Boost for Linnets as leaders lose
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb was watching last night as Team Bath lost for only the fourth time this season to hand the Linnets a timely Southern League Premier Division title boost.
King's Lynn boss Keith Webb was watching last night as Team Bath lost for only the fourth time this season to hand the Linnets a timely Southern League Premier Division title boost.
Webb made a cross-country trek to run the rule over the leaders' league game at Gloucester - and witnessed a 2-1 defeat for the visitors, who remain just one point ahead of Lynn with a solitary game in hand. Webb's men travel to Team Bath next Tuesday after second-placed Halesowen's weekend visit to The Walks.
"It was the only chance I'd get to check on them," said Webb.
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"It doesn't worry me or the players that we've been knocked off top spot in the last few days. That's football. Team Bath had three games in six days starting with Gloucester and that will test them to the limit."
Webb revealed Banbury's versatile captain Andy Baird had rejected a seven-day approach. The 28-year-old ex-Wycombe player impressed in the Puritans' recent league defeat at centre half and centre-forward.
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"There was some to-ing and fro-ing but he has turned us down," said Webb. "He didn't think he could balance the travelling and his work commitments. I had heard good reports about him and he played well against us. We would have fetched him in as a centre back but I'm working on bringing in someone else on a short term deal.
"It's been a nightmare. Clubs don't want to release players or players don't either want to come or have made promises and let us down. People can think King's Lynn is a big pull but the type of player we are looking at is generally operating higher up the pyramid."
Stand-in skipper Greg Crane is suspended for Halesowen's weekend visit. Mark Warren is set for knee surgery today, with Craig Fleming poised to go into hospital early next week for an ankle operation.
"If they come back before the end of the season it's a bonus," said Webb. "That is the only way we can look at the situation. Craney will step in on the captaincy front. He hasn't let anyone down when he's done it in the past and he's a good character."
Midfielder Steve Melton (calf) is poised for a reserve run out this weekend alongside Shaun Carey and Mark Heath-Preston after the duo had been linked with loan moves to Stamford.
"Shaun's move has died a death," said Webb. "There were some financial issues with the other club but to be fair he is coming on leaps and bounds here so I think he'll stay in the fold. Mark turned down the chance to go out on loan at Stamford. It was an opportunity to sharpen himself up at a higher level. I've had plenty of Ridgeons clubs ringing me up about him but going to a higher level club was a chance to se if he can do the business."
Mark Camm and Ben Chapman picked up knocks at Chippenham and will be assessed at training.