Blues a step closer to Wembley

Lowestoft Town joint manager Ady Gallagher has warned his players they have not achieved anything yet, despite mauling Whitley Bay in the first leg of their FA Vase semi-final.

Lowestoft Town joint manager Ady Gallagher has warned his players they have not achieved anything yet, despite mauling Whitley Bay in the first leg of their FA Vase semi-final.

The Suffolk side will take a four-goal cushion to the North East this weekend after making Whitley pay for Brian Rowe's early moment of madness - receiving a red card for lashing out at Bradley Hough.

But Gallagher was quick to dismiss any suggestion that Lowestoft had already booked their place at Wembley on Sunday, May 11.

“It is fantastic - a great start to the game. But it's only half way,” he said. “We've taken our chances and it is just crucial we keep our feet on the ground, go there fully prepared and try to finish the job.

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“What's been fantastic is that everyone stuck together and we've shown a lot of mental toughness to take our chances when they came round.

“The important thing is we don't think we've achieved anything yet - that we don't look too far ahead and keep our feet on the ground.

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“We've got things to consider for next week but the tie is obviously still alive and it would be incredibly disrespectful to consider Whitley are out of it.”

The only blot on the afternoon for Lowestoft was the sight of keeper Andy Reynolds being taken to hospital after dislocating his hip. It popped back in almost immediately, but the injury makes him a major doubt for the second leg on Saturday.

Otherwise, it was an afternoon which went almost perfectly to plan for Lowestoft, especially when Jamie Godbold hit their fourth goal in injury time to score a huge psychological blow to their opponents, who were favourites to lift the Vase

in May.

“That was a crucial goal; 3-0 and despite having 10 men, they've had a lot of possession in the second half,” added Gallagher.

“They've used the wind to good effect and they've put us under lots and lots of pressure. But we've held firm and done what we really wanted to do, which was to nick a goal against the wind by counter attacking. It was a great goal for us, really crucial -but let's not get carried away.”

The jubilation that greeted Town's fourth goal was obvious, and felt by the goalscorer.

“I think under the circumstances we'd have taken 3-0 before the game, but the longer it was going on, we just felt we needed another one because they are going to throw the kitchen sink at us when we go up there, and I think 4-0 was probably a fair result in the end,” said Goldbold, who threw himself into the crowd to celebrate his injury-time strike.

“I'll probably get a bit of stick for that, but the moment takes over you.”

As it did for the 2,102 fans who crammed into a bitterly cold Crown Meadow to see Lowestoft close in on a Wembley final.

“It's great to have that many people in here. I do wonder how many came here maybe expecting us not to get a result today, but to cheer us on anyway,” said Gallagher.

“I think what we've shown is that these supporters can come here and cheer us on to huge successes.

“I hope a lot of them come away with us next week and don't assume that the game is dead and buried, because we need their support. They've been fantastic, and getting the start that we got encouraged them to get behind us.”


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