The clock is ticking.
With every passing second, King’s Lynn Town’s time in the National League is running out.
The Linnets are five points from safety and, worryingly, the three sides directly above the dreaded drop zone, Wealdstone, Maidenhead United and Southend, have all played one game fewer.
If that gap gets even larger it’s going to be almost impossible to pull off The Great Escape. So there’s no time like the present, ie tomorrow, to get moving.
It’s evident by all accounts that progress has been made, and quickly, under new manager Tommy Widdrington. The win against relegated, in all but name, Dover Athletic stopped the rot and raised hopes that the Linnets won’t just sleepwalk towards non-survival.
Performances since have been incredibly encouraging – judging by radio commentary – against a couple of illustrious outfits who have considerably loftier ambitions.
Let’s not forget that the end of Ian Culverhouse’s reign saw five goals shipped at Stockport and six conceded at home against Wrexham.
To be in games for a lengthy period, at Halifax and league leaders Chesterfield, deserves praise, as does only conceding three times across both matches too. Five or six weeks ago they’d have taken a couple of hammerings. Tightening up was a must, as is the need to score more goals.
The problem now is that the warranted plaudits of late haven’t put any points on the board – and nor should those games have been expected to either. But that’s got to change when Woking come to The Walks this weekend.
Lynn have 24 matches to preserve their status at Step One of the non-League pyramid. There’s 72 points on offer. Some games, like the visit of promotion-chasing Notts County, are unlikely to herald the arrival of any, barring a shock. So matches against those lower down the table take on even more importance.
The visit of mid-table and out-of-form Woking should hold no fear for Widdrington and his players – even if they’re eight places above West Norfolk’s premier footballing institution.
A point, or ideally three, in the first home game of 2022 will further lift hopes that Lynn can claw their way out of trouble.
It would build on those hearty showings on the road and maintain a bit of momentum that’s been built at The Walks since the change of manager.
It’s key that fans come out to show their support, keep believing and embrace the improvement that’s been made.
In their latest hour of need, the boys in blue and gold need us more than ever.
Downham deserve it all in title tilt
Joint boss Dale Stokes might not have been too impressed by the performance.
However, Downham Town’s winning start to 2022 on Monday made it 11 Thurlow Nunn League Division One North games without defeat.
The 1-0 home success against Wisbech St Mary puts Stokes and Craig Dickson’s side top of the table on goal difference in what’s beginning to look like a three-horse race for the title.
Stokes said: “A win is a win. But it was very frustrating to put in what was comfortably our worst performance of the season in front of a decent crowd.”
Almost 150 people watched the clash that further cements the rise of Downham – a club that less than 10 years ago were regularly found at the other end of the standings.
It’s been an unbelievable transformation, given budgets floating about elsewhere.
Town also had to rebuild after being robbed of promotion when the 2019/20 campaign was cut short because of Covid.
Here’s hoping they get the rewards their efforts deserve this time around.
On track for a much better year
So does being stupid enough to beast yourself broken. But on Sunday night I left the house and just ran – with no walking sections – for the first time in six months.
I never thought I’d be so happy to complete a steady 5k that I took 25 minutes to finish. Yet it was the perfect start to the new year, having spent hundreds of pounds, and countless hours, trying to fix the various and intermittent pains I’d caused myself by pushing myself far too hard in the early months of taking running seriously.
Hopefully 2022 will be the year I actually make a start line again and I’ll do that by building sensibly. I learned a lot about running in 2021, the year I was meant to start becoming a runner.
One of the main ones is how incredibly supportive the whole community is. It doesn’t matter how quick you are or how long you run for, it’s only really about meeting or beating your own goals.
I still managed to remain pretty active from July onwards and four personal bests, all achieved before mid-April, can’t be sniffed at.
However, it shows how hard and unintelligently I was pressing at the time.
Now I need to build a base, enjoy more easy miles and continue to add strength exercises and cross training to my schedules.
I want to beat PBs of 17:40 (5k) and 37:26 (10k) and I know that is possible if I focus my efforts on steady progress.