Another win - but plenty to ponder for Linnets new boss

Josh Barrett tucked away this effort for King's Lynn's opening goal against Nantwich

Josh Barrett tucks away this effort for Lynn's opening goal - Credit: Ian Burt

There was just a hint of exasperation on Tommy Widdrington’s face when asked about the contribution of Josh Barrett. 

Seven days after Barrett’s brace earned Lynn their first home league win in the new manager’s first game in charge, the midfielder was at it again: two more goals and a place in the hat for Monday’s FA Trophy fourth-round draw. 

Josh Barrett applauds the King's Lynn faithful when he was replaced late in the game against Nantwich

Josh Barrett applauds the Lynn faithful after being replaced late in the game against Nantwich - Credit: Ian Burt

It’s hard to ignore Barrett, but Project Linnets is about more than one player and Widdrington will spend countless hours dissecting ways of getting the best tune out of a team of 11 players that is still not showing its true potential. 

Note-takers had little to do until almost half an hour had gone – and then we saw a 10-minute spell which might just become a teaching aid for the new boss when he points out the good, the bad and the ugly of his team. 

Josh Barrett celebrates his second goal of the game - Credit: Ian Burt

Josh Barrett, right, celebrates his second goal of the game - Credit: Ian Burt

It started with Barrett’s shot which came off the bar on 27 minutes, which sparked Lynn into life. They buzzed around the visitors’ area before Barrett put them ahead a few minutes later. Grand. All going to plan then? 

Not a bit of it – one slide-rule pass down the right channel by Carlos Gomzes Montefiori and Nantwich were back in it, Daniel Cockerline expertly slipping the ball past Paul Jones. 

Seven days ago the gap between going ahead and then conceding was 11 minutes; on Saturday it was five. Mental discipline can be added to the ‘to do’ list. 

Michael Gyasi looks to get King's Lynn Town on the front foot against Nantwich in the FA Trophy

Michael Gyasi looks to get Lynn on the front foot - Credit: Ian Burt

Barrett won the game from the spot soon after the break and with Nantwich tiring, the game was in Lynn’s hands - Gold Omotayo almost sealed it with a shot that came back off the underside of the bar. 

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Omotayo is a good example of the issues Widdrington has to sort – no goals in 16 starts isn’t good reading. 

A lot of what football is about is decided by what happens between players’ ears – the mental side has to be spot on. Widdrington alluded to that in his summation of the game. 

King's Lynn Town manager Tommy Widdrington during the FA Trophy game against Nantwich

Tommy Widdrington - Credit: Ian Burt

“There are a few factors for the reasons for the performance,” he said. “Everybody who has watched Lynn can see they are a good technical team who can pass the ball. It’s on a very difficult surface – that's for both sides - so I will give them a little leeway on that.

"What frustrated me is, with all due respect to the opposition, I felt we were going to win the game before I got here. And I told them, I wrote it on the wall. I felt we went about it in the beginning quite nicely, we got ourselves ahead, I thought it was coming, disappointed again for the goal because it is completely preventable and that is something I have to eradicate quickly, because teams are not having to do anything out of this world to score a goal. 

Gold Omotayo during King's Lynn Town's FA Trophy game against Nantwich

Gold Omotayo signals for the ball - Credit: Ian Burt

“When we are set and we are in shape we don’t look too bad defensively, but when we are stretched we do. 

“But I am not being disrespectful to the opposition to say we dominated the game, we had the better chances, we had more chances, we hit the woodwork, their goalie has made saves... the scoreline is possibly a little kind to them I think, but we were in a  game. 

King's Lynn Town's Aaron Jones during the FA Trophy game against Nantwich

Aaron Jones keeps his eyes on the ball - tracked by former Wales international David Vaughan - Credit: Ian Burt

“I can’t fault the application - but there is effort and intelligent effort and sometimes the intelligent but isn’t quite there.” 

The good thing for Widdrington is that he now has a clear run of time with his squad before the big Boxing Day game against Notts County.

A work in progress. 

King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, A Jones, Bowry, Coleman, Bird, Barrows, Clunan, McGavin, Barrett (Kurran-Browne 75), Gyasi (Linton 61), Omotayo. Subs not used: Rasberry, Knowles, Da Costa. 

Goals: Barrett 32, 49pen

Nantwich: Wycherley, Stair (Webb 59), Edwards, Bourne, Langley, Haywood, Montefiori  (Miller 81), Vaughan, Cockerline, Cooke, Heath (Malkin 68). Subs not used: Hawkin, France, Devine, Hughes. 

Goal: Cockerline 36

Att: 643