Rock on, Tommy! Home, sweet home at last for Linnets

Ethan Coleman all smiles at full-time against Dover with his new King's Lynn Town manager Tommy Widdrington

New manager Tommy Widdrington celebrates victory w9th Ethan Coleman - Credit: Ian Burt

One swallow doesn’t make a summer – and new Linnets Tommy Widdrington refused to get carried away after starting his reign at The Walks in perfect style. 

It wasn’t pretty, but it was pretty effective, and after a diet of defeats no one really cared that much.

A first home league win of the season after nine failures, and an end to a horrible eight-match losing run left Lynn fans happy. for once.  

Josh Barrett celebrates his cracking first-half strike for King's Lynn Town against Dover

Josh Barrett celebrates his cracking first-half strike - Credit: Ian Burt

The scenes at the final whistle were reminiscent of a few seasons ago when home wins were almost a given. But these are hard times, which call for hard measures – and Widdrington appears to be the sort who will stand for nothing but all-out effort. 

He got that. The task now is to ensure there’s more of it to come. There has to be because Lynn are second from bottom of the table but can at least see the three teams – Maidenhead, Weymouth and Southend - four points ahead of them.  

The battle is far from over – but it is also far from easy. 

King's Lynn's all action skipper, Michael Clunan gets to the ball first against Dover

Lynn's all-action skipper, Michael Clunan gets to the ball first - Credit: Ian Burt

 “The biggest thing for me was the application and endeavour given to me from a group of guys I only met en masse yesterday,” said Widdrington.  

Most Read

“They have listened - don’t know whether they have learned yet but certainly they understand that the information I will give them will give them a better opportunity to win football games. 

“I am delighted inwardly and the lads are too, but they have to turn it around very quickly to be able to produce that kind of effort and endeavour – and I think they are a better football team than I watched today.” 

Ethan Coleman is sent flying in an aerial duel as King's Lynn Town beat Dover

Ethan Coleman is sent flying in an aerial duel - Credit: Ian Burt

On a pitch that reflected the onset of winter and opposition that need the points even more desperately than Lynn do, it was hardly likely to be a classic. 

“I have played enough games and managed and coached enough games to know it is not always the best football team that wins the game,” added the Lynn boss.  

“I thought we were the better football team today, and I don’t think there will be many technically who are as good as this group of lads, but there are all sorts of ingredients needed and sometimes you have just got to win and however we have done it, we have done it.” 

King's Lynn's goal scorer Josh Barrett shares his delight after the win over Dover

Two-goal hero Josh Barrett shares his delight with the fans as Lynn take all three points against Dover - Credit: Ian Burt

But Lynn did have the one piece of real class on the pitch – Josh Barrett, scorer of both goals, the first a sublime clip over the keeper from out on the left, the second a long-range thunderbolt. 

Barrett is clearly still far from match fit, but Widdrington knows all about him. 

“The guy is a talent,” he said. “I have been connected with Josh indirectly for five or six years. I recruited him into Coventry City and I recruited him on to a permanent at Bristol Rovers and I preached as a recruiter and a director of football to the development managers that this kid is a proper talent. But, and there is a but, he is not so good at certain things. 

“If you give him the licence and a bit of freedom, you have also got to demand things that he is not comfortable with. It’s like anything, he has to be comfortable at being uncomfortable with the things he doesn’t like doing. 

King'[s Lynn Town's Malachi Linton in the Dover penalty area

Malachi Linton in the Dover penalty area - Credit: Ian Burt

“It will take a while – everyone will look at him and see he is overweight, he’s this, that and the other... he is a talented kid. 

“But listen, he isn’t going to get any favours or grace off of me. He didn’t ask to come off, I took him off because he’d done his bit.” 

His ‘bit’ may have been more than the two goals which won the match. The response to the first was to celebrate among the noisiest group of Lynn’s supporters.  

Nothing unusual in that – except it could well build some bridges between fans and players, a relationship that hasn’t always been the best this season. 

Lynn’s fans have a role to play - but Widdrington, Barrett and Co need to keep delivering.  

King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, A Jones, Bowry, Coleman, Bird, Sundire (Barrows 81), Clunan, McGavin, Barrett (Charles 54), Omotayo, Linton (Gyasi 86). Subs not used: Raspberry, Kurran-Browne. 

Goals: Barrett 21, 49 

Dover: Bexon, Bramble (Caton 62), Goodman, Williamson (Arthur 64), Cosgrave, Ransom (Da Costa 82), Woods, Tiensia, Collinge, Hanson, Pavey. Subs not used: Andre, Wood. 

Goal: Pavey 31 

Att: 591