Lowestoft Town’s Greg Crane calls for play-off ‘cauldron’ at the Crown

Lowestoft Town defender Greg Crane has called on the Blues' fans to create a cauldron atmosphere ahead of their Ryman League Premier play-off semi-final against East Thurrock tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.

Nearly 900 supporters crammed into Crown Meadow to watch the Trawlerboys seal the runners-up spot with a 1-0 win over Hendon on Saturday and Crane wants the same level of backing again.

'We need the fans and I thought they were brilliant against Hendon – that's probably the most vocal they have been all year,' said the big defender. 'If they can make that level of noise again then I'm sure that will spur us on.

'If we can get a similar size crowd (as we had against Hendon), and they really get behind us, then of course it can help the boys.'

Crane insists the Blues won't be haunted by their previous play-off failures after losing finals at Tonbridge Angels and AFC Hornchurch in the last two seasons.

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The former Norwich City Academy product believes the Blues deserve to make it third time lucky after the heartbreak they have suffered in the past.

'The boys' mindset is maybe a bit different because there's a few different lads to what we've had in previous squads,' he said. 'I think we deserve it as a football club but we've now got to go out and earn it.

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'We can't just expect it to come to us – we've got to go and grab it. We've just got to work hard and try to get the right result on Wednesday and then Monday.'

Crane will be hoping his team-mates are more clinical in front of goal against the Rocks than they were on Saturday as Michael Frew's second-half strike finally gave the Blues the win they needed over Hendon to ensure second spot.

After the visitors were reduced to nine men Lowestoft proceeded to miss several gilt-edged chances leaving Crane to wonder whether it was going to be one of those days.

'We missed a lot of chances – I was ready to shoot some people,' he joked. 'That's their (the strikers) job at the end of the day and we (the defence) have got to do ours. We were pleased to get the win and second place because I think having home advantage on Wednesday, and hopefully Monday, could be really important.'

Crane was making his first appearance since suffering a badly bruised toe against Bury but is ready to play through the pain in pursuit of promotion.

'I was struggling to walk but I took a couple of painkillers, strapped it up because I'm a hero aren't I?' he said. 'But seriously it's not too bad now and we all just want to focus on trying to finish off the job.'

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