowunmi fired wide from four yard much to the Tigers relief.
The end of the half was mired in more controversy as White was brought down clumsily by Ashlee Jones who only picked up a yellow card for his last man challenge.
But, it was a formality from the penalty spot as Billy Jones slotted past his namesake for his third goal in four games.
As City looked at facing a second half with only ten men, they received a lifeline when Lee Smith was dismissed for a two-footed tackle on Chris Knowles; luckily for the Tigers, Knowles was fine.
Almost immediately City took advantage of the parity through the excellent Orenuga who took the ball from deep and sneaked it through Jones for a second.
Tom Webb was a man on a mission after beating four Lowestoft defenders but messed up the final finish.
The outstanding Lewis Hall could’ve added a third without an excellent save by the Lowestoft goalkeeper.
Brought on as a substitute late, the Frenchman Mo Diop impressed on his home debut with a unconventional run past five Lowestoft men but after playing in Hall Jones recovered well.
It was a truly dominant display from the Tigers who recorded a much needed victory to open a gap between them and the relegation zone.
Gloucester City: P. White, M. Green, B. Jones, J. Harris, S. Avery, C. Knowles, F. Orenuga (A. Connolly 68), T. Webb, H. White (M. Diop 78), S. Kabba , L. Hall
Subs not used: M. Richards, C. Griffin, J. James
Goals: Jones pen 45, Orenuga 54
Lowestoft Town: A. Jones, O. Sowunmi, J. Ainsley, E. Okay (R. Eagle 78), D. Gleeson, S. Gaughran, L. Smith, R. Jarvis, J. Reed (D. Mason 68), D. Crow, S. Bammant (A. Fisk 59)
Subs not used: B. Woods-Garness, J. Jessup