Lowestoft will find strength to weather storm – Gallagher

Lowestoft Town joint boss Ady Gallagher has called on his players to 'ride out the storm' after seeing his side drop more points in the Ryman League Premier Division promotion race on Tuesday night.

The Blues looked set to record a vital win thanks to an excellent second half performance which saw them storm into a 3-1 lead, despite having Curtis Haynes-Brown sent off at the end of the first period.

But Maidstone, who sit at the foot of the table, belied their league position and staged a late rally to snatch a point. Gallagher admitted to feeling mixed emotions about his side's performance but knows they should have closed the game out, even with 10 men.

'I'm very proud of the players first and foremost – they put in a tremendous shift in the second half,' said Gallagher, whose side may have to look towards the play-offs if they are to realise their dreams of a third successive promotion. 'To come out in the adversity that we have done lately and to play like that with that sort of hunger was admirable.

'We're obviously frustrated that we couldn't see it through. But I've just said to the boys we've got to ride out the storm. What I think today showed was that there is a lot of team spirit and when it really matters we can really drag ourselves through the game.'

Lowestoft started slowly and it took Haynes-Brown's dismissal to jolt them into life although Gallagher believes the former Sudbury man should never have seen red for preventing a goalscoring opportunity after fouling Ellis Green.

'I felt the lad dived, I felt the ball was going out for a goal kick and I felt that Andrew Cave-Brown had got around,' added Gallagher. 'All I'm hoping is that somebody here like an assessor says 'actually ref you've made a mistake'. If they don't then we've got nothing to hope for in the game.

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'It's fair that people will make mistakes. Players and managers make mistakes in games. But it's hugely frustrating because it seems to be happening on a regular basis.'

Gallagher knows the Blues must rediscover their winning habit soon to maintain their promotion hopes: 'All we can hope is that the storm is coming to an end. Hopefully it will start coming round again for us,' he said.