Kings Lynn (09/03/2024) – PREVIEW/SUPPORTER INFO

Saturday see’s Spartans take on fellow strugglers Kings Lynn, in the first of 3 proper 6 pointers.

A win for Blyth likely won’t move them higher in the league table, but it will create some much-needed breathing space between us and the drop zone and hopefully reignite some momentum ahead of next week’s crunch games with Darlington and Southport.

In our last 10 league games we’ve managed only 1 win, picking up just 6 of a possible 30 points while we dropped from 12th place all the way down to 17th spot. A huge downturn in form that needs to be addressed ASAP as we move into the final few weeks of the season.

As for Kings Lynn, they’ve had a dreadful season by their standards. After losing the cream of their crop to bigger clubs in the summer (mainly Scunthorpe) they’ve dropped off massively, spending most of the season in the drop zone. Late last season, North-East lad Tommy Widdrington left the club for Aldershot Town, and ended taking a number of players with him including former Spartan Olly Scott.

Mark Hughes (not the ex Man City one) led the team into the season, but was quickly replaced by Curzon Ashton manager Adam Lakeland. Though that move hasn’t fully paid off just yet, in recent weeks they have managed to turn their fortunes around slightly by winning 3 and drawing 3 of their last 6 games to pull them out of the drop zone – though only just. On top of all that though, they’ve been plagued by Steve Cleeve and his moronic finical mismanagement that has people questioning the clubs long term future.

Polish forward and ex Derby County youngster Bartosz Cybulski has led the line for them this season, scoring 7 goals in 29 league games. The 21-year-old is a tall, skilful and pacey player who will be a big threat in the air and will need to be watched carefully when it comes to set pieces. Former Wrexham forward Jordan Ponticelli will be another danger man for the visitors. Another pacey ariel threat who’s bagged 5 goals thus far this season in only 17 games.

New signing Jonny Margetts has been a big factor in The Linnets resurrection of late, after scoring 3 in his first 7 goals. The experienced journeyman joined from Matlock Town after scoring 22 goals in only 21 games. A pure poacher with a natural instinct for goal, he’ll no doubt be looking to challenge the defence and get in behind the CB’s. In defence, 35-year-old Jack Coulson (not the one who got arrested for being a Neo Nazi) will be the main obstacle. A vastly experienced player who still retains some of his pace, can read the game well and can even still chip in with a few goals from set plays.

For Spartans, JJ O’Donnell is the only confirmed absentee for Saturday. Winger Oli Thompson has been missing for a few weeks with an undisclosed injury, so it remains to be seen if he can at least make the bench this week. Michael Liddle has been a big miss of late – having been missing for the last 6 weeks, which was the rumoured timescale he’d be out for. Billy Gordon was said to have missed Monday night’s game with a knock, as did Charlie Aitken – though that’s from Hendy, so take that with a few pinches of salt. Defender Finn Cousin-Dawson is suspended once again sadly, and it remains to be seen if JJ Hooper is risked from the start this week.

As it stands, I’ve heard nothing about any new faces coming in ahead of Saturday.

Fan Info

Match tickets can be purchased here. I’d also expect the club to have given another batch of tickets away to local schools again this week.

In the club before the game, the Man United vs Everton game will be live from 12:30pm. Pieface will also be back in his usual hobbit hole behind the Pie stall.

The new burger van will be in the same spot as last week, and im assuming we’ll also have another guest food vendor in, though I’ve got ne idea who that will be as of yet, but I’d probably guess it was the same van from last week that did very well.

As ever as well, the club store will be open from 1:30pm until KO, and then again after the match for 20 mins or so.

Ref Watch

The man in the middle this Saturday will be Mr James Bancroft. The only game of ours he oversaw earlier this season was the 4-0 thrashing of Farsley Celtic in September, in a game which seemingly passed without incident.

This year he’s issued 53 yellow cards and 3 red cards across the 14 National League North games he’s been in command of, which isn’t that bad compared to some at this level.

Though, he was the driplet in charge of calling off the Scunthrope vs Buxton game in the 94th minute of the game way back in September due to the ‘waterlogged pitch’. He also really pissed off Alun Armstrong (pictured above) last year when he refused to send off Chorley goalkeeper Matt Urwin after a blatant foul.

Betting Preview

The bookies have us as slight favourites, though a 1-1 draw is the shortest odds you can get when selecting the correct score. For me, given our frailty in defence of late, I can see us shipping in at least 1 goal. They just have to much about them upfront now it would seem.

However, if Gardiner can re-establish his form that he first arrived with and JJ Hooper is looking sharp, I think we can notch a goal or 2 past them – so I’m going for 2-1 Blyth.