Long Buckby 2 King's Lynn 1
14th April 2012
LINNETS boss Gary Setchell has admitted that trying to lift his players will be the hardest job he has been faced with since stepping into management.
Setchell cut a disappointed figure after seeing title rivals Long Buckby come from behind to deliver a hammer blow to his side's title hopes.
The Northamptonshire side took advantage of some generous Linnets defending to close the gap at the top of the table to just six points with two games in hand.
Setchell said: "Trying to pick my players up now is the hardest thing I've had to do since becoming a manager.
"Today's defeat has hurt us and will have given the Long Buckby players a real lift going into their final four matches.
"We're not going to throw the towel in just yet. I've got to pick the boys up and we've still got to believe that we can go on and win the league.
"It might still come down to goal difference and you have to remember that after we went and won at St Neots last season we went and lost against Cogenhoe on the Tuesday night, so it isn't over yet."
Setchell refused the blame the officials for Lynn's second defeat of the campaign.
"I did have words with the referee at half-time but you can't blame him for the two goals we've conceded.
"They have scored a goal direct from a corner while their other goal has come from us heading a ball direct into the path of their top goalscorer.
"Two of our younger lads have made schoolboy errors today but there's no point slaughtering them as they have been terrific for us all season."
When the going got tough in Northamptonshire, the Linnets simply didn't get going.
The second half dismissal of Long Buckby's Mark Hewitt came following a scuffle involving players from both sides and should have given the Linnets a huge lift.
Instead it worked the other way as the hosts found the energy and desire to go on and win the game while Lynn just gave up - a point recognised by Setchell.
"It's no good going in dressing rooms and kicking doors now that we've lost, it's that kind of character I was looking for from my players in the final 20 minutes of the game.
"We just panicked and didn't show any composure whatsoever and I'm very disappointed. Buckby are a good side and we were more comfortable when both sides had 11 players on the pitch."
An early first-half strike from Jason Turner had given the Linnets the ideal start, but efforts from Russell Dunkley, after a dreadful error from Linnets defender Ashley Deeney, and Greg Ling saw Long Buckby complete a famous double over their arch rivals for the league crown.
Ling's wind-assisted winner direct from a corner was particularly cruel on Lynn as the ball looped over goalkeeper Alex Street with just 13 minutes left on the clock.
But Lynn could have few complaints against a Buckby outfit who showed plenty of steel all over the field.
In a game of few chances, Street was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers while Lynn, who had started like an express train in the opening 15 minutes, failed to force Watts into a meaningful save.
: Watts, Wilkinson, Kelly, Smeathers, Hewitt, Quigley, Koriya (O'Brien 78), Bunting, Ling (Davis 66), Dunkley, Byrne. Subs not used: Foster, Glass, Ashton.
Booked: Byrne, Ling, Quigley, O'Brien. Sent off: Hewitt.
Goal: Dunkley (20), Ling (77).
: Street, Deeney (Harris 78), Watson, Wall, Yong, Davies, L. Thurlbourne, White (Hughes 80), J. Thurlbourne (Beaumont 78), Defty, Turner. Subs not used: Hails, Fryatt.
Goal: Turner (17). Booked: Deeney, L. Thurlbourne, Yong.
: P. Evans. Att