Lowestoft relishing Bury play-off test
Lowestoft joint boss Ady Gallagher insists the Blues will have no inferiority complex when they face Suffolk rivals Bury Town tomorrow bidding to move within one game of promotion to the Conference South.
The Blues emerged from a tense final day of the regular Ryman Premier Division season to seal their play-off semi-final spot with a 4-1 win at Folkestone.
The Trawlerboys now face a sudden death shoot out at Bury for the right to meet either Tonbridge or Harrow Borough this weekend in their bid to clinch a third consecutive promotion.
Lowestoft lost 1-0 to Bury at Crown Meadow on Easter Monday and were also knocked out of the Suffolk Premier Cup to the same opponents – but Gallagher believes the Blues will travel in bullish mood.
'We've played them three times and we haven't scored against them, as they have told us, but I feel we have played well enough in all those games to get something,' he said. 'I'm sure they will be very confident because they don't think we are as good as them and they've told us that - so we'll look forward to it. The games that have gone don't count for anything now. As I said after last Monday's game, 'Do I feel Bury are a better side than us? No. Are they a better footballing side than us? No, I really don't think so.' It's down to us to prove it on the day. We want to be playing Conference South football next year and in order to do that we have to get results in crucial games. We've now got one, possibly two games, left to get to where we want to be.'
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Gallagher has downplayed the significance of home advantage for the winner-takes-all derby contest.
'It's only an hour and a half up the road for us so I don't think that will make a huge difference,' he said. 'Our pitch isn't great anyway so if you are going away you want to go the nearest place. We know we can play well on their pitch.
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'They'll be chuffed with home advantage, but we played well there in the league game. We mixed the team up in the Suffolk Premier Cup game but in the league it was 0-0 and in the second half I thought we were excellent without getting our rewards.'
Gallagher believes just reaching the play-offs is a measure of his club's progress up the non league ladder after an injury-hit campaign.
'We've had two promotions on the trot coming into this league,' he said. 'We lost Matty Nolan practically for the whole season, Michael Frew then comes to the club and starts to get a nice partnership going up front, and he breaks his ankle. We've had Forbesy (Adrian Forbes) injured on and off with a knee problem and now (Jamie) Forshaw pulls his hamstring in this game. Given the amount of problems we have had to forward players I think it is an outstanding achievement to finish in a play-off spot. 'We did start the season well but we never had a full squad and that has remained the case. It's one of our greatest achievements to get to this stage, given all the problems we have had. Now we've got here what do you do? Reflect and pat everyone on the back or do you try and kick on and win the games to come. That is what we'll try to do.'