Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher hoping winner can be turning point for Michael Frew
Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher hopes Michael Frew's wonderful injury-time winner can be the catalyst for the striker to rediscover his goalscoring form.
The 27-year-old has played a bit-part role in recent weeks, but took centre stage against Carshalton Athletic on Saturday with a superlative 25-yard strike that kept Lowestoft's promotion challenge alive, despite being reduced to 10 men after Nathan Stone's second-half dismissal.
Gallagher believes Frew's contribution highlighted the strength in depth the Blues boast, and wants the former Corby man to build on his goal.
'It has been a frustrating time for him this season,' said Gallagher. 'He started the season very well, but then had an indifferent spell in the middle.
'He has found himself on the bench recently, not getting much game time, but it just highlights the strength that we've got in depth that a player can come on and produce that sort of thing.
'I hope for his sake that it can give him a lift and he can go on to make more really telling contributions for us.'
Gallagher admitted the Blues made things a lot more difficult for themselves than they needed to after Robert Eagle had twice given his side the lead only to be pegged back by goals from Paul Vines and Sonny Ayres.
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Carshalton looked the more likely to get a winner after Stone's sending off when the former Leiston man was booked twice in the space of 30 seconds, first for a foul and then for contesting the decision, and Gallagher, admitted to a degree of frustration despite gaining all three points.
'We made the game too hard for ourselves,' said Gallagher, whose side closed to within three points of second-placed Hornchurch with a game in hand after they lost to Wealdstone, while Billericay realistically need just a point from their remaining two games to be crowned champions.
'I do love these lads to bits – there's no shortage of ability to fight back. But why torture yourselves when you have to show that kind of character? Save it for special days in really closely competitive games, not games when you should be out of sight like this.
'It's been a frustrating performance, but I take my hat off to the lads – the quality they showed to win the game with 10 men shows how much ability they have got.'
Gallagher admitted to being puzzled over Stone's red card and felt sympathy for the striker, who was making his first start for the Blues.
'I was disappointed because the referee has not booked anybody in the first half, including one for a late tackle when one of our lads could have gone through on goal,' he said. 'He has then all of a sudden produced two yellow cards and I just thought it was a bit officious at that time.'
Gallagher admitted Lowestoft are targeting second place, but wants to finish as high as possible for home advantage in the play-offs.
'Mathematically we're still in with a shout of winning the league, but realistically we would be hugely reliant on Billericay losing next week to give us that chance in the last game,' he said. 'Second place is still up for grabs which would be a great achievement given how far we've come as a club.'