John Sands likely to get the nod as King’s Lynn Town head to St Neots Town

John Sands is in line to try and keep Lynn heading in the right direction from the off at Rowley Par

John Sands is in line to try and keep Lynn heading in the right direction from the off at Rowley Park. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Striker John Sands' impressive weekend cameo appears to have secured him a first King's Lynn Town start of the season.

The Linnets head to St Neots Town this evening looking to build on a 1-1 opening-day Southern League Premier Division draw against Merthyr Town. Gary Setchell opted to leave Sands on the bench for the Walks curtain-raiser with the powerful frontman having missed a large chunk of pre-season.

But he looks unlikely to do the same tonight at St Neots Town after admitting the hitman 'made a big difference' after being introduced as a second-half substitute against the Welsh club. It was Sands' cross-come-shot that set up Lee Stevenson's 85th-minute opener – which was cancelled out in heartbreaking fashion when Ryan Prosser netted an injury-time penalty.

Another player who may have to make do with a watching brief again, however, is classy young centre-back Matty Castellan. Although Lynn were working hard overnight to resolve the international clearance issue which ruled him ineligble at the weekend, Dan Quigley's domimant performance at the heart of the Linnets' back four may well have done enough for him to keep his shirt either way.

Setchell said: 'Matty's international clearance got sent off but the US FA, or whatever it is called, didn't return the e-mails or get it to his club (in time). I don't know.

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'I got the news at 11.30am (on Saturday) and I was furious. It didn't affect the game as Quigz was magnificent. Hopefully Matty will be fine for St Neots but he's got to get back in the team now though.

'Quigz was outstanding. I thought he was the best player on the pitch. To be thrown in how he was as well. He turned up, probably not expecting to play, and to throw him in at 2pm, at centre-half, I thought he was outstanding.'

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Neots go into the clash off the back of a 2-0 defeat at Slough Town.

Joint boss Andy Davies, who saw Tom Ward sent off in the first half, said: 'The performance the players produced was not good enough and we need to put it right. The boys know my feelings and I'm expecting better when we host Lynn.'

Diss Town host Downham Town, King's Lynn Town Reserves welcome their Team Bury counterparts and March Town United entertain Haverhill Borough in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division. Wisbech Town are at home to Peterborough Sports in both sides' United Counties League Premier Division opener.

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