King’s Lynn Town are ready to groove to the beat of pass and move
- Credit: Ian Burt
An air of optimism tends to breeze through football stadiums at this time of the year.
Hopes of a title push, a season of avoiding another relegation battle or dreams of a fairytale cup adventure. Yet those winds of change often run out of steam minutes after the reality of competitive football kicks back in.
While it would be foolish to get carried away by King's Lynn Town's unbeaten start to pre-season – which extended to four matches during Saturday's classy 4-1 victory over AFC Sudbury – the Linnets' display provided a breath of fresh air.
The Walks became a miserable place following the turn of the year as Gary Setchell's men tried to hoof their way out of a winter slump. The results became more dire as the panic set in. And so did the quality of entertainment on offer.
Yet at the weekend those fears of another unattractive struggle, in terms of style at least, were not just blown away. They were removed in a powerful gale-force fashion.
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Gone, for now, and so far during the summer, is the excruciating route one approach. Arriving in its place is a side that has a new identity – one that pops the ball around in a flowing fancy of excellence.
The composed Sam Gaughran clearly trusts himself in possession and starts moves from the back. Not by launching the ball up field, but by finding – usually – one of his two holding midfielders. Conor Marshall may provide the much-needed brawn but beside him Michael Clunan provides the creative brains. What the signing from Dereham Town lacks in size he makes up for in elegance. When you couple the pint-sized player's range of passing with the creative talents of Liam Hurst and Lee Stevenson you have – well compared to last season – a match made in Linnets heaven.
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Yes, another striker is probably needed. And yes mistakes were made against Sudbury. But Lynn have clearly had a change in identity during the summer – and it's for the better. Stevenson's brace and strikes from Sam Mulready and Clunan, from the penalty spot, were splintered between some delightful free-flowing moves.
The sort that are a joy to watch and should have Lynn's stay-away fans returning in droves. Because the feel-good factor is back. Just ask those who left The Walks at the weekend with beaming smiles on their faces.
Not because their team won a meaningless warm-up match. But because of how Lynn achieved their victory; by grooving to a tasty new beat of pass and move.