King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell hailed his players’ hard work and commitment on Saturday after they got their season off to a flying start with a 1-0 win over Chasetown.

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Promoted Lynn won their opening Evo-Stik Division One South game thanks to Russell Dunkley’s 66th-minute strike – and Setchell said it was a “privilege” to be manager of a side he felt gave everything in sweltering conditions at The Walks.

“Our lads were coming over and getting drinks saying they were dizzy. I was dizzy on the sideline walking up and down my technical area. It was blistering heat,” he said.

“It was such a hard day’s work, but we got the prize at the end – three points. I think we played with a little bit of fear first half and showed them a little bit too much respect. The second half was still a bit scrappy, because of the heat, but we showed unbelievable grit and determination when we didn’t have the ball.

“The lads put their bodies on the line. I said we’d have to play for a full 90 minutes to eke out one or two chances and when Russell got the chance he stuck it away.”

Relegated Chasetown had the better of a tight first half as Lynn tried to find their feet during their first game at Step Four of the non-league ladder.

But Setchell’s charges took control after the break and posed more of a threat of their own – thanks in large part to Dunkley’s presence and a promising display from substitute Steve Spriggs.

“I felt we could get at their right- back and I thought substitutions would be key because of the heat,” said Setchell.

“Spriggsy did well when he came on and hurt their little right back at times and Russell was never going to miss. You just had that feeling he wasn’t going to pass to Spriggsy or not score.

“He’s not a battering ram. He’s a 6ft 2in football player. He works his socks off, he gives everything for the team, and when the chances do come his way he’s more than capable of putting them in the net.

“Phil Gulliver was also outstanding. Not just his heading, but his two-point saving block at the end where he got across to stop their shot. But you’ve got to take your hat off to all the lads.

“You’ve got to get your points at home and it was a great start with a clean sheet. I thought everyone worked their socks off to make that happen. We defended from the front. The football wasn’t great but there was definitely excitement, effort, endeavour and hard work.”

The Linnets travel to Hucknall – who needed a 90th-minute equaliser from Corey Nightingale to claim a point at Newcastle Town in their opening game – tomorrow for their first away match in the Northern League.

• Click on the related link on the right-hand side of this page to read the report, and see a picture gallery, from Saturday’s game.

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