Feel-good factor starting to spread at King’s Lynn Town
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn Town are hoping for their biggest crowd of the season today, with the feel-good factor rapidly returning to The Walks.
Five wins in a row have seen the best-laid plans of manager Gary Setchell finally start to pay dividends, filling the Linnets with confidence ahead of today's FA Trophy clash.
Southern Premier Division rivals St Ives are the visitors in third round qualifying, with £4,000 in prize money and a place in the first round proper up for grabs.
Adding to the momentum recently has been the signing of former Dereham winger Ryan Hawkins for a four-figure fee.
The 21-year-old picked up an ankle problem while on trial with Football League club Newport and left St Neots as he wanted to be closer to his Mattishall home and his studies at Easton & Otley College.
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The former Norwich City academy player came on as a substitute and set up Toby Hilliard's winner in a 1-0 home win over Banbury, before starting a 2-0 win at Thetford in the Norfolk Senior Cup in midweek.
'It was good, good to get back out on the pitch because I hadn't played for a while, since I got injured at Newport,' Hawkins said.
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'The atmosphere is good, the gaffer is pushing everyone and all the lads are saying how good it is at the moment.
'We're five from five and two from two in the games I've played, so the players and the fans are really looking forward to this one and we're hoping for over 1,000 at the game.'
However St Ives also have their tails up, having won four games since a 7-0 thrashing at home to Kettering in the league at the start of the month.
'A bit like us, they've won four out of four so it will hopefully be a good game,' Hawkins continued. 'If we turn up with the right attitude, anything can happen. The gaffer had us in the gym to get us right for the game.
'The more professional a club can be at this level, they higher they can go. If you are not acting professionally, you'll get left behind, because there will be others who want to be professional.
'The gaffer and the squad are grafting and the chairman wants to push the club forward, so we're looking for a run in the Trophy and we're still in the Senior Cup so we can have a good run in that as well hopefully.'
Lynn captain Leon Mettam is likely to miss the match after hurting his back when colliding with an advertising board during the win at Thetford on Tuesday, which caused a lengthy stoppage, but Hawkins has been impressed by the quality in the squad since he arrived.
'The players are great, they're good lads,' he added. 'There's good quality and there's some lads on loan from Football League clubs, so it's good we can attract from higher levels.
'The younger lads stepped in at Thetford in the week and did a really good job as well.'
A minute's silence is planned ahead of the game, following the death of former Linnets player David Bridges, who played over 500 games for the club in the 1960s.