Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher saluted the coolness displayed by Dean Sinclair after the midfielder’s late penalty booked a play-off final date against AFC Hornchurch on Monday.

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The Blues’ promotion dreams are very much alive after Sinclair’s 95th minute spot-kick saw off nine-man Wealdstone and gives the Trawlerboys a golden opportunity to banish the play-off final heartache from last season when they lost to Tonbridge.

And Gallagher paid tribute to Sinclair, who looked the calmest man inside Crown Meadow before stepping up to stroke his penalty home after Lubo Guentchev had been fouled.

“To see Dean Sinclair step up as composed as that was fantastic – he was the coolest man in the ground,” said Gallagher. “He has scored some big goals for us and he has had some big games for us since his arrival.”

Gallagher felt his side were worthy winners on the evening with his side looking far superior in the first period and well worth their half-time lead given to them by Chris Henderson’s close-range strike.

Scott Fitzgerald levelled matters just after the hour mark when the referee adjudged his header to have crossed the line, but the visitors were left to count the cost of two dismissals in the space of three minutes late on.

“I was chuffed with our lads and the way they kept their discipline,” said Gallagher. “We’ve beaten a good side tonight – I thought we controlled it in the first half, but in the second they came back into it.

“We kept plugging away – I thought that it was heading for extra time, but I always felt confident that we could get a result.

“It’s never easy with Lowestoft – we know that!”

Gallagher admitted Wednesday’s win will count for nothing unless the Blues can finish the job off on Monday when they go to Hornchurch, who beat Bury Town 3-1.

“All the lads have put in a shift but there’s no point in getting too carried away – we have been here before,” he said.

“We’re not over-celebrating because there’s still a job to be done.”

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