Linnets' pitch issues back on centre stage again
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn Town’s survival hopes could become a pitch battle – quite literally.
Linnets boss Tommy Widdrington believes his team’s best performances have come away from home, on some of the National League’s more pristine playing surfaces.
His views echo those of his predecessor, Ian Culverhouse, who was regularly critical of the home pitch.
Widdrington takes his team to Solihull Moors on Saturday on the back of successive defeats – 4-1 at home to Maidenhead United a week ago and then 2-0 at Wrexham on Tuesday.
And he sees a pattern forming.
“We have had great performances on a Tuesday night away - Grimsby away, Barnet away,” Widdrington told BBC Radio Norfolk after the Wrexham defeat. “What I don’t want is a flat Saturday after a great Tuesday.
“I think I am getting down to one of the reasons - the pitch, without a shadow of a doubt. We're playing at Grimsby, at Barnet, you look at Wrexham’s pitch – they’re football pitches, and with all due respect, it’s not a knock at the groundsman or anybody else at our place, but literally, we haven’t got a level playing field, and from that point of view it’s detrimental to us.
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“Also, teams come and play a style of football away that they possibly don’t do at home, when they come to our place, and a lot of our players are used to losing games at The Walks and it’s something that I’m not used to, being nervous or a little bit apprehensive at home, so we have got to get it out of our system.”
While Widdrington - who confirmed one-month extensions for loan players Josh Coulson from Southend and Cam Hargreaves from Bristol Rovers - has mixed views on last weekend’s defeat, he was more encouraged by the performance at Wrexham.
“We have got eight or nine games I think at home, so if we can put in these performances - I have just said it to the lads there. I have said, ‘you play like that against the vast majority of teams in this division and you will win games’,” said Widdrington, who will be back on the touchline following his four-game ban.
“So, I believe and they have to believe as well.”
Moors are sixth in the table and looking to consolidate their claims for a play-off spot, while Lynn simply need to keep in touch with the stragglers. They remain second from bottom, 15 points behind Aldershot in the last safe place. The Shots host leaders Stockport, while Barnet, one place and one point better off, entertain bottom side Dover Athletic. Weymouth, who are a place above Lynn, are at home to fifth-placed Halifax Town.