Praise for Linnets' attitude to 'dead rubber' games
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn Town are back on the road on Tuesday night, heading for Stockport, with the endorsement of yet another opposition manager ringing in their ears.
It has been a regular occurrence since the second half of this season began - the goalposts that moved over funding meant carefully laid plans went out of the window, yet in adversity, Lynn have done just as well.
In the 30 games that will contribute to the end-of-season total – with the win over Dover now taken away – Lynn have won 27 points. That 10 points in the first third, eight in the second and nine in the third.
Given the number of players unavailable through injury and/or furlough, it is a quite remarkable return. There’s a case for suggesting that in adversity, they have closed ranks.
Against Chesterfield on Saturday, they led at the break through Sonny Carey, having already lost central defender Kyle Callan-McFadden to a head injury. That threw the game plan out of the window, with striker Michael Gash on defensive duties - although the switch of formation that followed did rather catch their opponents on the hop and it was during that period that the goal came.
Had Kairo Mitchell been in Lynn colours, rather than watching from the stands with his new Chesterfield team-mates, it might have been different.
In the end, the weary Lynn legs succumbed to the visitors’ barrage and two goals in quick succession won the game for the visitors.
Chesterfield have made lots of changes of personnel, but Lynn’s have been forced upon them while the Spireites’ have been on their own terms, a new manager with plenty of money to spend, it seems.
Mitchell takes Chesterfield boss James Rowe deep into double figures for new signings since taking over in November. His changes have worked – Chesterfield are sixth in the table after their fifth win in a row.
Rowe, though, acknowledged the effort put in by Lynn – a team continually playing out dead rubbers but nonetheless putting in all the effort.
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“We were not surprised by that,” said Rowe, whose father Colwyn once managed Lowestoft Town. “They are tactically aware, they can adapt and are quite fluid in their play, in and out of possession they are quite good, got good structure, got a manager who has got them back-to-back promotions so they are no mugs, we knew that and credit to them as well.
“There is no relegation but they have picked up two good results in the last two weeks so we didn’t underestimate them and I think that showed in the course of the 90 minutes we played with real intensity and finally we got our rewards.”
Mitchell’s presence in the stands was something of a sideshow.
“We tried to get it done on Friday and we couldn’t quite get it over the line,” said Rowe. “We watched him intently, the recruitment team have flagged him up to me so I have studied his game this last week and he will add hunger to an already hungry group, pace, hold-up play potential and goals and that isn’t a bad combination for a centre forward.
“I have said we need to make sure if a player is available that can strengthen us and can move with us in the right direction, he is certainly one of those I can develop further and he has got aspirations to play higher, hopefully that will be with our football club.”