Proud reserve-team boss Jonathan Hawes insists his young stars have helped King’s Lynn Town progress in the FA Trophy.

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While the six players who stepped up to Gary Setchell’s first team last Tuesday didn’t feature at Worksop, Hawes believes their League Cup appearances contributed to the club’s success in Nottinghamshire.

And he admits that even though Shaun Stocker, Luis Duarte, Chris Ward, Tom McLeish, Luke Biles and ‘keeper Jack Johnson – an unused sub in the Trophy match – didn’t directly affect the result, they more than played their part in Lynn’s fine win.

“The lads did so well against Stamford, even though they lost the game, and they’ve worked so hard to get those opportunities,” said Hawes, who is more commonly known as Joff.

“I felt proud and nervous but I settled down once the game got going. I said to the younger lads, like Shaun Stocker and Chris Ward, to enjoy it and make sure their first three or four passes found a Lynn player. They did and they grew in confidence from then on.

“A League Cup game is not big for some people but it was a massive game for the youngsters. They gave a good account of themselves. It was a bit heart in mouth early on because I didn’t want them to let themselves down. But they started well and from then on it was very pleasing.

“The first team’s result at Worksop made it even better. Setch was able to trust the younger players to do a job against Stamford and give his big hitters a rest ahead of the Trophy game.

“Setch said the young lads contributed to that win and it’s positive that the reserves helped the first team.”

Hawes’ talented side – who won back-to-back United Counties League Reserve titles before switching to Peterborough Division One – are top of the table after a fine start to the season.

Joff said: “I’ve told the lads if they’re good enough to play in the first team they should be dominating games for the reserves.

“We try to instill in them at Lynn to be professional. To be fair, my lads’ attitudes are great - they’re a credit to the club.”

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