Play-off bid is in our hands - Fleming
PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 April 2011
Craig Fleming is backing Lowestoft Town to cement their places in the Ryman Premier League play-offs and go for a third successive promotion.
The Trawlerboys despatched rivals Harrow Borough with ruthless efficiency last weekend, a 3-0 victory taking them into fifth place and leaving former Norwich City defender Fleming glowing with pride over the performance of the back four.
“Defensively that’s five clean sheets in a row now and that is huge,” said Fleming. “At any level five clean sheets in a row takes some doing and we all definitely take great pride in that – and so do they given the way they were throwing their bodies in front of everything. It matters to them.”
The job was made doubly difficult following a pre-match ankle injury suffered by keeper Andy Reynolds, who was patched up and hobbled through the 90 minutes, with Kai Hewitt answering an emergency call to rush to Crown Meadow and sit on the subs’ bench just in case.
“I was quite worried if they put him under pressure because he was struggling to move, but in the first half I can’t remember him having to do too much at all really,” said Fleming.
“We told them not to take any chances around the box, take no chances and get the ball away – he showed great character to come through that game.”
Andrew-Cave Brown scored the first and set up the second for Joe Francis, with Lubo Guentchev adding the third after the break.
“In the end it was a very good win, but to be honest we have played like that for a while,” said Fleming.
“The pitch doesn’t help us with it being so bumpy, but since Christmas the performances have been right, we just haven’t taken our chances when they have come. This time we did.”
Sutton were confirmed as champions on Sunday, leaving Tonbridge Angels, Canvey Island and Bury Town locked on 70 points each and Lowestoft, who travel to Margate this weekend, one behind.
Fleming believes the Blues are bang on course for an extended season.
“You can never guarantee anything in football, but all things being fair I think we will be in the play-offs because I still think we are the best team in the league, I really do,” he said. “Everybody fit, everybody on it, we are the best.”