Too soon for decisions about Lowestoft Town’s future, says Micky Chapman
- Credit: James Bass
Joint manager Micky Chapman admitted the present hurts too much for Lowestoft Town to start thinking about the future beyond a third year of play-off heartbreak.
Just like at Tonbridge Angels in 2011 and AFC Hornchurch 12 months ago, the Trawlerboys will have to digest missing out on Conference football at the final hurdle after a shock 2-1 home defeat to Concord Rangers.
Rangers' late winner capped a remarkable play-off run that also saw them dump third-placed finishers Wealdstone out of the play-off picture on their own patch in midweek. But for Lowestoft, their bank holiday torment in front of 2,500 supporters at Crown Meadow will take big characters and longer than a quiet summer to recover from.
'Everyone is hurting, everybody connected with the club,' said Chapman. 'It's the part of the game we all hate. And for it to happen three years on the trot is very hard to swallow.
'You question yourselves, and that's the first thing we will do. We have got decisions to make as a group. But today, with all the emotions, it isn't the time to make those decisions.
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'We've done so much and this club has come so far. We've got the best fan base and we've got some fantastic players. I know it's going to happen one day. We were hoping it was going to be this year and unfortunately it's turned out not to be our year again. But we will take our time, gather our thoughts and see where we from here.'
Chapman and Ady Gallagher have taken Town to a Wembley final and from Eastern Counties football to the verge of non-league's second tier – but that will offer little consolation.
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'Three years in the Ryman Premier and we've finished fourth, third and now second – and there's only one way to avoid this disappointment in future and that's to finish first,' added Chapman.
'I'm just so gutted. I felt like crying at the final whistle to be honest. There were tears in a lot of the boys' eyes, mine included.
'But these boys are different class. I really feel there's a lot more to come from them. We couldn't have asked for more from them.'