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King’s Lynn Town must avoid becoming FA Cup victims against Histon

PUBLISHED: 10:04 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:05 07 September 2018

King's Lynn's Toby Hilliard in action during the home defeat by Stourbridge last weekend Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn's Toby Hilliard in action during the home defeat by Stourbridge last weekend Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Life’s tough for King’s Lynn Town boss Simon Clark at the moment - and the fact he has a day off from the rigours of the league this weekend makes it no less difficult.

Former Canary Robert Snodgrass in action for Leeds during their shock FA Cup defeat at Histon a decade ago Picture: PAFormer Canary Robert Snodgrass in action for Leeds during their shock FA Cup defeat at Histon a decade ago Picture: PA

The Linnets are in FA Cup action, but because of their poor league form, they go out with a massive target on their shirts.

The visitors to The Walks are Histon, a team with history in the world’s oldest knockout competition but one which has fallen from grace in recent years. The Stutes’ rise to the very edge of a place in the Football League was as dramatic as their descent has been.

They have tumbled through the football pyramid and landed in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League courtesy of four relegations. A decade ago they were beating Leeds United in this every competition. Today, that all seems like a dream.

And yet, they will head across the border into Norfolk with a spring in their step and a huge incentive – all thanks to their opponents’ miserable start to the season.

If ever they needed a carrot then it is there in the Southern League Central Premier Division table and next to King’s Lynn Town it reads: P 6 W 1 D 1 L 4 Pts 4.

Lynn can’t score – they’ve not hit the back of the net in 300 minutes of football – there are only three teams below them in the table and the manager is under immense pressure. All grist to the mill for Histon.

And Clark knows it.

“As a football club, we want to do well in the FA Cup, as do all clubs,” he told the club’s official web site.

“Histon are from a lower league and all FA Cup matches are difficult.

“They will love coming here. They will see that we are on a poor run at the minute and look at ways of beating us.

“We just have to make sure we control what we do and get things right.

“The longer we go without hitting the back of the net, the harder it gets.

“We are not performing to a level where we should be at the minute and that’s down to my staff and myself.

“The fans are not onside with us at the minute and I fully understand that, but it’s not through a lack of effort.”

There are danger signs ahead: Histon are second in the Thurlow Nunn Premier, with four wins from four games.

And the Histon squad contains former Linnets Pat Bexfield – once with Norwich City’s youth set-up – and Lee Smith as well as a number of players who featured for Mildenhall Town when they beat Lynn in the FA Trophy last season.

Plus, what better way to mark the 10th anniversary season of their 1-0 FA Cup second round win over Leeds, in November 2008, than by setting off on another cup run?

The winners of this first qualifying round game pockets £6,000 but for Clark that’s almost secondary: the opportunity to kick-start Lynn’s season is one he has to take.

The club have reduced admission prices: adults £11, concessions £10, youths (16/17) £6 and under-16s free.

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