Nolan to stay with Linnets
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn's Southern League, Premier Division title challenge hits Hemel Hempstead today buoyed by striker Matt Nolan's decision to stay and fight for his place.
King's Lynn's Southern League, Premier Division title challenge hits Hemel Hempstead today buoyed by striker Matt Nolan's decision to stay and fight for his place.
Linnets' chief Keith Webb confirmed Nolan still wants a piece of the promotion push after rejecting an approach from Southern League, Division One Midlands outfit Barton Rovers.
Frontline pair Jack Defty and Danny Bloomfield's ten goals in the last nine league games has relegated Nolan and John Turner to cameo roles - but Webb insists Nolan is fully committed to the cause.
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“We've had a chat and he understands the situation,” said Webb. “It gave me an opportunity to re-emphasize what we're trying to do here, what we're trying to achieve and why we want him to be a part of that.
“Barton's approach was the trigger. He hasn't come to me before and said he is unhappy or anything like that, but he wanted to listen to them and what they could offer. We are not prepared to offer him anymore. He knows we are trying to build something here.
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“Getting into that starting line up is down to him. Last season he got his chance with injuries and suspensions and he scored plenty of goals. The situation at the minute is we have people in the team doing the business. When he gets a chance it'll be up to Matty to take it.”
Skipper Mark Warren (hamstring) and Michael Frew (thigh) are major doubts after missing Lynn's New Year's Day win over Bedford. Defender Craig Fleming is again unavailable with a long term ankle problem. Fleming's last first team appearance was in October. Webb conceded the former Norwich defender's on going injury absence is a cause for concern.
“The ankle is not 100% right, but I've now put a little pressure on him,” said Webb. “He needs to go away and get it sorted because we can't really have this situation carrying on. The other two are struggling and I'd say both are unlikely to travel. We've also got one or two with the sniffles so I'll assess it and maybe bring in one or two of the younger lads.”
Webb expects his table toppers to learn some quick lessons from last weekend's reverse league fixture. Ben Sedgemore's stoppage time equaliser salvaged a point at The Walks after the Tudors' had raced into a two goal lead.
“We have to take our chances this time around and be better defensively,” said Webb. “But for a mad three minutes our concentration was good - it needs to be like that for the whole game. They showed enough that if we do have slips up they can punish us. They might not be on the best of runs but all teams have blips. It's how quickly you come out of them - we need to make sure it doesn't start against us.
“We just want to keep things rolling. Last year was a case of playing catch up and we didn't quite make it in the end. Now we're in the box seat. If we pick up wins then the pressure is all on the sides chasing us.”
King's Lynn (from): Howie, West, Chapman, Camm, Crane, Sedgemore, Buhlemann, Fisk, Melton, J Defty, Turner, Bloomfield, Nolan, Francis, C Defty, Murray.