FOOTBALL: The day of reckoning is almost upon us as we head to Portsmouth tomorrow for the much-anticipated FA Cup second round clash with the League One high flyers, writes Mark Hearle.
It will be a very tough assignment for the team against an outfit who won the trophy in 2008, but we begin the game level and have nothing to lose.
The old saying of league form matters for nothing is of course true.
We will travel in very good spirit, on the back of two league wins and two clean sheets to boot.
The Linnets are huge underdogs so if we were to upset the odds it really would go down as the shock of the round.
It is worth remembering though that we are playing a very good League One team who, not so long ago, were rubbing shoulders with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United in the Premier League.
The main focus for this season is still to preserve our National League status and to build for the seasons to follow.
However, if we could make it through to the third round, then just maybe it could be our turn to rub shoulders with the big boys for a day.
It is an exciting time for everyone connected with the club and even more so with the game being shown on national TV tomorrow afternoon.
You will be able to watch the match live on the BBC’s Red Button service and also on the BT Sport app.
It is a tremendous thing to see the club featuring nationally to a wider audience.
The surge of interest in the club following the win at Port Vale can only be a good thing for us and the area in general.
It is always the aim to get the football club on to the bigger and wider platform and days, like the one tomorrow are ideal when aiming to achieve that.
Whatever the result, everyone should be proud of their club on Saturday – win, lose or draw.
Come on you Linnets!
Return of fans came as surprise
FOOTBALL: Prime Minister Boris Johnson did his best this week to deflect some of the attention from one of the biggest games in King’s Lynn’s history, writes club general manager Mark Hearle.
The sudden announcement of a return of spectators to sporting stadiums once the lockdown in England comes to an end next week came to most of us as a very unexpected, but welcome, surprise. However, I admit to finding the timing a surprise.
At the time of writing this article the confirmation of the tier levels for Norfolk were still to be announced. I would expect a tier 2 call for our area, which would allow some supporters back into The Walks.
There are, however, many questions that will need answers before we can open the doors and begin welcoming people.
Utmost in everyone’s mind has to be the current conditions we find ourselves in. The whole football experience will not be ‘normal’ for some time and that has to be accepted by everyone.
We have to make the best of things as we can, in a safe way of course. There are many agencies, both local and national, who will guide us as to how we move the project onward.
As a club we can do much but, ultimately, it is down to everyone to continue following and practicing the advice – not only when going about your everyday life but when back inside the stadium as well.
We all have a big part to play in the safe return of fans to the stadium and need to work together to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Hopefully, clarity will soon prevail and we will all be a little wiser to how things will pan out.
I have been contacted by some supporters asking if the current streaming facility we offer will continue. The answer is most certainly yes. We have received numerous compliments from both home and away supporters since we began the service in October. We are aware that we will not be able to resume with capacity crowds and not everyone will be allowed in. Also some may not feel safe to return to the ground at present and I totally understand that point of view.
Until we are told not to, we will continue to provide this service as I know how invaluable it has been to so many of you over the past couple of months.
Solid Linnets make it two wins on bounce
FOOTBALL: A goal in each half was enough for King’s Lynn Town to beat Dover Athletic 2-0 at The Walks on Saturday and record back-to-back wins and consecutive clean sheets in the National League, reports Chris Milsom.
Rory McAuley’s towering header after 43 minutes set the ball rolling for Lynn and that was followed by substitute Adam Marriott’s 83rd-minute penalty. That came after the impressive Kairo Mitchell was brought down by Ryan Hanson, earning the visiting player a red card on his debut. Dover manager Andy Hessenthaler was also shown the red card after the final whistle.
Kyle Callan-McFadden, who completed his move from Sligo in time to play, was handed his debut in defence at the expense of Danny Lupano, who has returned to his parent club Hull City. Manager Ian Culverhouse confirmed Saturday was the last day of Lupano’s loan spell.
“He’s been magnificent for us,” he said. “The lads have clapped him in the dressing room and wished him all the best. We wish him all the best in his future development and we’ll definitely keep an eye on him for sure.”
Culverhouse was pleased with how his team met Dover’s challenge. “Our shape was very good. Dover came with a plan to try and hit us on the counter and created a couple of good opportunities but I thought we marshalled them quite well.
“We had to be patient in possession and work our openings but I thought we were good on the ball.
“They changed their shape and pushed a extra man forward. We had to combat that and the second goal was always going to be crucial.
“The longer it went on and the chances we missed, you always thought we might get caught out, but then Kairo won the penalty.”