Would Joe have been Taylor-made for Linnets?

Joe Taylor of Peterborough United on his debut against Bournemouth

Joe Taylor on his Peterborough United debut against Bournemouth in midweek - Credit: Joe Dent/JMP

While Tommy Widdrington bemoaned the lack of firepower at King’s Lynn Town, just 35 miles along the A47 something was happening that would have had him shaking his head in disbelief. 

Lynn’s powder-puff attack was firing blanks through 90 minutes of a goalless draw at home to Woking. 

On the same evening, at Peterborough, teenage striker Joe Taylor was making his league debut for Posh against Bournemouth in the Championship. 

Taylor – born in King’s Lynn and a fan since he was a lad - is a player that Widdrington never saw, a player few of us saw in fact, as he was deemed too inexperienced for the National League stage. 

So while Widdrington bemoans a squad of players he admits he is reluctant to describe as full-time pros, there’s one up the road that is …but got away when, in November, he got fed up waiting for a look-in at Lynn and, when Posh called, signed a two-and-a-half year deal.  

The 19-year-old has scored for fun with Posh’s Under-23s. His Linnets playing history? One appearance as a sub at home to Solihull Moors last October. 

No one knows how he would have fared at Lynn, but it’s certain it could be no worse than those currently tasked with the job. 

Gold Omotayo shoots for goal during King's Lynn Town's goalless draw against Woking on Tuesday

Gold Omotayo shoots for goal during King's Lynn Town's goalless draw against Woking on Tuesday - Credit: Ian Burt

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Widdrington is putting a very brave face on his team's predicament, but every dropped point is a signal for the fat lady to warm up. Not all of the blame will be apportioned to him: as he points out, his points per game tally is higher than the previous regime’s. The position when he took over - second from bottom – remains the same. It’s the gap to survival that is frightening and will only get worse if Lynn don’t get anything from their home game against Torquay on Saturday. 

After the midweek draw with Woking, he was forthright about Lynn’s issues. 

“I just said to the lads there, this club will not get relegated, certainly since I have come into the building, because of tactics, shape or anything like that – it will be because they are not good enough footballers, and that’s it," he said. And physicality and fitness are part of that.

"If people look from the outside and think, ‘oh, they are a full-time football club’... the footballers are kidding themselves if they all think they are full-time footballers; they’re not. They don’t look like full-time footballers and they can’t play 90 minutes like full-time footballers.  

“So until we improve the infrastructure behind that and give them the platform to train and to be physically prepared in the manner that a professional footballer is, I won’t be calling them full-time footballers. 

“I give them a task every time we play and I know they are capable of what I am asking them to do and I know what I ask them to do will give them a foothold in the game. And I can’t think of a game yet that we have played since I have been here that we haven’t had that platform to go and win a game from. So, what I would say is, I have looked at videos of games before I got in and they were out of games before they got in them sometimes so from that point of view there has been a change. 

“Have we got that winning mentality, winning formula Obviously not, because if we did the chances we’ve created tonight, or the type of chances we created tonight you have somebody in that six-yard box busting a gut or breaking his nose or breaking somebody else’s nose to get in there to score that goal.” 

“I know where the issue lies – but I can’t fault them for their effort and their application.” 

And in a roundabout way, that brings us back to Joe Taylor: a goal scorer, a full-time footballer. And a player who might well have still been with the club had he been given a chance.