Photo gallery: We've done it! Lowestoft fans celebrate promotion at the fourth time of asking
PUBLISHED: 09:19 06 May 2014
(C) Archant Norfolk 2014
We've done it! That was the cry in Lowestoft last night as the town's football team secured promotion - at the fourth time of asking.
The triumphant Trawlerboys were cheered to glory in the sunshine at their Crown Meadow ground yesterday, as more than 2,600 fans gathered to see their 3-0 victory over AFC Hornchurch in the Ryman League Premier Division play-off final.
The win saw the team make history – giving them a place in the Skrill Conference set-up for the first time, and leaving them just two steps away from the Football League.
In the end, any fears of last-minute nerves were dismissed as Lowestoft saw off the team that beat them in the play-off final two seasons ago.
The hosts were 1-0 up at half time and went on to score another two goals early in the second half.
“The Town are going up, the Town are going up”
That was the cry echoing out of the Crown Meadow clubhouse yesterday – and never could there be a more apt song for the occasion.
After “We are the champions” rang out loud and proud, three years of heartbreak and final-day desperation was cast aside as hundreds of Lowestoft Town fans ran onto the pitch in joyous celebration at the realisation of a promotion dream.
And as the Trawlerboys’ supporters rejoiced with the Blues players, management and officials, the champagne celebrations that followed epitomised the efforts in making this dream reality.
It what was arguably the most important game in the club’s history, and with almost 2,700 fans turning out to cheer Lowestoft on, the nerves, tension and any anxieties from yesteryear were forgotten with ‘believe’ being the buzz word around town.
And while the Lowestoft Town management team of Micky Chapman, Ady Gallagher and Craig Fleming had said it would be “a miracle” for the Blues to reach the Ryman League play-offs again this season given the tumultuous campaign they’d had, yesterday’s triumph in the final proves that miracles can happen – and the stage could not have been more fitting for the final act.
Uncharted territory and trips to Stockport County and Bradford Park Avenue await next season should the Blues move into the Skrill Conference North division, with Lowestoft now just two promotions away from the Football League.
As the song says “and now you are going to believe us.”
A cheer went up as the final whistle blew and home fans streamed on to the pitch to congratulate the jubilant players as a victory chant rang out from the stand.
This was the fourth successive season that The Trawlerboys had reached the play-offs, having tasted defeat in the previous three.
A delighted club chairman Gary Keyzor said the win was well deserved.
“They were incredible today,” he said. “We’ve had three years where we have been beaten but today was our day. They came out and their attitude and effort were fantastic. The crowd really got behind them.”
Mr Keyzor said club staff would take a few days off and then start preparing for life in the Conference North or South next season.
He added: “I have always said from day one that Lowestoft as a town deserves to have a football club playing at Conference level. It has taken us a while to get there but we have done it now and I hope more fans will come and watch us.”
Lowestoft Town dates back to 1887 and the club turned semi-professional in 1962,
They dominated the league during the 1960s, reaching the first round of the FA Cup in 1966–67,
The team got to Wembley in 2008, reaching the final of the FA Vase.
Since then, Lowestoft have risen up the non-league pyramid.