Notman could get a chance to shine

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is primed to recruit ex-Norwich frontman Alex Notman for today's British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division shoot-out against Merthyr Tydfil.

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is primed to recruit ex-Norwich frontman Alex Notman for today's British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division shoot-out against Merthyr Tydfil.

Taylor has kept the former Manchester United trainee in reserve following a lengthy spell on the sidelines after a brief comeback in Lynn colours from a serious ankle injury two seasons ago.

Notman could be fast-tracked into the first-team picture with Taylor confirming yesterday that striker Paul Atkins had joined ambitious Ridgeons First Division outfit Haverhill.

Taylor is also sweating on the fitness of Jack Defty (back), Adam Smith (dead leg) and Frazer Toms (foot) alongside the midweek body blow of Shaun Carey's double leg break against Corby.

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"It's certainly something I'm considering," confirmed Taylor.

"We are desperately short on numbers and no question Alex has the quality - he might be able to give us something in a short burst if we need it. Jack and Smithy are the type of lads who hate missing games so I'm hopeful, but Frazer is definitely out. He has an old foot problem that has flared up so I don't expect him to travel."

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Taylor revealed Atkins' desire for first-team football had triggered the former Cambridge United frontman's exit - days after young full-back Lewis Brooks signed for Unibond League outfit Grantham.

"I can't give players guarantees and both of those lads were desperate to play," said Taylor.

"Paul's game is all about running in behind defenders, but we try and hit strikers into feet and I think we still have good options in that area.

"Lewis asked if I could try and get him fixed up. He played for Wisbech in the FA Cup last weekend, but then Lee Glover rang me up on the Sunday."

Taylor has already launched a search for Carey's replacement and the Linnets chief admits the combative midfielder will be sorely missed against the unbeaten Martyrs.

"Merthyr came here last season and beat us up - to be fair," he said.

"I've told the lads what to expect. It will be hard and physical so we must be ready. They've started very well. It's early days I know, but a win opens up a four-point gap and that must put a doubt or two in their minds. Yes, I've made an official approach to a Nationwide North club but that's as far we've gone. The lad was in the Football League last year - when I speak to him we'll have a better idea."

Taylor is confident Carey's horrific injury will not deter his table toppers from the job in hand.

"The phone hasn't stopped ringing all week with the lads trying to find out news," said Taylor. "His operation was put back a day, but if everything went well he might be out of hospital this weekend.

"Unfortunately these type of incidents happen in the game and the boys will have seen it before or know of players who have. I didn't feel it affected us against Corby although I wasn't happy with our second-half display."

Welsh U21 duo Craig Moses and Ashley Jones return for Merthyr after missing last weekend's Maidenhead game on international duty.

King's Lynn (from): Marshall, West, Smith, C Defty, Harvey, Warren, Cooper, Camm, McMahon, Kennedy, J Defty, Notman, Nolan, Frew, O'Halloran, Fell.

Lynn supporters' club is taking coach bookings for next Saturday's FA Cup first qualifying round trip to Tring. Cost: members £15, non members £12.50, children/OAPs £10.

At the Maltings, Bungay, tomorrow (2.30pm) a Gorleston XI will play a Bungay side in aid of the British Heart Foundation. The match will be in memory of Joanne Lockwood, who was a helper and friend of Gorleston FC.

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