Craig Fleming philosophical over Lowestoft Town draw
Craig Fleming is happy with Lowestoft Town's unbeaten start to the new year – despite a frustrating goalless draw with Carshalton Athletic at Crown Meadow.
Both sides shared a host of chances in an entertaining stalemate on Saturday, but in the end the Trawlerboys had to settle for a point against resilient opponents.
Fleming, part of the management team at Crown Meadow, said: 'It was (frustrating); I've just said to them there was a bit of frustration knocking around after the final whistle but performance-wise I thought we were OK actually – pretty solid, created a lot of chances, it was just that on the day they didn't go in.
'It's just one of those things. We had Sam Gaughran hit the crossbar, Joe Francis had a couple of chances, Russell Stock had a good chance second half.
'Some days they go in, some days they don't, but the performance itself I thought was all right.'
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Town have a decent chance of maintaining their positive run when they travel to struggling Aveley on Monday night (7.45pm) – but will need to make more of their chances than they managed against the Robins.
Centre-back Gaughran came closest in the first half, flicking the top of the crossbar after a neat turn and shot following Francis' corner, while the winger drew a good save from Robins goalkeeper Craig Ross as he drilled from close range.
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Town had chances after the break too, with defender Greg Crane seeing his looping header cleared off the line and Russell Stock brilliantly carving open a chance less than a minute after coming on as a substitute – only to prod into the side-netting when he seemed certain to score.
But Lowestoft had things far from the own way, with quick-fire Chris Henry especially causing the hosts plenty of problems.
Indeed, the winger missed a glorious chance after Town keeper Andy Reynolds was caught in possession outside his area by Gary Noel – but Henry could only swing the ball wide of an open goal from 20 yards.
Noel's excellent diving header struck the foot of Reynold's post, while Anthony Joseph and full-back Justyn Roberts had late chances, as Athletic defended in numbers but continued to pose a threat all afternoon.
'They came and got 10 men behind the ball most of the game and it made it difficult for us, which a lot of teams have done here,' said Fleming.
'They were lively and had a bit of pace up top, so we couldn't really go gung ho. They were looking to catch us on the break, but all in all it's another point towards where we want to be.'
The Blues slipped a place to sixth in the Ryman Premier table following Saturday's draw and Tonbridge Angels' 3-1 home win over Billericay.
However, Town remain 10 points behind leaders Sutton United with five games in hand – and Fleming denied his side's failure to beat Carshalton puts any more pressure on having to win at Aveley.
'No, not at all – it's a long way until the end of the season and we're not going to win every game, that's for sure... but we'll try to,' he said. 'It's no extra pressure, it's just another game that we will go in there and want to win.
'We've got a decent enough squad, they're a fit bunch of boys. We've played the last three games and got seven points, and it's been a little tricky run of games.
'So if you had said that we would have seven points out of nine you would have taken it.
'It's a funny league and you see some crazy results knocking around, totally out of the blue. Midweek games are never easy but we will be there and up for it.'
Striker Lee McGlone will be in contention for a recall after missing Saturday's draw due to illness, as is newly-signed defender Joe Jefford.
Winger Adrian Forbes remains the only doubt with a niggling knee injury.
• Lowestoft Town (4-4-2): Reynolds 6; Cave-Brown 6, Crane 6, Gaughran 7, Smith 6; Mitchell 7, Cockrill 6, Fisk 7, Francis 6; Nolan 7 (Godbold 84, 6), Forshaw 6 (Stock 75, 7). Subs (not used): Ainsley, Halliday, Haynes-Brown.
• Carshalton Athletic (4-1-4-1): Ross 8; Hollis 6, Young 6, Ray 7, Roberts 7; Williams 6 (Pigden 73, 6); Ledgister 6, Boateng 6, Johnson 6, Henry 8 (A Joseph 77, 7); Noel. Subs (not used): Stevens, Williams.
• Referee: Steve Artis 6/10; Attendance: 733