Lynn's chance to erase heartache
PUBLISHED: 10:54 01 May 2007 | UPDATED: 10:16 14 September 2010
King's Lynn boss Keith Webb aims to erase last season's promotion heartache in tonight's win or bust Southern League, Premier Division play-off semi-final against Maidenhead at The Walks.
King's Lynn boss Keith Webb aims to erase last season's promotion heartache in tonight's win or bust Southern League, Premier Division play-off semi-final against Maidenhead at The Walks. (7.45pm)
The Linnets' chief is backing his charges to move a step closer to Conference-level football after Chippenham's smash and grab raid at this stage 12 months ago.
“That was a kick in the teeth - but the experience will be key,” said Webb. “It's a chance to put things right. A lot of the players have been in this situation before and they experienced a major low. Big players want to play in big games. Make no mistake this is the biggest of our season - and I include the Oldham FA Cup game. You want to be involved in cup finals and high pressure occasions where everything is at stake.
“These type of nights can be draining, physically and mentally. It's down to me and Shaun (Carey) to get the balance right. They need to stay relaxed, keep calm and be disciplined. Fitness levels won't be a problem and if it goes to extra time we'll be ready. The last thing I'll say to them is, 'enjoy it', because if we do then we'll play well and Maidenhead will need to be exceptional to beat us.”
Webb admits his toughest task is trimming Lynn's squad for the high stakes promotion tussle.
“They'll be one or two very disappointed players,” he said. “Some of those missing out will have played their part in helping get us into this position. It'll be hard for them to take but I'm paid to make those decisions and I will in the best interests of the club. I know my starting line-up and my bench and the substitutes could have a massive role if the game is tight.”
Midfielder Steve Melton (dead leg) is Webb's only injury doubt. Andrew Fisk and Charlie Defty are on standby to partner Mark Camm in central midfield. Jack Defty is poised to lead the attack alongside Matt Nolan after shaking off the groin problem that forced him out of Saturday's league finale against Wealdstone.
Maidenhead spoiled Webb's managerial bow in December's league clash at The Walks, but the Linnets' chief dismisses any suggestion the Magpies arrive with a crucial psychological advantage.
“That game has no relation on this one,” he insisted. “Both teams will be totally different. Grant Cooper played for us that day and I know he'll like nothing better than to come back and put one over us. If he can put a spoke in the wheel I'm sure he will. I don't mean that in a bad way - Coops is a big game player and he will be up for it.
“We're the home side and we've got our crowd behind us but that doesn't mean we can just turn up and expect to get through. I'm not looking beyond the semi final and the players certainly aren't.”
King's Lynn (from): Howie, West, Blois, Hammond, Crane, Warren, Melton, Frew, Camm, J Defty, Nolan, O'Halloran, Marshall, Bloomfield, C Defty, Gould, Fisk, Heath-Preston.
Gates open at 6.30pm tonight.