By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Gary Setchell insists his players are desperate to win the United Counties Premier Division - even though King’s Lynn Town could still gain promotion by finishing second.
Days after their title hopes suffered a blow by losing 2-1 at closest rivals Long Buckby, the Linnets were handed a lifeline when the Northamptonshire outfit’s Station Road ground was deemed not fit for Step Four football.
The FA’s ruling means Glen Cotterill’s side can not go up even if they win the league, thus opening an alternative route out of the UCL for Norfolk’s best-supported non-league club.
If the 12 available promotion slots at Step Five are not filled elsewhere across the country, Lynn could go up due to their points per game average being superior to other non-title winning sides that have applied for promotion.
Despite the boost, the Linnets boss says his side are only concentrating on one thing - picking up three more points in their final home league game of the season against Desborough Town today (3pm).
Setchell said: We’ve still got a dressing room full of players desperate to win this league and go up as champions.
“We need to win our next two games to give us the best possible chance and we’re not going to worry about anything other than that until after April 28.
“We want to reach 108 points and if that means we finish second and go up via a points per game average then we will accept that.
“We don’t make the rules. Our chairman (Buster Chapman) has worked hard to sort the ground out so we can go up - if other clubs want to spend money on their teams but not their ground that’s their choice.
“I’ve reminded the players that there’s still mileage left in this title race. It’s not over yet. While we can still win the league that’s what we’ll try and do - only after that will we look at other routes.”
Buckby’s incredible 11-1 win at Blackstones on Wednesday night saw them move three points behind the Linnets.
They now have a plus-seven superior goal difference to Lynn with one game in hand and Setchell admits the title race is unlikely to come down to a final-day goal difference cliffhanger.
He said: “It was a farcical result. Blackstones had conceded just 27 goals all season and then let in 11 so it was a strange one.
“We’ve had to take it on the chin because we’ve put 10 past Raunds and eight by Yaxley before but it was disappointing. However, it takes the pressure off us in one respect with regards to trying to get lots of goals. It won’t come down to goal difference. That’s not a defeatist attitude, it’s a realistic one.
“We’d need to win about 7-0 twice to stand any chance. Not only is it disrespectful to the sides we’ve got but it’s ridiculous to think it could come down to it now.
“We just need to make sure that come April 28 we have 108 points. If Buckby still win the league then, I’d be the first to congratulate them.”
Centre-back Stuart Wall has been ruled out for Ar Tarn’s visit after injuring his groin and back when Buckby striker Russell Dunkley landed on him during last weekend’s game. He will be replaced by either Ryan Fryatt or Dan Buhlemann.
Jack Defty and Rob Hughes (both back) are both doubtful and may not feature as Lynn look to capitalise on any potential Buckby slip-ups at Boston Town.
Setchell said: “Boston is a tough place to go to. If they play like they have done against us over the past two seasons it’ll definitely be a hard afternoon for Buckby.
“However, Desborough are not the same team we beat (5-0) in December. They’ve been on a great run and they’ll be coming to The Walks with nothing to lose. People may have one eye on the Buckby result but we just need to worry about getting a win.”