Back the Blues - Time to cheer Lowestoft Town FC to glory
- Credit: Archant 2013
People in Lowestoft are being urged to 'cheer the Blues to glory' as the Trawler Boys face up to what is being billed as the most important match in the history of the town's football club.
After another successful season, Lowestoft Town are just 90 minutes away from another promotion which would see the club fulfil its dreams of securing Conference-level football.
Victory in Monday's play-off final against Concord Rangers would see the Blues make another move up the non-league pyramid into the Conference South – just two steps away from the Football League.
This week, a rallying call went out to townsfolk to back the Blues in Monday's game at Crown Meadow.
But after suffering play-off agony in heartbreaking fashion in the past two seasons, people are being urged to turn out in their hundreds and cheer the team on. And to ensure a great atmosphere, The Journal has today teamed up with the club to provide blue and white hats so fans can wear their hometown colours with pride.
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After securing their place in the play-off final for the third season running with a 1-0 win over East Thurrock United on Wednesday, Lowestoft face Concord Rangers – based on Canvey Island – in Monday's crunch match.
Crucially, the Trawler Boys will have home advantage in the play-off final for the first time – with the club hoping that a 2,800-plus capacity crowd will inspire the team to victory over their Essex rivals.
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Club chairman Gary Keyzor told The Journal yesterday: 'There was a fantastic turn-out at the Crown Meadow on Wednesday with an attendance of 1,182. There was that great buzz around the ground that we have not seen for a while. The drumming and the singing certainly became that old cliché saying of the 12th man.'
He added: 'Our attention now turns to Monday and the play-off final.
'If you are at a loose end on Monday afternoon with nothing to do, then why not come and support your local team in their quest for Conference football. Come and cheer our lads on!
'This is probably the biggest match in the history of Lowestoft Town FC and will take our team onto a new level.'
Gates and bars open at 12.30pm on Monday with the game kicking off at 3pm. Tickets will be on sale in the social club this lunchtime (Saturday) between 11am and 1pm and on the day.'
Mr Keyzor added: 'Please arrive early as we are expecting a very large crowd. This is not an all-ticket match.'
The Journal will have a vending stall at Crown Meadow before Monday's match, between noon and 3pm, where a goody bag containing a copy of The Journal, the EDP, and a blue and white hat will be on sale for £2.
Meanwhile, civic leaders have sent the players their own messages of support.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'I wish them all the very best. Over the last few years they have moved forward and put in strong foundations for sustained success. I will be listening to the game with great interest.'
Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney, Bob Blizzard, who is a club patron, said: 'It was very, very tense on Wednesday but when the goal went in the place erupted.
'Monday's match is the most important in the history of the club. We're now just one game away from playing at the same level of football as former Football League teams.
'That is an amazing achievement and, if we can do it, it will be hugely uplifting for not just Lowestoft but the whole town. It will really take Lowestoft forward, put us on the map and give a real boost to the whole town.'
He added: 'I know from speaking to the players just how much of a lift it gives them when the crowd really gets behind them, so we want masses of people turning out on Monday to get behind the team.'
Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said: 'After coming so close last season, I know the whole town will get behind the team on Monday. I really hope they do it this time and it would be nothing more than they deserve.'
Lowestoft mayor Nick Webb added: 'I'm keeping everything crossed for Monday. It's been yet another great season for the club and promotion would be a fantastic reward for all their efforts.'
The Blues famously beat Concord Rangers 1-0 in the quarter finals of the FA Vase in 2008, on their way to a last-gasp defeat at Wembley in the Vase final. They will be hoping to repeat their 4-1 victory over the Beach Boys at Crown Meadow in the league last August. That was followed by a 1-1 draw with the Essex side in February.
The Trawler Boys got into the play-off after finishing second in the Ryman League Premier Division this season.
?If you cannot make it to the ground in person, you can keep up to date with the action live from Crown Meadow on Monday by logging on to www.lowestoftjournal24.co.uk
?Semi-final report and big match previews – see Journal Sport.