Lowestoft’s Craig Fleming won’t plan yet for FA Trophy draw
Craig Fleming is refusing to contemplate Lowestoft Town's progress in the FA Trophy until tonight's replay with Chippenham Town is settled.
The Trawler Boys are back at Crown Meadow after a 1-1 draw in the second qualifying round in the West Country at the weekend.
A home tie against Swindon Supermarine awaits the winners after yesterday's draw but Lowestoft's management team have only one game on his mind.
'The subject of the next round won't even come up for discussion until this one is out of the way. Then we can, hopefully, begin to plan,' said first team coach Fleming.
'It's good that it's at home, but Chippenham will be thinking the same thing.'
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Fleming is expecting a tough game tonight, but says he is 'quietly confident' of progressing.
'In truth I always feel that way with our boys,' he said. 'That's what I preach to them, that we can so it against most sides that we face.
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'Our ground has been a fortress for us in the recent past and we just have to make sure we use it that way again and we treat it in the same way we treat every other game.
'It will be tough, it will be physical and it will be very high tempo. They play an in-your-face direct style and we know it will be a big test.
'I think both sides would have come away at the weekend thinking that they could have won the game, but we get another go at it and we will be ready.'
Though the replay further complicated Lowestoft's fixture list – they now need to find a new date for their Suffolk Premier Cup tie against Newmarket – Fleming underlined the high priority the FA Trophy continues to hold.
'It's very important to us indeed,' he said. 'We believe from the Blue Square Premier down we can give anyone in this competition a game. We proved that against Wrexham last season and it is also important from the money-spinning side.
'We've still got to get through this one first, but the opportunity is there for this club to progress a long way.'
Lowestoft will have to decide whether to stick with on-loan Ipswich Town goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin or recall Andy Reynolds, who is available, otherwise, they select from the same squad.
Chippenham face the long trip east this afternoon but manager Adie Mings has warned Lowestoft not to consider their job against the Zamoretto League side half done.
'Lowestoft acquitted themselves well at our place, showing what a good side they are,' Mings said. 'But going there holds no fears for us. Our away record is not bad and drawing on Saturday just means we've got to get ourselves up there and do the job the hard way.
'It's going to be a tough ask for some of these players because they're all semi-professional, but we went to Gateshead last year and we'll have to go to Lowestoft and do it all again this time.
'(Long trips) are always good and you can have a little bonding session on the coach so we'll go and enjoy the journey if we can.
'They're a good bunch of lads and I'm sure a lot of them will do what they can to get time off (work), so we can go there and try and get a result.'
Swindon Supermarine – who play in the same division as Chippenham – await the winners on November 20 after coming from behind to beat Paulton Rovers.