Lowestoft Town taking Ipswich Town cup clash seriously

Monday night Football action between Lowestoft Town and Hastings.

Monday night Football action between Lowestoft Town and Hastings. - Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Town joint boss Micky Chapman insists the Blues will be taking their Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final against Ipswich Town at Walmer Road this evening very seriously.

The Trawlerboys are expecting to ring the changes against the Championship side, who will field their reserves, with promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division remaining the club's main priority.

However, after winning the competition last season, Chapman, pictured, is determined to reach another final at Portman Road.

'Everyone wants to play against Ipswich Reserves – we won the competition at Portman Road last year and we would love to do it again,' said the Blues chief, whose side saw off Hastings United on Monday night to move into the play-off places.

'It's a competition that we would love to retain and it's obviously dear to us, particularly after last season. It's going to be a very difficult game obviously but we are really looking forward to it.'

Lowestoft are having to nurse their squad through a hectic fixture schedule after a string of postponements at the start of the year left them with a backlog.

The likes of Chris Henderson, Jack Defty, Sam Gaughran and Erkan Okay are all likely to be rested with Chapman and the rest of the management team in constant dialogue with their players over their fitness. 'We will have to see who is available – we are going to have to rest tired legs,' said Chapman.

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'There are also players that need 90 minutes and there are players that could do with a rest.

'The boys have got to trust us, as we trust them – they have to tell us if they feel tired or are carrying a little knock. They've got to trust us to pull them out of the team when we feel it is right.'

Michael Frew, Stuart Ainsley, Joe Francis and Andrew Fisk are all likely to start as Lowestoft have one eye on their league clash at Harrow Borough on Saturday.

Lowestoft have re-established their promotion credentials after going 14 matches unbeaten in the league, keeping nine clean sheets in the process.

The Blues ground out another important three points on Monday evening thanks to Chris Henderson's second half strike against Hastings.

Lowestoft were frustrated for long spells by the visitors but Chapman believes his side were rewarded for their patience.

'They (Hastings) came here to set their stall out at 4-5-1 and they made it really difficult for us,' he said. 'In the first half we started to get really frustrated but the message at half-time was to keep calm and keep doing the right things.

'We knew that chances would come and it proved to be right. It was a scrappy goal but Hendo was there – he was on the end of it and that's what good strikers do.

'They can have a quiet spell and then all of a sudden be there when it matters.'

With Ipswich in action against Nottingham Forest last night they are likely to field a young side as they did in the last round against Felixstowe & Walton United.

The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side won 2-1, but Ipswich were reinstated into the competition after their hosts fielded an ineligible player.

– Ipswich Town (provisional squad): Crowe, Mings, Burke, Carson, Hammond, Berkane, Bishop, Lawrence, Hendry, Leddy, Galvin, Marriott, Timlin, October, Willbye, Robinson, Winter, Sowunmi, Thorsteinsson.