Taylor feeling at home for FA qualifier

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is targeting a happy homecoming in today's FA Trophy second qualifier at Leyton.

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is targeting a happy homecoming in today's FA Trophy second qualifier at Leyton.

Taylor returns to the East London manor where he made his playing debut for neighbours Orient as a fresh-faced 16-year-old.

The Linnets chief also guided the O's to a couple of play-off finals in a six-year managerial stint at Brisbane Road. "I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I took my old team down to Orient for a charity match a couple of months ago, but that is the only time I've been back since.

"There's less than a mile between the two clubs. We played the odd pre-season friendly in my day although they weren't really at a high enough level. "By all accounts the pitch is a decent surface and from the reports we've had I think the boys are in for a battle."

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Taylor insists his cup fighters are greedy for more knockout success at the Ryman Premier outfit ahead of next weekend's higher-profile FA Cup trip to Bishop's Stortford.

"We might not have a chance of drawing Man United, but this is a competition we can go a long way in," he said. "There's some decent money on offer and potentially a few big ties against Conference opposition.

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"We're on a roll and all the lads want to play - you can sense an edge to the training and that's great for me to have options every week."

Taylor will juggle his resources with Adam Smith (stomach) rested and Jack Defty starting on the bench. New recruit Steve Melton makes his full debut in central midfield. Defender Dean West returns after sitting out Lynn's FA Cup demolition of Hucknall with a hamstring problem.

"No disrespect to Leyton, but we've got a few bigger tests ahead," admitted Taylor.

"Smithy has been struggling with a stomach muscle injury for a few games. He said it was killing him at Halesowen and he felt it again in training this week. There's no point in him travelling just to sit on the bench, so we won't take any risks."

Alex Notman (foot) missed training this week, but is expected to feature. Taylor concedes the former Canary is a key part of Lynn's winning cup formula on the road after previous triumphs at Tring, Halesowen and Worthing.

"Teams don't seem to be able to handle the extra midfielder," he said. "Alex floats about and comes off the line. Defenders don't know if they have to come out or not which creates space for us to exploit.

"We've got a nice solid base at the back and that gives us the confidence to try and play through midfield."

Taylor and his busy squad must also cram in a Southern League Cup third-round trip to Stamford.

"The last thing we need is a fixture pile up," he said. "I'll have to speak to the chairman and see what our approach is going to be - personally I wouldn't want to send our strongest team if we are still in the other competitions."

King's Lynn (from): Marshall, Higgs, West, Warren, Cooper, Camm, McMahon, Melton, C Defty, Notman, J Defty, Nolan, Frew, O'Halloran, Norris.

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