Linnets looking to keep hosts quiet

King's Lynn skipper Mark Warren wants to turn down the volume at Brackley in tonight's latest Southern League, Premier Division road trip.

By PADDY DAVITT

King's Lynn skipper Mark Warren wants to turn down the volume at Brackley in tonight's latest Southern League, Premier Division road trip.

Warren knows the pre-season title favourites must once again handle the weight of expectation at the newly promoted Saints.

“King's Lynn is a big scalp,” he said. “When we've got beat at these places in the past you can hear them celebrating in the changing rooms - it's like they've won the FA Cup final. That does bring extra pressure but it's something we can deal with. Brackley lost at the weekend so they would've been pretty low after that game although I expect they will be up for this one.”


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Lynn's hard fought win at Tiverton in their fifth consecutive away match was the perfect response after Bank Holiday defeat at Rugby.

“We shouldn't have lost that game, but it was a blip,” said Warren. “We showed character and professionalism to bounce back. Tiverton is always a tough place to go. A lot of teams will struggle because they are a physical side who put it about. I felt we played well first half and not so well after the break but the most important thing was the result.

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“There's a great team spirit and that has shown through in these games. Yate away is certainly one we would have lost last year. It proves how well we've bonded. People might have been worried about all the away matches at the start - now I think it can set up our season. If we can keep picking up points in the next few games we've got a glut of home matches. Then it'll be teams coming to us who have to worry.”

Grays' recruit John Turner proved the Ladsymead match winner with his third league goal. The striker (hamstring) is an injury doubt for the trip to St James but Warren insists the tall targetman has a big role to play in Lynn's promotion push.

“I liked him straight away when he came in during the summer,” he said. “I didn't know that much about him at the time but he is a natural goalscorer. JT works so hard for the team as well. If we can keep him clear of injuries and suspensions he can make a big difference to us. Joe Francis is another good addition. He's got great pace and is decent in the air.”

Francis (virus) will travel after being rested for the Tiverton win. Experienced duo Ben Chapman (calf) and Greg Crane (ankle) are set to miss out again but Warren has praised the impact of utility defender Charlie Defty.

“Charlie has been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “You can slot him in anywhere and know he'll give 110%. When Craney got injured I didn't know who would come in but I've been really pleased. It's not just the defence - we've been solid as a team.

“I think we have the depth now to cope with injuries and suspensions. The gaffer kept the same core of players over the summer and added quality.”

Brackley lost 4-2 to Chippenham at the weekend in the first of two key battles according to Saints' boss Roger Ashby.

“These games are both big tests for us,” said Ashby. “Chippenham were a team who will always be there or thereabouts and King's Lynn are odds on to win the league, so it will be a good guideline for us.

“It will be difficult, we know that. We are a new team with a new manager in a new league, but we have set good standards, and we want the players to keep striving for more.”

Guy Hadland is suspended. Danny Spencer and Robbie Beard returned to the squad at the weekend. Southern League top gun Tom Winters notched his fifth of the season in Brackley's high scoring defeat.

King's Lynn (from): Howie, Murray, West, Smith, Warren, Lake, C Defty, Fisk, Camm, Frew, Melton, Turner, Bloomfield, J Defty, Nolan, Francis, Spriggs.

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