Lowestoft aiming to bounce back after derby day defeat

Shirley D Whitlow's photograph of Lowestoft Town FC v Leiston FC. 27th December 2021. Photo shows L

Lowestoft Town's Josh Harvey celebrating after scoring versus Leiston. - Credit: Shirley D Whitlow

Lowestoft Town manager Jamie Godbold has challenged his players to respond after a festive derby day defeat.

More than 760 fans turned out on bank holiday Monday as they were treated to eight goals and some good Christmas fare.

But it was Leiston who proved more clinical as they triumphed 3-5 - despite goals from Josh Harvey, Ryan Jarvis and Kieran Higgs - a result that saw Lowestoft slip to the bottom of the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central Division.

Lowestoft now face seven games in just over a month, starting with another Suffolk derby at Needham Market on Saturday, January 1 (1pm kick off) ahead of a trip to Barwell on January 8.

Blues boss Godbold said: “Obviously the overriding feeling is one of disappointment

“It was a derby game in front of our biggest crowd of the season, and we wanted to send them home happy.

“But our inability to not concede goals came to the fore again and it was a poor loss.

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“All the goals came from our own individual and collective mistakes as they hurt us on the transition several times.

“Unfortunately some players did not show up in a big game.

“We quickly learnt after the game that we had slipped to the bottom of the league, as in the period between our last game when we won at Stratford to Monday the teams below us and around us have pulled off massive results against teams at the top of the table.

“So we are halfway through the season, and the challenge now to the players is that we need to get out of the relegation places quickly.

“We need to stick together.

“We are in a relegation battle, no doubt about it, and the challenge has been set for us as a group and a management team to get out of the position we are in.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s New Year’s Day Suffolk derby at Needham Market, Godbold said: “Needham are a very good side as proven by their FA Trophy run - it is another big derby, against a team that play very good football with players in the top areas who can hurt you.”

Marcus Wilkinson and Tai Fleming are likely to return to the Lowestoft squad after missing the Leiston match, Ryan Hawkins will miss the Needham game after a positive Covid test, while a late decision will be made on Jack Wilkinson as he recovers from illness.

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