By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Monday, May 7, 2012
King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell is challenging his players to shake off their “nearly men” tag by beating St Ives Town in the United Counties League Cup final today.
Preliminary round: King’s Lynn 3 AFC Kempston Rovers 0
First round: King’s Lynn 2 Raunds Town 1
Second round: King’s Lynn 2 Northampton Spencer 1
Quarter-final: King’s Lynn 5 Cogenhoe United 3
Semi-final: King’s Lynn 7 Peterborough Northern Star 0
St Ives Town
First round: Northampton ON Chenecks 0 St Ives 6
Second round: Wellingborough Town 1 St Ives 4
Quarter-final: St Ives 5 Bugbrooke St Michaels 1
Semi-final: Holbeach United 0 St Ives 4
The Linnets’ first team are yet to win a trophy since the club was reformed in 2010 but have
come tantalisingly close to lifting the UCL Premier Division in each of the last two seasons.
However, after the heartbreak of consecutive second-placed finishes, Setchell hopes his side can lift silverware this afternoon to end their campaign on a high at Yaxley’s ground.
The Linnets boss said: “I feel we have deserved to have won something last season, and this. But I suppose we’ve become the nearly men. Now, we’ve got a chance to put that right.
“The competition, by our own admission, wasn’t our priority this season but we can win a trophy today and get our hands on some silverware. It’ll be a really competitive match, watched by a number of King’s Lynn and St Ives fans who will be looking forward to it and we need one more big effort.
“St Ives are in-form and they’ve got an outstanding striker in Conor Washington who is scoring for fun. Will Fordham is a good player and they work hard in midfield so it will be tough. “They’re a brilliant cup side but the lads showed great spirit and character to bounce back against Cogenhoe and I expect the lads to look after themselves. We’ll definitely be going out to win it.”
Joint St Ives managers Jez Hall and Warren Everdell have led their side to a third-place finish this season, as well as their third League Cup final in a row.
The Saints lifted the trophy in 2010 but lost last season’s final to Peterborough Northern Star - who Lynn annihilated 7-0 in the last four.
Red-hot striker Jason Turner, who has scored in each of his last eight matches, is cup tied and will be replaced by either Danny Beaumont and Robbie Harris.
Dan Buhlemann (work) is absent while Setchell will keep faith with number two keeper Matthew Hails - who has played in all of side’s League Cup games this season - meaning Alex Street will be a substitute.
Setchell said: “It’s a horrible job to be a number two keeper but we’re lucky to have a very committed guy in Hailsy who has waited for his games.
“He’s got an unbelievable relationship with Pedro (Street). They take the goalkeepers’ union to another level. Matty’s great for Pedro and they get on so well. Alex wants Matty to play, do well, and help us win the trophy.
“Matty’s played against big sides and he’s never let us down - in fact he’s done very well. He won’t thank for me saying it but it’s probably the biggest game of his life. However, I’m sure he’ll go out there and enjoy it.”
Today’s final kicks-off at 3pm.