Gallagher praises vase finalists

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:34 10 September 2010

Michael Bailey

Joint manager Ady Gallagher praised his Lowestoft players for giving everything they had during Sunday's FA Vase final at Wembley. Courageous blocks and uncompromising defending saw Town come within minutes of a famous Vase win, but in the end Kirkham substitute Matt Walwyn turned the game with two late goals.

Joint manager Ady Gallagher praised his Lowestoft players for giving everything they had during yesterday's FA Vase final at Wembley.

Courageous blocks and uncompromising defending saw Town come within minutes of a famous Vase win, but in the end Kirkham substitute Matt Walwyn turned the game with two late goals.

But there was no criticism from Gallagher, who knows his side gave their all to the cause.

“You know, the realty is it just didn't work out for us today,” said Gallagher. “When we got through to half time, we were happy but then losing Cockrill at half time [to a calf injury] made a big difference to us and it changed the way the game was played out.

“We thought that if we got to the last 25 minutes, with the subs on our bench and especially with the lead in the game, we thought we'd close it out. But it just didn't work out for us that way.”

Town rode their luck at times, as they have done on a few occasions during their historic Vase run, but Gallagher admitted at no point did he think Lowestoft's name was already written on the silverware.

“Not at any stage. I never feel like that,” he said. “You're never home until the final whistle has gone and we all had to believe that. What it told me was that our players were prepared to die to keep the ball out.

“They were throwing their bodies in front of the ball and some of the blocks that we had were fantastic, against a really good side, so fair play.

“The last six minutes of the game just told in the end and when they got the break, you want it to get through to extra time, but in all reality we were looking at our team and we knew that they were tired.”

Gallagher also praised the efforts of 'keeper Andy Reynolds, who put in an assured performance in goal after winning his race against time to recover from the dislocated hip he suffered in last month's semi-final tie.

“He did a great job for us today,” said Gallagher. “He's a quality goalkeeper and although he's probably not 100pc fit, probably about 90, but I don't think it made any difference really. It may just have hindered his kicking slightly. But overall we've got a great squad of players and we believe in all of them.”

And Gallagher refused to pin any blame to the searing temperature inside Wembley, as his side struggled to cover the pitch as the game wore on.

“Well, early on with the sun beating through this stadium, it's something we're not used to,” Gallagher added. “We could see that, quite honestly, at this level with fit lads, there were players who after half an hour were tying up a little bit, and probably just needed to get through to half time.”

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