FOOTBALL: Paul Bastock has played a world record 1,200-plus matches for more than 20 clubs but as far as he is concerned, the current crop of players at King’s Lynn Town are the best of the lot.
The Linnets assistant -manager was gushing in his praise for the side after a bank holiday double saw them move to within a point of National League North leaders York City.
A 4-1 win at home against Curzon Ashton on Saturday was followed by a hard-earned 2-1 victory at Farsley Celtic 48 hours later.
Speaking after Monday’s win in Yorkshire, Bastock said: “These boys, without a shadow of a doubt, are the best group of lads I’ve ever worked with.
“When we look at the league table later in the season and look at the results, there won’t be many teams who come here and get three points.
“We should have been out of sight after the first half. Our football was much better than theirs. They were very direct but we stood strong and dealt with everything they threw at us.
“The pitch was difficult, as there is no flat part. It’s long and sticky, so what the lads did in the first half to get the ball down and play football is massive credit to them.
“In the second half we just got dragged into their game.
“Sometimes you have to do the ugly stuff and the boys stood up and did it.”
The Linnets dominated from the off on Monday, taking the game to their hosts.
Lynn played the ball around well and almost reaped an early reward but goalkeeper Elliott Wynne tipped Adam Marriott’s long-range effort on to the cross bar.
Alfie Payne then had a chance from inside the area after a neat one-two with Sam Kelly but curled his effort wide.
The first goal arrived after 30 minutes when Marriott released Kelly one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his effort was saved. However, the loose ball was claimed by Michael Clunan and his inch-perfect pass found Payne in the area and he made no mistake in finding the target.
Five minutes later Michael Gash curled home an effort from outside the box into the corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The home side came out looking much better in the second half but it was Lynn who came closest to scoring when Payne’s effort was again touched on to the bar by Wynne to deny the Linnets.
The hosts halved the deficit when they were awarded a disputed penalty on the hour-mark and Will Hayward just beat Alex Street’s dive.
A solid defensive show then saw Lynn hold out comfortably to see off the Northern Premier League champions.
Saturday’s game was delayed by 50 minutes due the visitors’ team coach breaking down.
But it was the visitors who came out the blocks quickest and took the lead when Callum Saunders broke the defensive line and slotted past Street.
From then it was all one-way traffic with the home side taking the game by the scruff of the neck and equalising thanks to Marriott’s penalty.
Aaron Jones’ cross from the right was headed home by Gash to put Lynn ahead at the break.
Lynn took the game to the visitors in the second half and moved further in front when Payne stood the ball up to the back post for Gash to head home his second.
Home fans were soon celebrating again when Marriott powered the ball past Cameron Mason to make it 4-1.
The Linnets have two home games this week. Tomorrow they welcome Darlington to The Walks, 3pm, with Alfreton Town the visitors on Tuesday, 7.45pm.