Bobbins ready to embrace tension in Wales
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins has admitted he wants to enjoy the club's do-or-die Southern League, Premier Division title decider at Merthyr this weekend.
King's Lynn chairman Ken Bobbins has admitted he wants to enjoy the club's do-or-die Southern League, Premier Division title decider at Merthyr this weekend.
Bobbins is convinced Keith Webb's table toppers will rise to the occasion with Lynn on the brink of championship glory and conference-level football. The Linnets must match or better second-placed Team Bath's result at the mid-table Martyrs to clinch the title.
“I would have liked to have sewn it up before the last day,” said Bobbins. “But it's still in our own hands and what a fabulous occasion it's going to be at Merthyr. You either let it affect you or your embrace it - our lads will do the latter. They will be relishing it and ready to go out and give it 150%.
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“I feel Merthyr will be up for it. It's the old English, Welsh rivalry and all that comes with it. But if we can get an early goal or two that might relax us and break their will at the same time. They might've nothing to play for but you only have to look at Clevedon last weekend. They went to Halesowen and were leading until stoppage time - who would have forecast that? We're under no illusions, it will be tough.”
Bobbins expects no slips from title rivals Team Bath at play off contenders Chippenham.
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“I actually expect Chippenham to do what we would've done in the same situation,” he said. “They know who they will be playing in the play offs so I think they might rest one or two of their big players for the following Tuesday. It doesn't follow, though, that a weakened team can't go out and perform well. I'm sure there will be people around the ground at Merthyr getting updates from their game but I don't think it is necessarily a good thing to know. Certainly you don't want it filtering through to our players. They just have to go out, win the game, and let everything take care of itself.”
Lynn will again be backed by a huge travelling choir in south Wales after outnumbering Gloucester at their temporary Forest Green base on Saturday.
“When you need them, King's Lynn supporters really turn out in numbers,” said Bobbins. “We've already got three full supporters' coaches which is phenomenal for a four, four and half hour journey.
“The team was very low after the Gloucester game. They felt we had let it slip but they went in the bar afterwards and every player got a huge cheer. It gave them a tremendous lift from being quite down. I was speaking to two Forest Green fans and they couldn't believe the backing.
“I have no doubt they played a big part in our equaliser. When we went a goal down, they really got behind the boys. Maybe in a couple of games earlier this season a small element would've got on their backs. It's unique at our level. I'm not saying we are the best supported club but certainly one of the best. I would expect as many if not more as we had at Gloucester to travel.”
Bobbins is adamant Lynn will finish the job this weekend without being dragged into a third consecutive sudden death play off battle.
“That is not something anyone wants to contemplate,” he said. “I fully expect us to beat Merthyr - whatever team they put out we'll have too much for them. If the worst came to the worst then we have a midweek home game to get rid of the doubts and disappointments and then go into the final with confidence.”
Bobbins believes Lynn's late Gloucester comeback was the perfect tune up for this weekend's league finale.
“That game absolutely told the story of our season,” he said. “We murdered them for 25-30 minutes if not the whole of the first half without getting our noses in front. Then we go a goal behind and the boys are under extreme pressure but they coped and came back strong. Greg Crane has been struggling with a sore hamstring for a couple of games now but he has played through it and that must be an inspiration for the whole side.”
t Club officials are still taking coach bookings for Saturday's trip to Merthyr. Cost: adults £15.50, children and OAPs £14.50. Coaches will leave The Walks at 8am. For further information contact the club direct on 01553 760060 or Stephen on 07761 242801.