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Cup final is just reward for King’s Lynn Town players after tough campaign – Ian Culverhouse

PUBLISHED: 18:08 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 15 March 2017

Action from the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final at the FDC in Norwich. King's Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse on the touchline. Picture: MATTHEW USHER/FOCUS IMAGES

Action from the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final at the FDC in Norwich. King's Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse on the touchline. Picture: MATTHEW USHER/FOCUS IMAGES

Matthew Usher Photography

The Ian Culverhouse era may still be in its infancy at King’s Lynn Town but the new Linnets boss is already building some momentum.

His squad came out on top of a bruising battle with Norwich United in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, to seal a place in the Carrow Road final.

Penalties were needed to separate the teams after the game finished 1-1, with Lynn wasteful in 90 minutes but thankful to goalkeeper Alex Street for keeping the Planters at bay in extra-time.

Match report: King’s Lynn Town reach Norfolk Senior Cup final after shoot-out win over Norwich United

While that secures a return to the former Norwich City player and assistant manager’s old stomping ground, Culverhouse is only worried about his squad, who are out of the running for promotion and relegation in the Southern Premier Division.

“It will be great for the players, it’s all about the players,” the former Canaries defender said.

“We said at the start before we came here about having a reward for all the hard work, it would just be a shame for the season to peter out. But now they’re going to have their reward at a fantastic stadium, on a fantastic pitch and hopefully perform, so that’s something to look forward to.”

The Linnets boss admitted that victory over the lower-level Planters did not come easily.

“When it gets to penalties it’s a lottery and it’s shame that one team had to lose,” he added. “Full credit to Norwich United, I thought they were tremendous.

“They pegged us back, made our keeper make some very good saves and gave us a proper game and I’d like to wish them all the best for the rest of the season and I hope they achieve what they hope to achieve.”

Norwich boss Steve Eastaugh was pleased with the efforts of his players in an all-action game, who will now return their focus to chasing a play-off place in Ryman League Division One North.

“I thought we were second best in the first half, I felt they outplayed us, but second half we came back into it a lot more,” Eastaugh said.

“It made a difference when we changed our shape and to be honest we probably should have won it in extra-time with the chances we had, Alex Street has made an outstanding save to deny Adam Hipperson. Then when you go to pens it’s a toss of a coin, two good goalkeepers and they just held their nerve a little bit better.”

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