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FA Cup: King's Lynn Town v Stevenage clash could be good theatre on the touchline

King's Lynn Town's weekend FA Cup game against Steve Evans’ Stevenage is sure to create some theatre on the touchline, but Linnets boss Tommy Widdrington has nothing but admiration for his opposite number in the dugout.

Both bosses wear their heart on their sleeve on the sidelines and the blue touch paper could be lit at almost at any time if any decision goes against either manager in Saturday's encounter.

The pair's passionate touchline antics will be watched all over the UK, and deep down the Lynn boss has a soft spot for his managerial counterpart.

A thumbs up from manager Tommy Widdrington. (60734233)
A thumbs up from manager Tommy Widdrington. (60734233)

"He's a cuddly bear is Steve," said Widdrington, reflecting on a National League meeting between the two managers more than a decade ago.

"I came up against him when he was Crawley manager and I was manager at Salisbury. He grabbed hold of me at the game and said: 'Hey you, you'll do anything between three o'clock and five o'clock to try to win a game of football, the same as me'.

"He's a good football man. Whatever people think of him he's a proper football guy and had a hell of a career so you can't knock the bloke.

"I'd like to think that he makes me look quiet, but he deserves huge respect. He's also got great staff who work so hard together.

"We will give him and his team the utmost respect because they are where they are and they're doing really well this season as well.

"I'm looking forward to locking horns with him again and I've done some business with Steve on occasions."

That business included selling prolific Salisbury forward Matt Tubbs to Crawley Town back in the summer of 2010.

Goal-machine Tubbs went on to score 49 goals in 65 matches for the Red Devils before completing a permanent move to AFC Bournemouth two years later.

Because of his previous connections down the road at Boston United, there will be no love lost between Lynn fans and the Stevenage manager in front of the TV cameras.

But Widdrington hopes that Linnets supporters don't overstep the mark as Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor return for what promises to be an intriguing cup tie at The Walks.

"I don't mind football fans having a bit of banter with a manager but don't be nasty or personal, it's football," he said.

"He's a man doing his job. I understand that supporters might give him a bit of grief, but he also deserves respect."

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