Lowestoft Town have chance to guarantee home advantage in play-offs
15:03 24 April 2012
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012
Lowestoft Town have the chance to go level on points with second-placed AFC Hornchurch this evening when they travel to Cray Wanderers in the Ryman League Premier Division.
Billericay’s 2-2 draw with Margate on Saturday gave them the point they needed to secure the title but Lowestoft could still guarantee home advantage in both the semi-final and final of the play-offs if they win their last two games.
They must also hope Hornchurch slip up on the final day against Leatherhead as the Essex side boast a much superior goal difference to the Trawlerboys.
At the very least Lowestoft must regain some of their early season momentum in their last two games ahead of the play-offs after they slipped to a disappointing defeat at home to Hastings at the weekend.
Director of football Craig Fleming admitted to a degree of frustration over the Blues’ recent form and hopes the whole club can pick itself up again and push for the runners-up spot.
“We’ve had disappointment along the way this season but we seemed to have lost that togetherness a little bit and we need to get it back,” said Fleming, who bemoaned his side’s poor defending against Hastings. “We are in the play-offs with a chance of being runners-up.
“We will get it back on the playing side definitely but the whole place needs to take stock of the situation and say let’s have a real crack at it.”
With Andy Reynolds out for the season after suffering an ankle ligaments injury against Hastings, 18-year-old Jake Jessup is set to be handed the goalkeeper’s jersey.
Lowestoft will once again be without a shot-stopper on the bench, just as they were at the weekend, with the management team preferring to have another attacking option.
Matt Nolan is unlikely to be risked due to a knee injury although there is better news on Dale Cockrill, who is training again after overcoming a back injury, which has blighted his season.
Cockrill is unlikely to play a part against Cray, who must win tonight to keep their play-off hopes alive, due to a lack of match fitness but Fleming confirmed the midfielder is ready to be called upon again if required.
“Dale is fit and now ready to play – he’s just now at a time when we can’t really risk him,” said Fleming, who will at least have captain Greg Crane available for selection after the defender completed his two-match suspension. “We will see how he is and you never know. We’ve got to take stock of everything now and start preparing for the play-offs.”