Gary Setchell still smiling in defeat after King’s Lynn Town lose final match of memorable campaign

Lynn's mascot came out with the League Trophy before the game. Picture: Ian Burt

Lynn's mascot came out with the League Trophy before the game. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Gary Setchell was still smiling even though King's Lynn Town lost their last game of the season yesterday.

The Evo-Stik Division One South champions were hammered 6-1 at home by Skelmersdale United in the end-of-season Peter Swales Challenge Shield final.

The Linnets' boss admitted his side had deserved to lose to their Division One North counterparts but was pleased with the experience he got into reserve-team trio Shaun Stocker, Luke Biles and Chris Ward – all of whom were used as second-half substitutes.

Setchell said: 'My overall take is whether we won 6-1, lost 6-1, or lost 10-1, it wasn't going to be a reflection on our season.

'We've had a terrific campaign and well the game, it was what it was – a glorified friendly.

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'The youngsters haven't often got the chance to play this season because we needed to win every game. So, I managed to get a good look at them, and I thought they did very well. Some of the players haven't played as much as others, so I gave them a game as well because it's been a big group effort.

'We weren't at full tilt and we deserved to lose 6-1. But that's immaterial.'

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The end-of-season match between two of Step Four's title-winners was comfortably won by Skelmersdale as they passed an understrength Lynn off the park.

First-half goals from Mark Jackson, Josh Hine and Adam Morning put the visitors into a convincing lead before George Thomson's second-half penalty reduced the deficit. However, Hine claimed a second-half hat-trick to complete his team's rout to take the crown back up north.

The Bank Holiday clash came less than a week after Lynn secured back-to-back promotions with a memorable 2-1 triumph over Sheffield at The Walks. Just two days before Skem arrived the Linnets had triumphed 3-0 at Belper Town to end their league schedule on a high.

Having pipped long-time leaders Coalville Town to the title and guaranteed a place at Step Three of the non-league ladder, Setchell added he was more than happy at how his men's campaign had panned out.

He said: 'If you offered me losing 6-1 in the Peter Swales Challenge Shield, winning the league and getting to the last 16 of the FA Trophy, I think we'd have taken that at the start of the season. I said to the boys after the game it's been a first-class effort for 46 weeks and we'll enjoy the six weeks that we get off now.'

Lynn could be joined at a higher-level when the 2013/14 campaign begins by either Stamford or Chasetown. The former won at Belper, while the latter triumphed at Coalville, to set up Friday's play-off final.

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