FC United’s class proves how hard progress will be for King’s Lynn Town
- Credit: Ian Burt
Fans of reformed Lynn who are dreaming of a third promotion push have been given a harsh dose of reality.
A 2-1 reverse is hardly a brutal defeat, nor was the nature in which the loss came. The Linnets matched FC United for large parts of the game but in truth were often inferior. And that's what perhaps was the most sobering aspect for those connected with Norfolk's second biggest football club.
Hopes of reaching the play-offs in Town's second season in the Evo-Stik Premier Division have not been extinguished by a fourth home league loss of the term. The tight nature of the table means Gary Setchell's troops could find themselves in the shake-up well into the new year.
But at The Walks the hosts were outclassed by an in-form team that, whisper it quietly, is trying to progress from Step Three at the seventh time of asking. And that's where the concern perhaps rightly lies this morning as Lynn digest a second festive defeat in three days.
If FC United are that good, and honestly, they are, then how far do Setchell's side need to improve? The answer to that question will be discovered in the coming weeks and months but FC showed just what is needed on the Northern Premier League's 'Super Sunday' to become a potent top-five threat.
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An energy-sapping ability to retain possession, a team packed with pace and strength, and an inner belief that never wavers – even if the illustrious Manchester-based outfit have suffered three play-off final defeats in a row followed up by semi-final heartbreak last term.
Not one person associated with the illustrious Manchester-based outfit questions that they belong in the Conference set-up, at the very least. They will not stop as a collective force – including the power of the league's best supporters in terms of noise and numbers – until that goal is achieved.
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Right now the Linnets are not that far away from matching a great side like FC on the pitch. But at the crucial moments they are currently failing to be clinical in both boxes. A failed clearance here – Ryan Fryatt for FC's first – a missed opportunity there, Gregg Smith at 1-0, and switching off as a unit for a heartbeat to allow Lewis Lacy a free strike to double the visitors' advantage. These are the key moments in this winter blip that are currently making Town second best.
David Bridges' late header gave the Linnets hope but much like at Barwell on Boxing Day it was too little too late. Yet a final finish above 11th would still signal progress. And like FC, that may have to be achieved, bit by frustrating bit.