King’s Lynn on FA Vase mission
King's Lynn joint boss Gary Setchell is confident his men can fly the flag for Norfolk in today's delayed FA Vase third round tie at Beckenham. (3pm)
The Linnets are now the county's sole representatives in the national cup competition following Wroxham's extra-time defeat last weekend to Lynn's league rivals St Ives. Town warmed up for their trip to Kent with a comfortable Norfolk Senior Cup midweek success against a youthful Yarmouth, that Setchell believes was the perfect preparation.
'We had a good blow out against Yarmouth who had their own problems and fielded a few young lads but we were able to get some match practice in and put out a strong side with a few youngsters also getting experience,' he said.
'Beckenham had a game on Monday which was handy to allow them to get a few players, including the skipper, off a suspension. We've spoken to St Albans who played them in the FA Cup and we've done our research. We know it's a tough game and the fact we have stuttered once or twice on the road might give sides some extra encouragement. I don't quite look at it that way. The only game we've lost away since the opening day was Deeping, which wasn't a good performance, and we had a draw at Blackstones which felt like two points dropped. The draw at St Ives was definitely one gained. They were strong, played a lot of good football and they showed they are not a bad side by going to Wroxham and beating them.'
Town bid to become the fourth United Counties League club into the last 32 – a feat Setchell believes underlines the core strength of their league.
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'I think if we get through that would be four compared to one from the Ridgeons in Leiston,' he said. 'Whenever the two leagues have gone up against each other the UCL has generally come out stronger so anyone who reckons the Ridgeons is still the best is talking nonsense for me. We know where a win will take us in this competition but no-one in the club has looked beyond Beckenham.'
Recent Stamford recruit Ross Watson is in line for his debut with central defender Brady Stone (knee) ruled out. Combative midfielder Luke Thurlbourne is back from a ban but Chris Bacon is ineligible while Lynn wait on international clearance. Setchell feels Lynn retain plenty of firepower despite Bacon's delayed absence due to red tape and the departure of Scott Cubberley.
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'We've got big Jack (Defty), Robbie Harris and Spriggsy (Steve Spriggs) can all do a job for us,' said Setchell. 'I don't think Scott ever gave himself a proper chance at the club. He was away on holiday in the summer for a couple of weeks when we started back and then there was a game he was going to start and he turned up and said he was ill. Obviously what happens then is that other players get their chance and made the most of it. Look at Robbie, when he has come off the bench he has made an impact.
'Brady is the only injury problem we have. It's nothing to do with any previous injuries this season, he just damaged it at work so we hope he is back within a week or so but Ross is eligible, he has trained now three or four times and although he is going in cold he knows all the lads.'