Lowestoft Town pair face fitness tests

Lowestoft Town pair Andrew Cave-Brown and Scott Mitchell face late fitness tests to see if they can figure in the Blues' FA Cup third qualifying round tie against Chelmsford City this afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

Cave-Brown tweaked his thigh during the Blues' 1-1 draw against Canvey Island earlier this month while Mitchell has been sidelined with a hip flexor problem sustained against East Thurrock United.

The Trawlerboys appear to have finally emerged from an injury crisis which saw them without seven first team regulars for the trip to Wealdstone last weekend.

Andy Reynolds has recovered from a back problem and is likely to replace Jake Jessup between the sticks despite the youngster's impressive performance last Saturday although today's tie comes too soon for star man Lubo Guentchev.

The former Hendon man has been out with an infection but is expected to be back in action before the end of the month. Erkan Okay (calf) and Greg Crane (ankle) are also definitely out but joint boss Ady Gallagher can't wait for the Blues to test themselves against the Blues Square South outfit.

'Our ambition is to get to the first round proper and when you set that sort of target you know you are likely to come up against sides higher up the non league pyramid,' said Gallagher. 'But that's a challenge we don't shy away from – Chelmsford are a very good side, playing at a level we are aiming to be in but we have got players that will rise to the occasion.

'We could not have got a much harder draw but we are at home and the word is that Chelmsford are going to bring a fair few fans. I'm sure our supporters will turn out in their droves as well and it promises to be a cracking atmosphere.'

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The Blues lost to Chelmsford in a pre-season friendly back in July thanks to a late goal but Gallagher thinks it is difficult to read too much into that result.

'We did play them in pre-season but it won't have any bearing,' he added. 'We were focusing on our players getting fit at the time and undoubtedly they would have been doing the same.

'What we do know is that they are a strong side and it's going to be a tall order for us. However, I know that we have got the players in our squad capable of doing it.

'We have suffered a lot of injuries but we haven't moaned about it, we've just got on with it – that's all you can do,' added Gallagher.

Lowestoft are expecting a bumper crowd with Chelmsford set to bring 500 fans. 'It promises to be an excellent atmosphere and I'm sure our supporters will respond to the occasion as well,' said Gallagher.