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King's Lynn boss delighted as the missing fans start to return to watch the National League North pacesetters





One of the greatest feats achieved by Tommy Widdrington and his players in the last few months has been to transform the atmosphere at The Walks from one of apprehension to expectation.

The stadium was a harrowing place to be for the 18-months prior to Widdrington's appointment as Lynn, not helped by the Covid restrictions, struggled to give supporters something to shout about.

But now it's the away players feeling the heat – as Saturday's 3-0 victory over Darlington demonstrated in front of a bumper gate of 1459.

A crowd of more than 1400 flocked to The Walks for Lynn's 3-0 victory over Darlington in the National League North on Saturday. Picture: Tim Smith (60169999)
A crowd of more than 1400 flocked to The Walks for Lynn's 3-0 victory over Darlington in the National League North on Saturday. Picture: Tim Smith (60169999)

Home fans are flocking to the ground believing that their team can beat anyone and the Linnets – currently unbeaten of their own patch – will be hoping to continue to that trend when fifth-placed Banbury United visit tomorrow night.

Reflecting on the club's upturn in fortunes at home, Widdrington said: "When I got here I inherited a group of lads who were coming to work on a Tuesday and Saturday with a habit of losing.

"At the moment we've got a habit of winning and habits, good or bad, are hard to break.

"We are part of the town as the football club and to send them home happy as we did on Saturday is really pleasing for us.

"Darlington brought more than usual, as did Ashington the previous week, but today we had 1200 or 1300 of our own supporters here, which is brilliant.

"It's always better to play in front of as big a crowd as you can because it always makes that stage a bit brighter for the players.

"Every manager at every level of the game thinks if you draw your away games and win your home ones you won't be far away and every side feels that little bit stronger at home."

A young Linnets fan gets a selfie with two-goal Joshua Barrett after Saturday's win. Picture: Tim Smith (60169993)
A young Linnets fan gets a selfie with two-goal Joshua Barrett after Saturday's win. Picture: Tim Smith (60169993)

It has been a dramatic wind of change in such a short space of time and Lynn's boss feels the club has the ideal blend of supporters as they look to create an even stronger bond with the West Norfolk community.

"When I was at Salisbury City the vast majority of the fans were elderly, we didn't have any middle ground and the rest of them were really young," he said.

"Here we've got a good mix. I think we've got more and more older fans coming back and we've certainly got more younger fans coming through the turnstiles than when I first came here.

"There was 450-odd people against Dover in my first game last December and today I think there was about 1400.

"People are coming back and if fans are happy with what they are seeing on the pitch that's the end game for the whole community."

With Ken Charles, Spencer Keller and Ben Siggers going out on loan to Cheshunt, Peterborough Sports and Wingate and Finchley respectively, the Lynn chief hasn't ruled out the prospect of another new face arriving this week.

"There's fluid movement in my recruitment," said Widdrington.

"I don't always wait for something to happen, I've got things bubbling away in the background, so we've got plates spinning all over the place.

"If you don't push on now when we are where we are, it means you are standing still.

"We might not be on top of the table in a couple of weeks as we're in the FA Cup and other teams aren't, so we've got to keep our foot right on the metal."



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