Lowestoft Town aim for first win of 2014 ahead of East Thurrock United’s visit to Crown Meadow
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Lowestoft Town are yet to taste victory in 2014 but could have an ideal opportunity to grab that first win of the year tonight.
East Thurrock United arrive at Crown Meadow without a win in their last 10 matches and just above the Ryman Premier relegation zone.
The Essex side were beaten 1-0 by the Trawlerboys in the semi-finals of the play-offs last season and seem to be suffering from a hangover from that disappointment.
Lowestoft lost their second successive match on Saturday, when local rivals Bury Town beat them 3-1 at Crown Meadow.
Joint manager Ady Gallagher wants to see his players make up for that result tonight. 'We had our chances but we were disappointed with the performance right through,' Gallagher said.
'The players were nowhere near what we would expect or what the players would expect from themselves. We had been on a decent run of form up to two or three games ago but we have dropped our standards and things haven't quite gone for us.
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'We need to show more fight and desire to get back on track.'
Play-off pain could well fuel East Thurrock for the match tonight and Gallagher says he and joint managers Micky Chapman and Craig Fleming will not allow their players to underestimate the Rocks.
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'No game is easy at this level so whether they've not won for 10 games or are unbeaten for 10 is irrelevant to me,' Gallagher continued.
'And I'm pretty sure for them they will be looking to kick-start their season with a result against us and, as with most teams at this level, they will see a game against us a massive one to go and win.
'We need to respond to one of our poorest performances of the season and we will definitely be looking for a response from Saturday from the players.
'We know the players have got enough about them to put in a very much workmanlike and honest performance, and when they do that their quality will shine through and make the difference.
'They're still a very good side. It often happens when a club misses out in the play-offs that other teams take their best players. 'That's possibly weakened them but they were on a fantastic run before we beat them in the play-offs last year and when we went there earlier this season (Lowestoft winning 1-0 in September).
'So we know they will be a well organised team that plays in a certain way and that it will be another tough game. We can't underestimate anyone in this league.'
Central midfielder Rossi Jarvis is a doubt for tonight after coming off at half-time of Saturday's match with a hamstring problem Defender Dan Gleeson (foot) and striker Jake Reed (knee) both picked up knocks during the Bury game as well and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
- Follow the Trawlerboys' progress this evening with reporter David Freezer at www.edp24.co.uk, or on Twitter @DaveFreezer