King’s Lynn Town full speed ahead for FA Trophy

Phil Ward tends to the injured Leon Mettam.
Phil Ward tends to the injured Leon Mettam.
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Speed kills – and King’s Lynn Town have it in abundance going into tomorrow’s Third Qualifying Round FA Trophy tie against St Ives Town at The Walks.

That’s the opinion of Linnets boss Gary Setchell whose side will be looking to extend their winning league and cup run to six matches in front of a bumper crowd.

Setchell said: “I think if there was a Southern League relay race we’d have a very good chance of winning it.

“When you go through our team, we’ve got the likes of Toby Hilliard and Kurtis Revan, who are electric, while players like Shaun McWilliams, Ryan Hawkins, Sam Warburton and Jordan Yong are also very quick.

“We’ve got so much pace in our side now and that can kill the opposition. We’ve got blistering pace right throughout our squad.

“I’ve learned in the Northern Premier League you need lots of experience and ball winners, but in the Southern League you need a team who work hard with lots of energy.

“That’s what sides like Hungerford and Hitchin had who made the play-offs last season and that was something I wanted us to have as a team.”

Setchell believes Lynn’s first qualifying round success at Stourbridge was the shot in the arm his side needed.

“That was probably our biggest game and result of the season to date,” admitted Setchell.

“We went into that match without a win in six games and I was staring down the barrel a little bit. Our form was hurting the players, you could tell that, but they were trying to save my job.

“You can normally tell from players’ body language if they were trying or just trying to throw one in.

“I knew that there were some good results around the corner and the support I’ve received from the dressing room has been second-to-none.”

Tomorrow’s winners receive £4,000 and a place in Monday’s first round draw where the Conference National sides enter the fray.

Setchell is refusing to underestimate the challenge of St Ives who were promoted to the Southern League, via the Division One Central play-offs, in the summer.

“People say we are a bigger club but that’s only because of the size of our stand,” said Setchell.

“On grass there’s hardly anything between the two sides. They have won three or four games on the spin and are just a few points behind us in the table. We’ve got to make sure that we make home advantage count.”

Setchell has earmarked striker Danny Kelly as the Saints’ biggest threat.

“They’ve got a few good players but Danny is in a rich vein of form at the minute.

“He’s a player who I very much admire and one who I tried to sign earlier in the season.”

The Linnets will go into tomorrow’s tie without the services of striker and club captain Leon Mettam who was injured in a freak incident during the Norfolk Senior Cup victory at Thetford Town on Tuesday.

Mettam, who is likely to be sidelined for anything up to five weeks, suffered severe bruising around his vertebrae after crashing into the advertising hoardings at Mundford Road.

Setchell said: “We are all devastated about losing Metts.

“Nobody wants to lose their captain on the eve of such a massive game, but we are blessed that our squad can just about stick it at the moment with so many players coming back.”

Setchell thanked the efforts of club physio Phil Ward and supporter Paul Hampson for their assistance with the frontman during a long delay at the start of the second half on Tuesday.