‘The winner takes it all’: Gary Setchell on King’s Lynn Town’s massive trip to Coalville Town
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell believes tonight's crunch fixture at Coalville Town is a winner takes all clash.
Evo-Stik Division One South's top two meet in what is sure to be a spicy affair at Owen Street with both sides still having the destiny of the title in their own hands.
Long-term leaders Coalville sit one point ahead of Lynn with the pair having just four games left after this evening's mouth-watering clash. And the Linnets boss refuses to talk down the importance of what he thinks is a title decider.
Setchell said: 'I think whoever wins today will go on to win the league. If Coalville beat us they're four points clear. With the massive goal difference that they have got, and bringing in the fact that in their next fixtures I think they're good enough to go on and win both, then it would be very difficult for us.
'On the other hand if we beat them today that would probably, with their run of form, make it difficult for them to win all of their last four games. Whichever team wins will have 100pc momentum. Stranger things have happened but I think today is crucial.
'It's a huge game and I'm not playing it down, the winner will have a great chance to go on and lift the title.'
The importance of the top-of-the-table match in Leicestershire has grown in recent weeks with the Ravens picking up just one win in 10 league matches – and blowing a huge 17-point lead in the process.
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But they edged a point ahead of Setchell's second-placed men at the weekend when Lynn lost 1-0 at Halesowen Town and Coalville drew 2-2 at home to Market Drayton Town.
'If Coalville had won on Saturday we'd be really up against it. It's a lifeline and we've let each other off the hook at different times over the last two or three weeks,' said Setchell. 'We've come off the pitch sometimes thinking we're dead at 4.45pm and realised at 10 to five that there's still plenty of life in the championship race.
'But on Tuesday night, we don't need to worry about what they are doing. There will be two teams on the pitch, going at it, and it doesn't get much better than that. There'll be nothing left on the pitch.
'If you'd have said we could be playing Coalville, with four games to go, in a nigh-on championship decider, we'd have most definitely taken it. Everybody, from the armchair fan to the terrace supporter, to the mainstand fan would want it. From the players, to the chairman, to the coaching staff and to the press who report on Lynn. Regardless of who it is, everybody connected with King's Lynn Town would have taken that, as would everybody at Coalville.'
To add extra needle to the night, the Ravens beat Lynn in a two-legged FA Vase semi-final in 2011 – which was marred by crowd trouble – while the Linnets ended Coalville's unbeaten start to this season with a 3-1 home win in September.
Setchell is hopeful there will be no recurrence of off-the-field incidents this evening and insists tonight could be won by the side who remains in control of their emotions the most.
The Lynn boss, whose only absentee is injured captain Richard Bunting, said: 'You hope the game is won by a bit of brilliance rather than a mistake and it's all about keeping composure. We played a bit nervously on Saturday where we were trying to force the issue too much.
'If we'd have scored in the first 20 minutes it could have been different, but that's all ifs, buts and maybes. We had a go and we could have got something. It'll be the same tonight. If we get beat, we get beat. But it won't be through want of trying.'
- For updates from tonight's game, follow our reporter Gavin Caney on Twitter by clicking on the link on the right-hand side of this page.