Lowestoft Town scored a last minute winner to beat table-toppers Bognor Regis Town last weekend to end a run of four league games without a win and face a Dulwich Hamlet team that returns to Crown Meadow on the back of a convincing 3-0 victory against the Trawlerboys earlier in the month. Ahead of this weekend’s FA Trophy clash against Dulwich Hamlet, Sean Galea-Pace caught up with manager Ady Gallagher and previews the meeting between the two sides, talks about the last minute winner against Bognor and discusses coming up against ex-footballer and TV personality Jimmy Bullard against Leatherhead next weekend.
A 2-1 win against table-toppers Bognor Regis must have been very pleasing last Saturday. Can you put into words how you felt after the game?
"It’s always nice to get a last minute winner. I felt we deserved it on the day as well considering how we started the game, it was probably one of our best starts. But you know when you’re playing teams like Bognor that you have to be on your game and it shows what we’ve got in the dressing room that we have got the ability to take teams on and get results. It was really pleasing to get a last minute goal, just because we started and finished the game well and in the last two league games at home we have scored two last minute goals which have been important for different reasons so I was very pleased".
Since your side didn’t have a match in midweek, do you think that having that extra rest will benefit the players positively going into this weekend?
"I think so. We needed to have a bit of a rest because we’ve played a lot of midweek games and done a little bit of travelling so it is an opportunity really to just rest some bones in preparation for the weekend. We took Tuesday off training to allow the boys to recover from their minor knocks and just refresh themselves a little bit. But we’ve got a full squad training on Thursday and we’ll put in a decent session tonight and we’ll look forward to playing Dulwich again on Saturday in the FA Trophy because it’ll be a tough game as they beat us comfortably a couple of weeks back and it will be important for us to try and react to that performance".
Is revenge on the agenda this weekend given Lowestoft’s 3-0 defeat to Dulwich the last time the teams met?
"Revenge is a tough word in football, it’s not as easy as that. Each game is held in its own right, on the day Dulwich were better than us and that was because they pressed us really high and had a nice game plan which worked well for them and from our point of view, I felt we were slow in possession of the ball and passed the ball too much in the wrong areas of the pitch. Ultimately, we made things difficult for ourselves and invited that pressure. If you pass the ball slowly in the wrong areas and teams sit behind the ball then teams can counter-attack quickly and hurt you and Dulwich did that very well on the day and won comprehensively. What we have to do on Saturday is to make sure we impose a better style of football on the game, like we played against Bognor and half an hour against Hendon as well as spells against Bury recently. It’s also a test for them as to whether they can replicate that type of performance like last time and if they do, we have to find a way to counter it but we’re expecting a very tough game. We’re looking to put in a better performance and we know if we do the right things then the game will be much closer than it was before".
With Saturday’s match in the cup, do you feel it’s an unwelcome distraction from the league?
"We haven’t had a decent cup run for several years in the major cups, obviously the Suffolk Premier Cup is something we’ve made a good habit of getting to the final and winning over the year. However, the FA Cup and the FA trophy are cups that have a bit more prestige and we haven’t performed in them so we can’t get carried away, we’d love a cup run but talking about it and doing it are two completely different things and we haven’t been good enough in those competitions. Now that we’ve been drawn both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy at home that’s changed a little bit and we need to take advantage of it because our performance in the FA Cup earlier in the season was our worst performance this term. It’s down to the boys and I think they’re quite capable of putting in good performances in the cup and going on a decent run but talking about it and actually doing it are two different things".
Are there any injury concerns ahead of this weekend? Are the players who sustained minor knocks last week fully recovered?
"I think, other than Bammo (Shaun Bammant) who has some treatment on his injury tomorrow (Friday), we’re picking from a full squad of players. Everyone’s training tonight so we’re looking to pick from a full squad which is good and hopefully they’ll put in a good session tonight but obviously by having Tuesday off to recover will mean that they’re all ready to go for Saturday".
You go head to head with Jimmy Bullard a week on Saturday against Leatherhead. How much are you looking forward to that?
"Jimmy was a top footballer and is a great TV personality now as well as being someone that people instantly recognize so it’s fabulous that he’s cutting his managerial teeth at this level of football and I’m sure he brings some interest everywhere he goes but the reality is it’s going to be us against Leatherhead and the eleven players on the pitch and I’m sure Jimmy will be the first one to point that out. He’s had a bit of a revival since he’s been there, they are probably much tighter now than what they were at the start of the season so he’s had an impact but from my point of view it’s just about getting a result as far as Lowestoft’s concerned. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many different football personalities and compete against them over the years because a lot of them do end up being managers at different levels of football but as far as I’m concerned all I want to do is win the game".
Updated 19:52 - 28 Oct 2016 by Terry Bullen