King’s Lynn Town seek to set campaign alight with opening-day win against Merthyr Town
King's Lynn Town will be hoping history repeats itself as they look to enjoy a rare taste of home comforts on the opening day.
The Linnets welcome Merthyr Town as they begin their first campaign since 2012/13 with a Walks fixture. That season was the most memorable yet for the reformed club as they went on to lift the Northern League Division One South title to move up to the Step Three level on the non-league pyramid that they still occupy.
That title-winning term started with an August victory in Norfolk and Gary Setchell is looking for more of the same once the competitive action gets under way against a club that did the double over them last season.
Lynn's boss said: 'I want to put any defeat behind us. It would be great to come off with a victory but whatever happens isn't going to determine the season.
'But we'd love to start with a win at home. I think the last time we played at home (on the opening day) we played Chasetown and beat them 1-0 and we went on to win the league. It set us alight as we'd had some sketchy results that pre-season. We got thumped by Wisbech and were written off and we won the league. So let's hope that is an omen.'
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A 2-0 victory on their own turf against Lowestoft Town at the weekend lifted hopes of a positive start following what was, in the main, an encouraging pre-season programme.
With big-name frontmen and summer recruits Leon Mettam and John Sands available for selection, expectations are high. And Setchell is desperate for that bubble not to be burst by the highly-rated visitors from Wales – who beat the Linnets 2-0 in a reverse of today's clash last term.
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'I can't wait. I hate pre-season. I wake up on a Saturday morning and I'm not snappy or aggressive. Today I will be,' added Lynn's boss.
'I'm really looking forward to Merthyr. We do owe them one although we know it's going to be a tough game. If we can get a positive result it will really set us up for the St Neots (Tuesday) and Banbury (Saturday) away games. It's a big game because the friendlies have been really well supported. I think there'll be 800 here because it's a new era (new owner Stephen Cleeve).
'Because we've signed Mettam. Because Sandsy's back. Because we had a positive result on Saturday. I think people will come and get behind us. It's a big game in that sense because if you do throw in a Tuesday night performance (friendly loss to Boston, July 26) there'll probably be 400 at the next game. But if you keep growing and growing I think we could do something half tidy this season.'
Keeper Alex Street is an injury doubt with a thigh problem. If he misses out young shot-stopper Luke Pearson will deputise.