Underodgs tag won’t bother Lowestoft ahead of derby date

Jake Reed was at the double at Harlow Town for Lowestoft Town.

Jake Reed was at the double at Harlow Town for Lowestoft Town. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Town boss Ady Gallagher insists the Blues will be underdogs when they entertain Suffolk rivals Leiston on Boxing Day.

Leiston are one of the favourites for promotion from the Ryman League Premier and are well placed to deliver step two football next season.

Glenn Driver's side sit in fifth place but with five games in hand over leaders Needham Market, who are eight points ahead of them.

The 'favourites' tag is something Lowestoft have had to contend in previous campaigns until a general lowering of expectations due to the financial climate at the club changing.

Gallagher insists there are no envious glances cast towards Victory Road and is fascinated to see if Leiston's talented squad can deliver National League football as Lowestoft have done in the past.

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'They should be where they are because of the money they have spent,' said Gallagher. 'That brings a level of expectation and it's up to them to live up to that.

'I think we'll be classing ourselves as underdogs because of the quality that they've got but it's a derby game and we know we are a match for any team that this level.'

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Leiston can count four former Lowestoft players amongst their ranks to add an extra spice to the derby.

'It certainly adds some familiarity,' added Gallagher, who has previously worked with Joe Jefford, Jack Ainsley, Joe Marsden and Joe Francis at the Meadow. 'There have always been players that have played for both teams down the years.

'When players leave Lowestoft then they tend to end up there. It shows the quality that we've had that every player we let go they seem to want to sign.'

Jake Reed will miss the game as he serves the second of a three-match suspension following his red card at Kingstonian.

Shaun Bammant is also a doubt with a facial injury whilst Chris Henderson is also likely to miss out after pulling up against Worthing with a hamstring strain.

'A couple of the lads are extremely doubtful but the fact we've got a couple of extra days to prepare could make a difference,' said Gallagher.

Gallagher has strengthened his squad by signing former Nottingham Forest youth team player Aristote Kamaneno.

A wide man who can also play up front, the 22-year-old Belgian featured for Forest against Norwich City in the semi-finals of FA Youth Cup in 2013.

Now based in Norwich after leaving the City Ground, Kamaneno could go straight into the squad for the Bxong Day game.

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