Saturday, November 17, 2012
What a week at The Walks. As I sit and write my latest column and cast my mind back over the previous few days I find myself thinking this is exactly why I signed in the summer.
We have been involved in so many exciting games this season already; we never seem to serve up a boring 1-0. The unbeaten run the lads have put together is incredible and that’s not to mention the FA Trophy games we have had – and it’s only November.
Not having a midweek game for once last week was a welcome break for the lads. It has seemed as though we have been Saturday-Tuesday for almost the entire season. With this being the case the gaffer had the squad in Tuesday to keep ‘ticking over’; this is translated into “run”. It was the usual 7.15pm start, although it takes Dunks (Russell Dunkley) a little longer to take his cotton wool off. I’ve known the big fella a long, long time and let’s just say he has never been one who looks forward to getting out on the training pitch.
With the promise of Thursday off if we put the effort in the running, all the boys trained well. It was circuits, which consisted of runs the width and length of the pitch with bodies and a bit of ball work in between. This was followed by a small-sided game, which, after all the running, is never very competitive.
With the rest of the week off we weren’t all back at the ground until the Trophy game. We hosted Conference South side Eastbourne Borough, and what a day it turned out to be. Twitter is a great way of having a bit of banter and interaction with fans and the predicted scoreline for this game was mixed, and rightly so given the fact Eastbourne play in a league that is two levels above our own. However, everyone inside the changing room was quietly confident we could cause an upset.
There seemed to be a real buzz around the ground during the warm-up, which I am sure only added to the motivation the lads already had for such a big game.
The game itself panned out pretty much as I expected. With them being from a higher league, they were always going to see plenty of the ball; they did, but our defence stood up to the challenge for the first 30 minutes. We had our moments as well, but they probably thought they were good value for a half-time lead. When I say our defence stood up to the challenge, this starts from the front in our side. Our front three or two, whatever the formation the gaffer decides to play, work really hard to stop any attacks. It’s vital to put pressure on the ball at this level.
Getting in all square at half-time was a big boost for the lads and gave us extra belief that the tie was up for grabs. The mood in the changing room was that we had weathered the storm, so to speak.
The second half was much more like our performances this season. We really got at them all over the park and passed the ball much better than the first 45 minutes and the first goal really changed the game. Dunks got the goal after good work from Watto (Ross Watson), I thought our right back had an outstanding game again. The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Eastbourne and we went from strength to strength. The second soon followed, Sprigger (Steve Spriggs) getting his customary home game goal after some quick-thinking from Quigs (Dan Quigley). To cap the afternoon off, Sam (Mulready) got on the scoresheet for the first time in a Lynn shirt. Every time he has come off the bench he has looked a threat and Saturday was no different, and he scored a bullet header. This followed some great work down the left from Jamie Thurlbourne.
My mentality is that of hold the ball in the corner and kill some time, but Jay nutmegged the defender and whipped a great cross into the box – 3-0, we’ll take that.
The bar was lively after the game with the chairman treating the lads to a few beers. It’s also really good when the fans hang around for a drink – the banter is always entertaining.
I am writing this on the night of the draw, and I must admit I am hoping for the big tie away to Chester. All the lads will be keeping a close eye on that replay with Worksop and you never know as the dream is still alive.
- Since writing his column, Bunting and his Lynn players now know they will travel to Worksop in the next round of the FA Trophy.
• Read Richard’s exclusive column first every week on Thursdays in the EDP’s Lynn Free Press pull-out.
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