Talismanic Dunkley is key for King’s Lynn Town, admits Gary Setchell
Gary Setchell looks like he has replaced one crown jewel with another in his King's Lynn Town side after Russell Dunkley produced a master-class in the skills of the traditional big number nine.
The Lynn boss brought Dunkley to The Walks in the summer as a replacement for local favourite Jack Defty, who, to the surprise of many, had not been offered a new deal.
Despite Dunkley's 40-goal tally for last season's rivals Long Buckby, it was something of a risky move given Defty's near cult status, but if proof were needed that it has paid off for Setchell, then the much-travelled Dunkley provided it on Saturday in Lynn's 3-2 home win over Halesowen.
Dunkley didn't get on the scoresheet, but was heavily involved in all three goals and hardly put a foot wrong as Lynn clinched a vital win right at the death.
Setchell lauded his players' commitment and admitted: 'He (Dunkley) is key to it. We have a number of key players and he is one of them.
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'We brought him in to replace a legend, Jack Defty, and I think he has more than done that. I think he has come in and acquitted himself excellently and he has chipped in with seven goals.
'Obviously he is a forward and we want him to score goals, but I think he has scored more than his fair share already.
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'But his all round play – he just oozes class and he is a very, very good striker at this level and we are very lucky to have him.'
Dunkley started the move which led to Steve Spriggs' first-half opener and used his head to good effect to tee up Danny Beaumont for the second and Jason Turner for the winner, after Halesowen had twice levelled.
With leaders Coalville Town and third-place Stamford both winning, it was vital for Lynn to remain the meat in the sandwich.
'I feel we were the better team on the day,' said Setchell. 'They caused us a few problems when we were open and trying to kill the game off, but we had the lion's share of chances and I thought we were the better team overall.
'I thought the first half we dominated, we were a little bit sloppy in the middle of the game and then we just gambled and went for the three points rather than one point. They could have scored, we could have scored and it has come off for us and Jason scored a good goal.
'You earn luck – people say you get out what you put in and these boys are putting everything in and at the minute they are getting everything out. We are just trying to earn as many points as we can.'