Swans' summer of discontent makes way for a title battle
After a turbulent summer, Darren Lynch and Newport Pagnell Town are mounting an unlikely UCL Premier Division title challenge.
Winning their opening nine games, the Swans dropped points for the first time this season on Monday as they drew 1-1 with Eynesbury Rovers.
But sitting second in the table, a point behind Leicester Nirvana with a game in hand, is a far cry from where many predicted they’d be after Lynch resigned from his post in the summer, only to be reinstated a week later.
“If you’d offered me this start, of course I’d take it,” he said. “Especially after all the drama in the summer, leaving and then finally getting the club’s backing to go and get the players I wanted.
“Drawing with Eynesbury, one of the favourites to win this league, is still a great result. I basically told the lads not to lose, and a draw is a very good result.”
While former front man Dom Lawless got Eynesbury’s only goal after leaving Willen Road in the summer, Lynch has firepower in abundance, with Tom Liversedge, Fazel Koriya and Luke Emery all capable of goals, while Taylor Orosz has missed the last three with injury.
"He's capable of turning defence into attack so quickly, he has incredible pace," Lynch said of Orosz. "We've really missed him in the last three games.
"I was really pleased for Luke to get on the scoresheet on Monday, because he's had a bit of a dry run. But with Tom and Fazel scoring, we're getting goals from all over the place now. Of course it was a shame to lose Dom, he's a 30-goal striker, but it was always like to be him to score their only goal."
The pressure of an undefeated record hasn't really affected Lynch much as he acknowledges every team loses games along the way, but the start his side have made have pitched them immediately into title contention.
And with only a quarter of the season has passed, Lynch isn't getting carried away yet.
He said: "It's what we set out to do, win each game. But it's a tough league to get out of. If we're in a similar position at Christmas, we might start thinking a bit more about going for the title."