Lowestoft are building from the back, says Gallagher
If Lowestoft Town can gatecrash the play-off party this season they will have done it by building from the back.
Successive clean sheets and six points from tough fixtures against Dulwich Hamlet and Leiston has given everyone at Crown Meadow a very festive glow over the last few days.
The fact these victories have been achieved in the midst of an injury crisis, which has often left the management team with just 11 senior players to choose from, has given even more cause for optimism.
A win at home to Canvey Island this afternoon (kick-off, 3pm) could see the Blues close the gap further on the leaders and joint manager Ady Gallagher is pleased with the foundation his back five have laid for their promotion challenge.
'It's not a recent thing – we've been excellent at the back all season,' said Gallagher. 'I think we've kept 13 or 14 clean sheets so far this season, which is outstanding. The form of Sam Gaughran has been fantastic - he's been such a leader so far for us this season and Curtley (Williams) has been very good as well.
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'But it isn't just the defenders – any successful team has to start defending from the back and the lads have been working so hard to do that.'
While striker Jake Reed is the Blues' first line of defence he is also their main goal threat as he demonstrated when grabbing the winner against Leiston on Thursday.
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Lowestoft are likely to have to do without the former Dagenham & Redbridge frontman this afternoon after he turned his ankle in the win at Victory Road. Gallagher admits his absence will be a big loss with Reed becoming ever more pivotal to the Trawlerboys' hopes of success this season.
'You need good goalscorers in this league and Jake is certainly one of those,' said Gallagher. 'I don't think we've seen anywhere near what he is capable of yet either. He isn't at full fitness and has had a fair few niggles since he's come to us. Goalscorers are at such a premium so he will be a loss.'
Dan Gleeson is likely to be fit enough to start for Lowestoft with the former Luton man finally over the hamstring injury that has dogged him in recent weeks. Andrew Fisk remains sidelined with an ankle problem.