Lowestoft Town loan striker tipped to be big hit ahead of Ryman League Premier clash with Wealdstone

Lowestoft Town joint-boss Ady Gallagher has tipped new signing Sam Newson to be a big hit at Crown Meadow ahead of their Ryman League Premier clash against high-flying Wealdstone this afternoon.

The 24-year-old striker signed on a three-month loan deal from Needham Market earlier this week and Gallagher believes the striker is capable of reproducing the goalscoring heroics that saw Gillingham offer a trial to him last year.

A knee injury put paid to Newson's dreams of a move to the League Two club but Gallagher is confident he can hit the goalscoring heights that got him noticed by the Gills again at Crown Meadow.

'He has scored lots of goals wherever he's been,' said Gallagher, whose side have been a striker light since Nathan Stone moved back to Leiston in October.

'If we can keep creating the chances that we have been then I'm certain he will be able to benefit.

'Myself and Mick tried to sign him three or four seasons back but he decided to stay where he was at the time before going on to Needham Market.

'He became available and we decided to bring him in – he's showed in the past that he's got an eye for goal and hopefully he can show that for us.'

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Today's clash at home to Wealdstone represents a big test for the Blues, who remain without several key players through injury.

Although Lowestoft knocked today's visitors out of the FA Cup in September, it is the Stones who have kicked on with them sitting just a point off top spot in the league with two games in hand.

Gallagher's side cannot afford Wealdstone to extend the six-point advantage they already enjoy over the Trawlerboys and hopes his troops can draw confidence from their win at St Georges Stadium earlier in the season.

'We've got a very good record against them and when we played them earlier in the season we were fantastic – that will give us a lot of confidence going into the game,' he said.

'It's frustrating on one level in that we will be without several players again and we would want to face these with them all available.

'But that's football and we know we've got a squad full of players capable of competing at this level. We just need to make sure we stay in touch with the leaders at the moment.'

Joe Francis returns from suspension this afternoon while Stuart Ainsley could play some part after recovering from an ankle injury sustained against Lewes recently.

Dan Gleeson (back), Andy Reynolds (knee), and Greg Crane (ankle) remain sidelined but there is better news on Adam Smith, who could play for the reserves today after making good progress on the shin injury sustained on the opening day of the season at Whitehawk.