Days after delivering a knockout blow to Gary Setchell’s hopes of winning the league, Long Buckby boss Glen Botterill refuses to kick his opposite number while he’s down.

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The Linnets boss and his players have been left distraught after King’s Lynn Town finished runners-up again, despite picking up 100-plus points for the second season running.

But while Lynn fans continue to put the boot into Setchell on the club’s fans’ forum, the Linnets boss has found an unlikely source of protection – from the man who masterminded The Walks outfit’s most painful United Counties League misery yet.

Botterill said: “I have got nothing but massive praise for Gary. After they lost 2-1 here – and our players got a bit excited, which I apologised for – he just shrugged it off and said his lads would have probably done the same.

“He could have gone straight home, but he made his players go into the bar for a few drinks with us. He was one of the first managers to ring me on Saturday too, to congratulate me on winning the league. That took some doing while he was disappointed.

“What a top man he is for doing that. I’ve read since on the Lynn forum that people want Setchell sacked – what a load of rubbish that is.

“He caught St Neots last year and us this year. He’s taken his side to an FA Vase semi-final, got more than 100 points twice, and people say he should lose his job. I know fans’ pay their money and are entitled to their opinion, but seriously? He’s done a fantastic job.

“In my eyes he’s the right man and I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t manage Lynn next season – whatever level they’re at.”

Botterill, 53, admits his side’s “phenomenal” UCL record-breaking title-winning haul of 108 points, two more than second-placed Lynn, is unlikely to be achieved by his side again.

Even though Setchell’s Linnets may by plying their trade at Step Four next season, thanks to Buckby being refused promotion for failing relevant ground-grading requirements, the Bucks boss said he feels no bitterness towards The Walks outfit.

Cotterill said: “Lynn deserve to go up. The support, the ground, the facilities, everything I guess makes them a proper football club.

“It has been a bit like David v Goliath. To outsiders we’re a little football club, a village team with no supporters, who play at a ground with poor facilities. Everyone said King’s Lynn would win the league and we just slipped under the radar. We had all those games in hand and nobody took any notice of us until January.

“Then I’m sure people said ‘hold on, we can’t shake them off’.

“I still want to manage as high as I can, whether that’s with Buckby or not. Our only problem is we’ve developed too quickly on the field for what’s going on off it. King’s Lynn Football Club is a big business, but we’re on a different level.

“All along I knew we wouldn’t go up but I can say for certain we won’t be demoted down to Step Six. For now we’re enjoying our achievement because we’ve been the best side all season – the table doesn’t lie.”

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