Five-game ban was a ‘learning curve’ for King’s Lynn Town wideman Jake Jones
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn Town's players end a season where they've discvored a lot this afternoon - none more so than Jake Jones.
The Linnets and their manager Gary Setchell have had to adjust to the Evo-Stik Premier Division at a rapid rate following stunning back-to-back promotions. And they've done it well as they close in on a top-half finish.
But it's been a campaign of transition for many including 21-year-old Jones. He joined the club on loan from Tamworth and returned on a full-time basis after Christmas as he was forced to get used to life at a new level, albeit a lower one.
But he's cut a frustrated figure since March 22 after picking up two red cards in quick succession and landing himself a five-game ban. That finished on Monday so he is now available for today's trip to play-off hopefuls AFC Fylde and the former Walsall youngster concedes he's learned the hard way about the downfalls of being ill-disciplined.
Jones said: 'It's not only my longest ban, it's my only ban. I've never been suspended until I came to King's Lynn.
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'I've never been banned before and I don't know what happened really. But I certainly accept full responsibility for it. It's been a learning curve for me. I spoke to the gaffer and we said it's good that it's happened now. I'm only 21 and I'll definitely learn from it. It won't happen again, I know that for sure.
'It's been so frustrating sitting up in the stands. Sitting and watching everyone. All I've wanted to do all week is go training and play and I've just ended up watching. It's been killing me if I'm honest and to come back now in the final game, if I'm selected, isn't ideal. I could have done with three or four more games.'
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The talented wideman was sent off for picking up two quick yellow cards in quick succession at Buxton during a 6-1 hammering on March 12 and was shown his marching orders for a tackle that was deemed to be dangerous next time out at FC United.
That miserable four-day spell for the skillful player came in the middle of a horrible run for his new team and now Jones is looking to end his, and Lynn's term, on a positive note at Fylde.
He said: 'Once today is done than I can focus on next term. I'm happy to be back and I'd like us to try and get in the top 10 if we can. I see no reason why we're not good enough to get a result at Fylde.'
The Linnets could finish as high as eighth, or as low as 12th, depending on the results during the league's final round of fixtures. Setchell has a full squad to choose from although he is letting youngsters Shaun Stocker and Chris Ward stay behind to play for the reserves in their massive Peterborough Premier Division clash against Peterborough ICA.
Lynn's boss said: 'Fylde (third) need to win to get home advantage in the play-offs so they will put out a very strong side. It'll be a massive issue to them whether they're at home or not so they'll be looking to win. We won't be trying to do anyone a favour other than trying to get ourselves up to 71 points. It would cap a terrific season and hopefully would keep us in the top 10. That's our target, we can enjoy it, and hopefully we can come away with something.'
There's more pressure on the club's second-string mind as they know a victory in their final two fixtures, starting at The Walks this afternoon (2pm), will see them pip Netherton to the title and what would be their fourth successive promotion.