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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Monday, February 27, 2012
You could see from the touchline celebrations just how important King’s Lynn Town’s victory was on a day that Gary Setchell admitted could be a pivotal one in the United Counties Premier Division title race.
Setchell and his backroom staff enjoyed a Brian Kidd moment as they celebrated wildly on the pitch, jumping for joy as the Linnets took a huge step towards realising their dream of getting out of the UCL.
But unlike Kidd’s iconic celebrations at Old Trafford following Steve Bruce’s Premier League injury-time winner against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993, Setchell was punching the air in delight on three separate occasions on Saturday.
Firstly, when Steve Spriggs had put his side in front. Secondly, when Stuart Wall had secured Lynn’s 2-0 win at Newport Pagnell Town. And thirdly, when the Linnets boss realised title rivals Long Buckby had lost their first league game of the season 1-0 at home to Yaxley.
Setchell said: “It could prove to be a really big day in the title race - results wise it was the biggest day of the season so far.
“I was delighted when we scored our goals - I actually pulled my hamstring a little bit when the first one went in! But that’s because we’re playing under pressure - we know how important it is for this football club to get out of this league.
“If someone would have said to me that we could win at Newport Pagnell, which we knew was going to be a difficult fixture, and Yaxley would beat Long Buckby we’d have been more than happy. The day couldn’t have gone any better.”
Two second-half goals in the space of 120 seconds secured a hard-fought win for title-chasing Lynn - who have now opened up a nine-point gap over Buckby.
Setchell admits his side need to concentrate on their own games, having played three games more than their nearest challengers, and revealed he refused to believe Yaxley had done his side a favour until he had heard the score for himself.
“I had to ring someone from Yaxley just to double check,” said a smiling Setchell.
“It wasn’t that difficult going into our second half knowing Buckby were losing because the other week at S&L Corby we heard they were 2-0 down and they actually ended up winning 6-0. Even after the game we were still saying ‘are you sure?’
“We had to earn the right to play against Newport. I told the lads to just keep believing at half-time. Some of them were looking dejected because they’d been semi beat-up in the first half. I knew a goal would hurt them and we got two in quick succession. It was a battle and I think to win the league you have to be able to change the way you play sometimes.
“The ball was up in the air from Newport more than it was on the deck so we found it very, very difficult in the first half. But the lads stayed patient and once we got the goals I always felt we looked comfortable.”