King’s Lynn braced for FA Vase epic
King's Lynn joint boss Gary Setchell insists Coalville must handle the weight of expectation in today's FA Vase semi-final, second leg return.
Town can count on the support of a club record home crowd in their bid to overhaul a three goal deficit after last weekend's below par display against the Ravens.
But Setchell has shifted the psychological pressure onto the visitors who are now firm favourites to book a Wembley final date next month against either holders Whitley Bay or Poole.
'We have to go for it, of course, but we have to have an element of patience as well,' said Setchell. 'It's no good going gung ho and we concede early because then we are in the tall grass, but if we put a bit of pressure on them in the first 20 minutes then we can plant some doubts because they are in an awkward situation.
'The way the semi-final is now we have nothing to lose, they have everything to lose. If we lose the tie, it's because of what happened last week. Not what happens at our place. We have to get the crowd on our side and our big players have to play well – the likes of Jack (Defty), Jamie (Thurlbourne) and Spriggsy (Steve Spriggs).'
Setchell believes Coalville face a tricky dilemma in their approach to the second leg with the Midlands' club sitting on a three goal lead.
'If I was the Coalville manager looking at how we defended last week I would expect to score against us again,' he said.
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'If they come at us then hopefully that will leave gaps for our players to exploit. If they try to park the bus, like they did to an extent in the final 20 minutes last week, we carved out three or four half chances. But we might only get four or five chances in the whole game and we have to be clinical. It won't be the ten or 12 like we had against Yaxley in midweek because they are a better side.'
Setchell and fellow joint boss Gary Setchell face some selection issues with Danny Buhlemann (groin) the only injury concern.
'Bully did his groin in the warm up the other night so we'll have to assess that,' he said. 'We have a few decisions to make in who is going to partner Jack up front, who to play in central defence with their aerial threat and in central midfield with Whitey (Danny White) and Docs (Kieran Doherty).
'Whitey has put himself back in the frame and he has that big-match experience which is going to be crucial, but Docs has done well.'
The Linnets' joint chief knows first hand what it would mean for his players to pull off an FA Vase semi-final success. Setchell was part of the Kettering team who played in the last FA Trophy final under the old Twin Towers at Wembley in 2000.
'I said to the players last week the Wembley game is something I still talk about now and will be talking about in 20 years time,' he said. 'As a lad growing up it's what you want to do. Our players have made it hard for themselves but there is still a chance for them to get to Wembley for what would be the biggest game of their lives. If they don't want to give everything they've got something is wrong because we should have to carry the players off the pitch at the end. They should be shattered.'
Setchell also believes the lessons of FA Vase history should be heeded.
'You only have to look at some of the previous FA Vase results at this stage of the competition,' he said. 'Raunds were 3-0 up and lost 5-0 at Arlesey some years ago. Lowestoft were 4-0 up but found themselves 3-0 down at Whitley Bay after half an hour but managed to hang onto it. Home advantage is massive.
If Coalville had won 2-0 we would have expected to turn it around, so the tie is not over. The first goal is crucial and so is getting the fans on our side.'
Setchell is relishing a second crack at the Midland Alliance outfit.
'I've been looking forward to it since we got on the bus last week,' he said. 'I know our players didn't do themselves justice and I also know, without sounding arrogant, if King's Lynn bring their 'A' game it's more than doable. 'We beat Newport Pagnell 5-1 at home when people were saying they were a great side. We went to St Neots and won and scored three goals in 12 minutes in the second half that day. We have a big performance in us and it can be a massive day for King's Lynn football club.'
• Home supporters can still purchase tickets in advance for today's game. The club's ticket office at The Walks is open from 12:30pm. Gates open at 1pm.