King’s Lynn Town have given themselves a solid base to build from so far in 2015
12:15 05 January 2015
© Archant Norfolk 2015
A goalless draw at home may not have fired out a fierce warning to Lynn’s rivals that they are mounting a serious charge for the top five.
Saturday’s point against Halesowen was perhaps a game that the Linnets would have, from the outside, been expected to win if they harbour any hopes of sustaining a play-off push well into the second half of the season. Yet there was certainly enough to suggest that Gary Setchell’s charges still possess the tools that could see them looking upwards rather than over their shoulders in the coming weeks. For a start, four points from six is not a bad start to the new year. Neither is picking up a point against the league’s most miserly defence while having played for 20 minutes with 10 men after Jackson Ramm was deservedly sent off for his second bookable offence.
Failing to breach the Yeltz’ backline might not have been a surprise with the Midlanders having only conceded 21 times in the Evo-Stik Premier Division this term. But, if truth be told, Lynn should have found the net at least twice with Gregg Smith’s header and Ross Watson’s 40-yarder striking the woodwork. The former also spurned another great opportunity while George Thomson went close with two sweet efforts.
Yet for those who have watched Lynn this season, creating opportunities – and scoring goals, apart from the weekend – hasn’t been a problem. It’s been keeping them out at the other end. On New Year’s Day a home clean sheet against Stamford was almost as much of a welcome relief as picking up three morale-boosting points. The fact that shut-out stretched to 180 minutes of football 48 hours later showed that The Walks’ outfit have given themselves a solid platform to build from.
Far too many times this campaign, Setchell’s side have beaten themselves by being too soft defensively. That accusation could not be labelled at the men in blue and gold on a pudding of a pitch against Halesowen. Centre-back Henry Eze was absolutely sensational. His partner Ryan Fryatt and left-back Jordan Yong were not too far behind. The trio made numerous interventions and won countless challenges that helped Lynn record back-to-back shut-outs for the first time in the league this term. Their displays also saw keeper Alex Street only forced into two saves.
While it didn’t provide a victory at the weekend, that sort of unforgiving rearguard action will only help Lynn pick up more points than they lose – especially away from home.
As it’s that record which seems to be holding Lynn back down in 11th – admittedly just six points off the places for the end-of-season shoot-out – it proves that Setchell’s side are moving in the right direction defensively. We’ll soon see how upwardly mobile that movement is. But at least now the Linnets have shown they have the steel to match their creative endeavours from here on in.