Lowestoft Town boss says pressure on Billericay and Hornchurch in title race
12:00 30 March 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012
Lowestoft Town joint manager Micky Chapman has heaped all the promotion pressure on the sides above them, insisting the title is “theirs to throw away”.
Third-placed Lowestoft moved to within seven points of leaders Billericay with a game in hand on Tuesday night thanks to a 3-2 win over Kingstonian while AFC Hornchurch are also three points in front of the Blues having played a game more.
Chapman will be looking to put the squeeze on their promotion rivals this weekend at Concord Rangers but insists the sides above them remain in the driving seat.
“At the end of the day it’s in their hands and it’s theirs to throw away,” he said. “We’ll just keep concentrating on ourselves, ticking one game off at a time.
“Every game in this league is a tough one and we can only affect our own results. But we’ve got a lot of players with big hearts and really strong minds – I know that they will be able to handle the pressure.”
Lowestoft showed their determination to stay in the championship picture at Crown Meadow in midweek when Dean Sinclair’s late penalty gave them three crucial points despite being down to 10 men after Erkan Okay’s second half dismissal. The Blues had earlier squandered a two-goal lead, given to them by goals from Chris Henderson and Andrew Fisk, and Chapman admitted he had started to wonder if it was going to be their night.
“It was a really tough encounter,” he said. “We got off to a really good start and established a two-goal lead but then we started to take our foot off the gas a bit.
“We’ve learned a lot this season – you just cannot switch off. There’s a lot of good teams and a lot of good players in this league – we got done by a well worked free-kick and in the second half they scored a ‘worldy’.
“After the sending off we started to wonder whether it was going to be our night but we always believe in our boys. They have got great spirit and the lads just rallied and won the game.”
Chapman paid tribute to the composure showed by Sinclair as the former Norwich City midfielder showed a cool head to convert the spot-kick under intense pressure.
“I think you could hear a pin drop in the crowd. Everyone was willing it in but he’s a good player and we’re lucky to have him here.”