King’s Lynn hero in fitness battle

King's Lynn hat-trick hero Steve Spriggs is battling to overcome a viral infection to be fit for tomorrow's FA Vase rematch. Picture: IAN BURT

King’s Lynn talisman Steve Spriggs is battling to overcome a viral infection to feature in tomorrow’s landmark FA Vase fifth round home tie against UCL title rivals St Neots at The Walks.

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Spriggs’ hat-trick helped Town inflict a first league defeat of the season on the leaders in last weekend’s 4-2 away win, but the wide player was a key absentee in the disappointing midweek draw at Cogenhoe.

The former FA Vase finalist admits he is desperate to feature in the biggest game of Town’s new era with a place in the last eight of the national competition at stake.

“I’m touch and go for Saturday, but I think I’ll be alright,” said Spriggs. “I’ve had a bit of a stomach bug and a viral infection – I think just through work I may have picked something up and it has left me quite weak and feeling very tired. I felt a lot better on Wednesday than I did the day before so hopefully that continues. I really want to get myself fit, but I won’t turn up Saturday and play if I feel I’ll let the lads down. You have to be closer to 100% fit than 50% for these types of game. If I don’t play, then I’ll definitely be there to support the boys.

“It will be the biggest crowd of the year and an occasion you want to be part of. We had a chat amongst the lads at training last week before the away game in the league and thought we would take 500 or 600 to St Neots. To get 900-odd just shows how big the club is. The fan base is fantastic. Even when we were 2-1 down, there was non stop singing and it does inspire the boys to give that little bit extra.”

Spriggs echoed joint boss Gary Setchell’s sentiments after Town failed to follow up with another league win at Cogenhoe.

“What Setch said was spot on. You don’t win leagues at St Neots, you win them at places like Cogenhoe, with all due respect to them,” he said. “From what I’ve heard and the chances we missed it is two points dropped but over the week we have gained a point on St Neots which is a plus point. They still have to come to our place and there is still a long way to go in the season. We have to stay positive and keep grinding out the results and I still feel we have a chance of getting promoted this year.”

Town missed Spriggs’ attacking verve on Tuesday after taking his tally to 16 goals in 28 appearances with his starring role at St Neots.

“I think the way we play suits me but to score at better than one in two, well, I’m quite happy with that at the moment,” he said. “It’s important we have lads chipping in around Jack (Defty) because to score 32 at whatever level is phenomenal. Honestly, if I had put all my chances away I could have had six but on a personal level to get a hat-trick in a game of that size was really pleasing.

“We prepared right and we did everything right. Norton away in the FA Vase was a big game but that was obviously the biggest we have had this season. Going into that game we knew if they won that put them seven points clear. They haven’t dropped many points so far so it would have been a big ask to pull that back.”

• King’s Lynn’s ticket office will be open between 5pm and 7pm at The Walks today for supporters looking to purchase tickets in advance for tomorrow’s FA Vase fifth round tie. Turnstiles will be open from 1pm on matchday. Club officials are advising supporters to arrive early at the ground for a match that is set to attract the largest attendance since the club was re-launched last year.

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