Chapman: Cup run brought rivals together
Jonathan Redhead Lowestoft Town joint boss Micky Chapman said he believed his side's fantastic cup run had helped bring Norfolk and Suffolk closer together. Chapman said the fact Norwich City and Ipswich Town fans were singing side by side was a fantastic sideshow to a cruel, cruel day.
Lowestoft Town joint boss Micky Chapman said he believed his side's fantastic cup run had helped bring Norfolk and Suffolk closer together.
Chapman said the fact Norwich City and Ipswich Town fans were singing side by side was a fantastic sideshow to a cruel, cruel day.
"At this moment in time there's a lot of emotion," he said. "But we've said to the players you can hold your head up high because you've given everything. Those boys have given everything and we're so, so proud of them.
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"The buzz around the whole area had been absolutely fantastic.
"It's been immense and we can't thank our supporters enough. It's not just Lowestoft people, but the Anglia area. It's absolutely fantastic a credit to everybody. We've got the best support not only in the league, but in the whole country at our level.
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"You've got Norwich and Ipswich fans in there today and they were supporting Lowestoft Town. It was fantastic."
Chapman admitted it was his men were hugely disappointed, but in the following days and weeks would look back on their achievements with great satisfaction.
"It was a big, big achievement," he said. "A lot of top quality professionals will never get to go on that pitch. The achievement is immense. It does give you a taste for it and it fantastic. When the players and fans sit down in the cold light of day they'll be proud of what they've done."
Chapman said the best side had one the game as his side ran out of steam towards the end and could not hold on to their 11th minute lead, although he had thought his men might hold on for a tremendous victory.
"You try not to think of that because it's a 90 minutes plus game," he said.
"Sometimes when you're defending really well like we were and you're getting blocks, you might think it could be our day but you don't let it cloud your mind. You're still focused on the game.
"Football's never over until the final whistle blows and it's difficult when any side scores in the 90th minute because it doesn't give you and time to get back. That's such a cruel blow for us.
"We were dead on our feet. I think the equaliser killed us. We were so close and everybody had given everything. We were forced into substitutions at times when we didn't want to make them, like Darren Cockrill who had a tight calf and that was a bit of a blow for us. Then Neil Plaskett, we had to get him off as well. Ross King was another one. We had to change formation for the last 15/20 minutes and you could see that it took it out of the boys at the end.
Kirkham & Wesham were in the ascendancy and they looked stronger. There's no getting away from that.
"They brought on their wide players and caused us a lot of problems. Their boys had pace and we were dead on our feet. They were really strong at the end and you can't take anything away from them you know. If you win it you deserve to win it. Good luck to them but that doesn't hide the fact we're absolutely gutted."