Lowestoft Town’s survival bid boosted by loan signings

Goalkeeper Billy Johnson, on loan from Norwich City, in action for Lowestoft against Needham Market

Goalkeeper Billy Johnson, on loan from Norwich City, in action for Lowestoft against Needham Market Picture: Shirley D Whitlow - Credit: Archant

Lowestoft Town have received a helping hand from the region's two top clubs as they attempt to move away from the Evostik Southern Central relegation zone.

The Trawlerboys sealed the signings of Billy Johnson and Tommy Hughes from Norwich City and Ipswich Town respectively on the eve of last Saturday's home match against Needham Market.

Goalkeeper Johnson came in on a month's loan to replace the injured Elvijs Putnins. He spent the early pre-season with Lowestoft before being offered terms at Norwich and has since appeared in several Under-23 games for the Canaries.

Hughes, a creative playmaker who can play wide or up front, joined Luca Vega on loan from Town.

Both new boys made their debuts at the weekend as the Trawlerboys suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat and should be involved again on Saturday when Jamie Godbold's side travel to play-off chasing AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

'We have been working hard to bring in a couple of new faces to help add some quality and depth to our injury-hit squad,' Godbold told the club's official website.

'I would like to thank both Ipswich and Norwich for their support and cooperation and hope that both Billy and Tommy enjoy their time with us.'

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Lowestoft are in desperate need of a lift at Hayden Road after a poor run that has seen them take just one point from a possible 12 since an encouraging 2-1 home victory over Biggleswade Town on December 18.

A 4-0 drubbing at King's Lynn on Boxing Day was followed by a useful 0-0 draw at St Ives - but successive home defeats in derbies against Leiston (1-2) and Needham Market have piled on the pressure.

The Trawlerboys go into Saturday's game fourth from bottom in the table and outside the relegation zone only on goal difference, with Hitchin and Halesowen - the sides immediately below them - both having games in hand. Since winning three league matches on the trot in August Lowestoft have taken just 11 points from a possible 58 and their form will clearly need to improve soon if they are to stand a chance of avoiding the drop.

Diamonds are seventh after losing just one of their last nine games.

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