Lowestoft Town 0, Sutton Coldfield 0
SLIDESHOW: Lowestoft Town joint boss Micky Chapman insists his side can cement their place in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup tonight despite missing a huge opportunity on Saturday. Chapman’s men had by far the better chances of a scrappy game at Crown Meadow against a defensive Sutton Coldfield side but could not beat visiting keeper Tony Breedon.
Lowestoft Town joint boss Micky Chapman insists his side can cement their place in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup tonight despite missing a huge opportunity on Saturday.
Chapman's men had by far the better chances of a scrappy game at Crown Meadow against a defensive Sutton Coldfield side but could not beat visiting keeper Tony Breedon.
The Royals' stopper made crucial saves at the beginning and the end of the game to deny Gary McGee and Adam Smith respectively, while substitutes Gary Holt, making his debut, and teenager Christy Finch also had decent chances to claim the win.
But Chapman says his side have nothing to fear in the Midlands tonight and can perform much better than they did in front of more than 1200 fans at the Meadow.
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“There's still a long way to go in this,” he said.
“I think you could see by them at the end of the game they were quite happy with the result and maybe they're starting to think they've done the hard bit and they're already there.
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“Going up there certainly doesn't hold any fear for us. We know they're a strong side - we knew that before today, and now they're going to be firm favourites on their own patch.
“One thing we all know is we can play a lot better than we did today.
“They got 11 men behind the ball at times, but we've got to learn from that and we've got to be better, better at the way we deal with it and better with the way we play against it.
“We're confident in what we've got and we're confident in the belief we can play a lot better than we did, but we're under no illusions they're the favourites now and we've got to go up to their patch and it'll be really, really tough.”
The Trawler Boys started the game at a sprint and nearly took the lead in the second minute when Smith's free-kick found the head of McGee eight yards out but Breedon pulled off a stunning save.
A minute later and the Royal's stopper was at it again, this time to deny Jamie Godbold.
But after their early scares, the rough and tough visitors began to dig in and made life difficult for the Ryman League Division One North leaders.
Indeed Town spent five minutes playing with just ten men towards the end of the half as Scott Mitchell was given a bloody nose.
He returned to the fray but was substituted on 53 minutes with Craig Bussens replacing him.
Eight minutes later the biggest cheer of the day was heard as Holt came on for Dale Cockrill, and instantly went in for a ferocious 50-50 challenge with Craig Owen.
Moments later and he had to chance to score after great interplay by Godbold and Nolan but was thwarted by Breedon.
As the home side pressed, the visitors nearly scored against the run of play when substitute Jamille Matt lobbed Town keeper Andy Reynolds but saw the ball drop inches wide.
But Town pressed for a late winner and Breedon had to dive low to his left to deny a Smith piledriver in the final minute, while Finch side foot wide in a goalmouth scramble six minutes into injury time as half the ground thought he had scored.
t Lowestoft Town: Reynolds; Plaskett, Smith, Halliday, Crane; Dale Cockrill, Fisk, Godbold, Mitchell; McGee, Nolan. Subs: Bussens (for Mitchell, 53), Holt (for Cockrill, 61) Finch (for McGee, 83), Darren Cockrill, Potter, Lovelock, Marsden.
t Sutton Coldfield: Breedon; Moran, Wilson, Murrall, Booth; Dodd, Male, Owen, Jackson; Brown, Quiggin.
Subs: Matt (for Dodd, 45), Davis (for Quiggin, 78), Milner, Robinson, Ling, Richardson, Gayle.
t Referee: Barry Holdernes
t Att: 1,202