Lowestoft Town’s day of destiny: Guide to the players
12:01 04 May 2014
Ahead of the Ryman League play-off final mark armstrong gives the lowdown on the Blues’ likely starting XI against Hornchurch
The summer signing from Canvey Island has been the bedrock of Lowestoft’s impressive back line this season. Has helped his side keep 22 clean sheets during the course of the campaign and his distribution has been excellent all season. Came through the Southampton academy and was in the same FA Youth Cup side as the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. A very good goalkeeper at this level.
Lowestoft’s Mr Versatile. Hasn’t let anyone down wherever he has been asked to play this season. Arrived at the club in the summer following his release by Ipswich Town amid much talk about what his best position is. In truth, that still hasn’t been resolved but he will be asked to play on the right of the Blues’ back four on Monday. Will get up in support of the forwards whenever he can and has shown a real eye for goal in the run-in. His two goals in the win over Bury in the penultimate league game of the season were crucial.
Lowestoft’s captain Marvel. Arrived at the club last season but missed a chunk of the campaign through a back injury. He has since become a mainstay at the heart of the Blues’ back four and often shows the kind of composure on the ball that many defenders at Step Three level lack. Well respected inside the Blues’ dressing room and his experience with of big games with the likes of Luton Town and Cambridge United could be invaluable.
Brought to the club in 2010 after being released by Peterborough and has been one of the club’s most consistent performers over the last few seasons. Attacks the ball well in both penalty areas and has chipped in with his fair share of goals this season. Has recently been named the club’s player of the season and has been a model of consistency in the back four.
Brought back to the club in the summer, the defender perhaps hasn’t played as big a part as anticipated by many. However, was given the nod over Adam Smith at left back in the play-off semi-final win over Bognor Regis and rewarded the management team with the equaliser before half-time. Won’t get caught out for pace at this level and his height against a physical AFC Hornchurch side could be vital.
Brings an X-factor to the Lowestoft Town squad and has the kind of pace that would worry defenders at all levels. After struggling to settle in his first season with the Blues following a move from Suffolk rivals Bury, he has since become a fans’ favourite at the Meadow. Often pops up with key goals and certainly won’t stick to the right flank. Watch out for him linking well with top goalscorer Jake Reed.
A real warrior at the heart of Lowestoft’s midfield. Despite being small in stature, the former Norwich City Academy prospect will seldom lose a tackle. Has been part of the Blues’ rise through the non-league pyramid and provides excellent protection to the Town back four. Don’t be surprised if you see the midfielder get a yellow card at some point.
A key signing at the start of the season after being released by Cambridge United. Often makes the game look so simple, choosing the sensible pass, providing the kind of defensive assurance that lets Lowestoft’s creative forces on the wings thrive.
A real Rolls-Royce of a midfielder at Step Three level. Technically, you won’t find a better player in the Ryman League Premier and, after playing a bit-part role last year, has become the side’s main creative outlet. Like Henderson, he will be allowed to wander off the left flank to influence the play and his eye for goal could prove vital in Monday’s final. Won’t be daunted by the occasion having played at Championship level with Norwich City during his early career.
Arrived on loan from Dereham Town towards the end of the season having helped the Magpies to an impressive campaign in the division below Lowestoft. Has the kind of physical presence up front that Lowestoft have lacked since Jack Defty broke his leg towards the end of last season. Has shown signs in his short time with the club of striking up a good partnership with Jake Reed.
The Blues star man. Has popped up with some key goals this season and his acquisition after being released by Dagenham & Redbridge has proved a real coup for the club. Displayed the kind of razor sharp predatory instinct fans have come to expect in getting the winner against Bognor Regis on Wednesday night.
Subs Jake Jessup: Capable young keeper who is still learning his trade. Stuart Ainsley: Unlikely to be in the starting XI but his versatility has proved valuable to the Blues’ management team. Adam Smith: Unlucky to be out the side but can’t complain after Curtis Haynes-Brown’s performance at left-back in the play-off semi-final win. Luke Bailey: Youngster has impressed for the Blues’ reserve team this season – earned his place on the bench. Michael Frew: A very useful squad member to have and more than capable of coming off the bench and getting a goal.