Blues continue the quest
CHRIS LAKEY Lowestoft continue their quest knowing that home comforts could secure them the glittering prize of the Ridgeosn premier Division title.
Lowestoft continue their quest knowing that home comforts could secure them the glittering prize of the Ridgeosn premier Division title.
The Blues are formidable at Crown Meadow, where they have been beaten just once this season in the league - by leaders AFC Sudbury in February - and have a run-in that includes six home games and just two away.
This afternoon Histon Reserves go there with Blues boss Micky Chapman admitting there is a buzz of excitement around the place as they look, once again, to overtake Sudbury and take control of the division.
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“It's fantastic for the whole club - the players, management, officials and fans - but we must not get carried away,” said Chapman, whose 10 have now won 10 games on the trot. “We can't afford to slip-up in any of the games we play.
“Our destiny is in our own hands at the moment, so we have to concentrate on ourselves and keep our current winning run going.
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“If we win all our remaining matches then nobody can catch us. That's a nice position to be in at this stage of the season, but we're under no illusions.
“We know we face a tough run-in with some difficult fixtures, as do our rivals, so I think it's still very open.”
Rival manager Nick Shorten, whose Kirkley side lost at Sudbury last weekend, is confident the Blues can finish the job.
“If I was a betting man I would be looking no further than Lowestoft Town for the title,” said Shorten.
With Greg Crane and Marcus Saunders fit again, Dale Cockrill and Ali McKenna will come into contention today.
If Lowestoft win, they will still need Wisbech - not out of the race themselves - to get a win or a draw at Sudbury to take top spot.
Bury, four points behind Lowestoft in third, are in FA Vase action at Hillingdon Borough where, after drawing the first leg 1-1, they hope to earn a place in the final.
Needham Market are on the same number of points, one ahead of Wisbech, but have played more games and face a home game against Wroxham today.
The Yachtsmen, with six points under their belt from their last two home games, will be looking to avenge their 3-2 home defeat last month.
However, manager Damian Hilton will be without hotshot Lee Gilman, who after scoring a splendid hat-trick against Newmarket on Saturday, started a seven-day suspension this week.
On the plus side, centre-back Josh Carus returns, probably alongside Martyn Magee, releasing Leighton Miller into a midfield holding position in front of the back four.
Hilton said: “We were desperately unlucky to lose to Needham, mostly because of a dreadful mistake by a referee's assistant. A win from the return game away from home would set us up nicely for next Tuesday's home derby against Norwich United as we push for a top-six finish.”
Diss are at Clacton, Dereham at Mildenhall and struggling Norwich United at Soham Town Rangers.
Remaining matches for the top three are:
AFC Sudbury: Wisbech (h), Dereham (h), Wroxham (a), Halstead (a), Newmarket (h), Kirkley (a), Norwich Utd (a).
Lowestoft: Histon Res (h), Bury (a), Wisbech (a), Kirkley (h), Mildenhall (h), Soham (h), Newmarket (h), Needham Market (h).
Bury: Lowestoft (h), Histon Res (a), Needham Market (h), Diss (a), Newmarket (a), Leiston (h), Wisbech (h), Norwich Utd (a), Woodbridge (h).