Mark Armstrong, EDP Sports Writer
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher has set his squad the target of reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup ahead of their second qualifying round tie at Wealdstone this afternoon.
The Blues chief wants his side to repeat their 2009 heroics when they reached the first round of the competition before narrowly losing out to Wrexham but knows fellow Ryman League Premier outfit Wealdstone won’t make it easy for them today.
“We want to go as far as we can in the competition and the target is to at least match what we did a few years ago before losing at Wrexham,” said Gallagher, whose side would have to win two more qualifying rounds after today to start mixing it with Football League clubs. “We’re under no illusions how tough it’s going to be but we would all love to repeat that because Wealdstone will make it as difficult as possible.
“Ideally you want a home tie against someone from a different league but we are always confident that when we get it right we are a match for anyone at this level.”
The Blues are still sweating on the fitness of Dale Cockrill, who is suffering from a slight knee injury, although Lewis Smith is fit to start if selected after coming off the bench at Hampton & Richmond last weekend following a hamstring strain.
Adam Smith is making good progress from the ankle injury sustained on the opening day of the season but today will come too soon for the full-back while Erkan Okay is still struggling to shrug off an ankle complaint.
Andy Reynolds looks likely to continue in goal after he was preferred to Jake Jessup last weekend although Gallagher hopes the youngster can continue pushing for a starting place.
“The management team have had several selection dilemmas already this season, none more difficult than choosing between Andy Reynolds and Jake Jessu,” he said. “We went with Andy, who has never let us down, but the challenge for Jake is is not to consider himself as the number two goalkeeper. He has been magnificent for us and he can consider himself unlucky not to be in the team – it’s so close between the two of them.
“Jake needs to make sure that he’s ready when next called upon and make it as hard as possible for us not to leave him out. They are driving each other on which is good news for all of us.”
Gallagher is happy with the way his side have started the season with the Blues currently sitting in fourth place in the league table. He has seen signs of improvement in every league game and believes when the squad is fully fit then there is even more to come.
“We’ve had a few little injuries here and there, which you get over the course of the season,” he said. “Hopefully, that will settle down and we will continue improving.”