FOOTBALL: Everyone at King’s Lynn Town will be hoping the magic of the FA Cup will be casting its spell over The Walks tomorrow afternoon, writes Mark Hearle.
The Linnets enter the most famous football knockout cup competition for the first time this season.
Southern League Premier Central Division outfit Peterborough Sports are the visitors for a fixture that has all the ingredients you are looking for to create a classic cup tie.
Much has been said about the return of Michael Gash and Ryan Fryatt to the scene of many memorable matches but beyond that fact alone there is so much to stimulate the imagination.
Make no mistake Lynn will be the favourites to get the job done and book a place in the first round proper draw for the second consecutive season.
However the Turbines, as they are nicknamed, will arrive brimming full of confidence and ready for the challenge of creating an upset.
I have long been an admirer of their manager Jimmy Dean who has done such a good job over many seasons, gaining promotions to Step 3 of non-League football. This season their form has been sensational, scoring goals for fun and losing only one league game.
Add to that three FA Cup scalps and you just know that Dean’s troops will have a real spring in their step on their way to the away dressing room in little over 24 hours time.
And what of the Linnets? Well firstly they will need to take full advantage of the home draw they have been given.
The love affair between Lynn supporters and the FA Cup has been well documented for many years.
Crowd levels traditionally hit respectable levels for cup games at The Walks, with fans turning out who are not overly regular on the terraces for a league game.
That support usually transmits itself on to the arena of play, giving the team that added extra bit of bite for the task in hand.
That heady mix of noise and passion can make all the difference tomorrow and, if an early home goal is scored, the roof may well lift on that famous old main Walks stand.
I really feel the crowd has a big part to play tomorrow. The Linnets will be able to play without the pressure of National League points on the line as well, and a good start in the match could well see some of the past weeks’ frustrations being well and truly forgotten.
The match really couldn’t be better set up.
If any extra interest was needed, the match also sees the return of not one, but two former Linnets, in the shape of Michael Gash and Ryan Fryatt.
Both are held in the highest of esteem by so many and were two great servants of the Blue & Gold over many years.
They will, I am sure, be given a warm welcome by all of those present – they certainly should be – for their past efforts.
However, that is where, for 90 minutes or so, the respect must end if Lynn’s cup hopes are to still be intact come 5pm.
Both are in great form for their new club, turning in top drawer performances on a regular basis and both are among the goals as well.
Gash’s experience will be vital for Peterborough, as well as his knowledge of the Linnets.
If he is given time and space, he will be a real danger, of that Lynn fans will not need reminding.
Another man to watch will be Jordan Nicholson, who has been banging in the goals on a regular basis, including a treble last weekend.
So that’s the scene set as I see it and I suppose I should really make a prediction on the score – it wouldn’t be right not too.
So for me, it’s a tight home win, by the odd goal in three.
If I’m right, let’s hope for another great day out in the next round like we enjoyed last season at Portsmouth!