Yesterday we made the trip up to the Walks for the first pre-season fixture of the period when Lynn took on Wisbech in what can only be described as one of the tastiest Derby matches. Over 450 people turned up for a game that was a hastily arranged game, which shows how important the fixture is locally.
Lynn have recently been promoted to Step 4 and will play in the Northern Premier League Souther Division after 2 successful seasons in the United Counties League, whereas Wisbech will be playing in the Eastern Counties at Step 5 after finishing 4th in that league last year. It will be interesting to see how both clubs get on, as Wisbech have their eyes fixed on promotion and have strengthened the team with signings such as Chris Bacon who used to play for Lynn and Dubi Ogbonna of Soham Town Rangers fame. Both of these players could play at a higher level, but probably don't fancy having to travel too much. Conversely Lynn have seen their preparations put back with the club representing a revolving door in the transfer market. They might be seen as victims of their own success, as they are going to have a lot of travelling to do in a league that is dominated by Midlands teams, which also may have put a few players off playing for them. That said, I still thought that after a couple of seasons of stuffing everybody Lynn would be too strong for the Fenmen and would probably win, which may be why I took a photo of a Lynn attack in the first minute.
I was to be proved wrong though as Wisbech were 1-0 up after just 8 minutes when Chris Bacon was brought down in the area by Lynn keeper Alex Street. Bacon took the penalty himself and put his new team 1-0 up against his old team. Things were to get worse for the home team as on 10 minutes a poor back pass allowed Dubi Ogbonna to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Wisbech continued to dominate the half and look like the team that were about to embark on a season at a higher level. Tempers started to fray and the referee did well to stop a 22 man brawl on 39 minutes. In a competitive match there would have definitely been a few more cards being brandished.
Wisbech compunded the Linnets misery just before the break when some wing trickery by Rogan McGeorge saw the ball curl into the net to make the half time score King's Lynn 0 Wisbech Town 4.
Lynn came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, but since the departure of goal machine Jack Defty it is clear that they are going to struggle in front of goal. Steven Spriggs who has recently rejoined the Linnets after a spell in Sweden looked devilishly skillful on either wing for Lynn, but he definitely needs some one in the centre to get on the end of his passes. Not surprisingly Lynn finally got a consolation goal on 81 minutes when Spriggs decided to go it alone rather than give the ball to a team mate.
It was too little too late though, as Dubi Ogbonna, who was looking much sharper than he did last time I saw him had already put the Fenmen out of reach with a goal five minutes before Spriggs had got on the score sheet.
The last 10 minutes were played out with the levels of fitness you would expect at the start of the season and although Wisbech had one more chance (as shown below) the game finished 4-1 to the Fenmen.