They collected more points and conceded fewer goals than they did last season but King’s Lynn Town’s players were still forced to pick up United Counties Premier Division runners-up medals again on Saturday.

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Gary Setchell’s side were left disappointed for the second season on the bounce after another 100-plus points haul failed to secure a coveted UCL trophy. While Lynn bettered their 103 points total from the 2010/11 campaign, by picking up 106 this time round, it still wasn’t enough to see off Long Buckby.

A year after St Neots pipped the Linnets to the title, Setchell’s side were the nearly men again as Glen Cotterill’s outfit won the championship by two points - thanks to a 2-1 final-day victory over Blackstones.

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom at the weekend with Lynn bouncing back from a miserable fortnight - that inevitably handed the title to Buckby thanks to a 2-1 defeat against the eventual title winners and a 1-1 draw with Desborough Town - by securing a deserved 3-1 victory at Cogenhoe United.

Setchell insisted he was delighted with the response from his players who picked up the win thanks to stunning goals from defender Ryan Fryatt, midfielder Jamie Thurlbourne and a poacher’s finish from Jason Turner - who scored for the eighth consecutive game.

Setchell said: “It was a magnificent away performance. If that was early on in the season you’d say it was a well ground out three points.

“The lads showed real good commitment to the cause considering we were playing a dead rubber. We expected Buckby to beat Blackstones, even if it ended up closer than we anticipated.

“I said to the lads after the game. We’ve got 106 points – three more than last season – and I’m sure we’d have taken that at the start of the campaign.

“We didn’t gain anything or lose anything at Cogenhoe but what we got back was a bit of pride. The players showed plenty of passion. They certainly rallied after what I said last week and they showed me that they do care about the club and they want to be here.”

Matt Gearing’s second-half penalty was just the 32nd goal the Linnets have conceded in the league this season, seven less than in their last campaign. However, just two defeats, both against Buckby, cost the Linnets dearly and they will now have to see who else gains promotion across Step Five of the non-league ladder before seeing if they are go up as runners-up, courtesy of the best points per game average.

Setchell said: “It’s unfortunate and it’s now out of our hands whether we gain promotion or not. If we do, we’ll be delighted with that after getting 200-odd points out of 240 in the last two seasons.

“Buckby got 108 points and I take my hat off to them. It’s been a hard-fought battle and unfortunately we’ve come out on the wrong side. We can feel sorry for ourselves but Buckby just had a terrific season.

“There’s nothing we can do about it, we’ve got to lick our wounds and pick ourselves up, hopefully gain promotion and win the cup.”

Lynn can still end the season with some silverware by beating third-placed St Ives Town in the UCL League Cup final on Monday May 7 at Yaxley’s In2itive Park HQ ground.

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