Tong keen to tackle Lynn again

GREAT Yarmouth Town manager Paul Tong is relishing the second chance to have a go at King’s Lynn Town in tomorrow’s Norfolk Senior Cup fourth round match at the Wellesley (ko 3pm), writes Gerry Brown.

The United Counties League newly-formed club, which arose from the ashes of King’s Lynn FC when that club was disbanded last year, were given a right-royal testing on their own ground by the Bloaters in an FA Vase tie in September.

Yarmouth took a 2-0 lead but would not lie down, even after then conceding four goals, with Jake Reed adding a late third for the Bloaters to give the new Linnets an uncomfortable win.

Linnets’ joint-boss Kevin Boon, a long-term friend of Tong, with whom he managed Fakenham Town at one time, is an admirer of Yarmouth top-scorer Reed.

But Tong warned against expecting too much after the youngster’s suspension which, because of three postponed midweek matches, has dragged on longer than expected.

“Jake’s suspension ‘sabbatical’ is finally over and we will welcome him back to the squad tomorrow,” said Tong.

“Obviously he has been sorely missed, and I know he’s missed playing as much as we’ve missed having him, but it will take him a while to get back into the groove.”

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It may be prophetic, but Reed’s last goal was the one he scored at the Walks in that Vase tie.

In other team news, there are doubts about former Linnet Luke Fell, Kevin Howes and Gavin Norman who all received knocks on Saturday.

But along with Reed’s return Martyn Magee will be back from his family wedding duties and there may yet be a starting place for young reserve Chris Duffy after his aborted first start at Dereham.

The Bloaters are billing the match as “a celebration of Norfolk non-league football” and welcome back to the east coast the Linnets fore-runner club that started off Great Yarmouth’s competitive history back in 1897 when Lynn Town provided their first-ever opponents.

Both towns have a distinguished history in the Senior Cup, with clubs representing Kings Lynn having featured in 40 of the finals, winning 20, and Great Yarmouth Town appearing in 28 finals and winning 13.

The ‘Talk of the Town’ club house at the Wellesley will be open from 10am for sports breakfasts and all are welcome.

Half-time entertainment at the match will be provided by a “Crossbar Challenge” in which pre-nominated supporters of both Yarmouth and Lynn will attempt to kick a ball onto the goal crossbar from the half-way line. The friendly competition will also raise funds for the Bloaters’ Pink Campaign on behalf of Breast Cancer research.

With the regular supporters in mind, Yarmouth have turned down suggestions they increase admission prices for the game, and spectators can get in for �5 (adults) or �3 (concessions); accompanied children under 12 will get in free. Yarmouth have brought in extra stewarding for the expected larger-than-normal crowd with many making the journey over from west Norfolk.

The only possible doubt on the day seems to be the weather with snowfall widely forecast for the end of the week.

Yarmouth Reserves seek to make amends for their first league defeat of the season last week when they visit Walsham Le Willows Reserves (KO 3).

The Bloaters’ second string lie third on goal difference from their conquerors of last week in the North Division but from one game less.

The U18 Youths entertain Norwich United on Wednesday (Wellesley, 7.45) looking to avenge the 2-0 defeat at Plantation Park in September. The Bloaters’ youngsters are second in the East Division, one place higher than United from the same number of games.