Carrow Road motivation for King's Lynn Town and Norwich United in first Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final
PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:01 14 March 2017
Hopes of returning to Carrow Road will play little part in Ian Culverhouse's thinking as his King's Lynn Town revolution looks to pick up pace this evening, in Norwich.
The Linnets take on Norwich United in the first of this season’s Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals, both of which are being played on the ‘Field of Dreams’ at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe.
Culverhouse intends to play a strong team against the Planters – who play a step lower in the non-league pyramid – as he looks to build on two wins from his first three matches at Lynn.
“It’s all about the team, nothing to do with me whatsoever,” the Canaries legend said of a potential return to the home of Norwich City with his new team. “It’s a cup competition and we’re going to try and win it.
“I know they (Norwich United) had a good result at Thurrock on Saturday, I had someone there to watch, and they’re a good side so it will be a great test for us.”
Two headers from Ryan Fryatt saw Lynn snatch a win late on at Cinderford Town on Saturday as Culverhouse continued building momentum after succeeding Gary Setchell last month.
Kurtis Revan became the latest player to leave this week, with the 21-year-old winger following Lee Smith, Dan Quigley and Lee Stevenson out of the door since the new manager’s arrival.
“It’s analysing everything and everyone, assessing quickly so we can all move on,” the former Canaries and Aston Villa assistant manager continued.
“Kurtis is not the first to leave and he won’t be the last, it’s just assessing everyone and giving them a chance of game-time, and making quick decisions because the games are running out.
“There will be turnover of players, the nucleus of the squad will stay together but there will be players who are surplus to requirements.”
Young striker Dylan Edge is available again after a back niggle, as Lynn look to build on wins over Thetford and Wroxham so far this season.
The Linnets have reached the final once since reforming in 2010, losing 4-1 to Dereham in 2011. The original club lifted the trophy on 22 occasions though, lastly in 2009 when their reserves beat Wroxham.
Norwich have never won the Senior Cup though, tasting defeat in the final for the fourth time when they were beaten 2-0 by Dereham at Carrow Road last season.
“We’re looking forward to it after what happened last year but we’re definitely underdogs going into the game,” United boss Steve Eastaugh said.
“It’s kind of like the final has come early, given that it’s two lesser seeded sides in the other half of the draw. So we’re up for it but we’re well aware that we are underdogs.
“I’ve been able to watch them so I know what we’re facing. A couple of lads that Ian has brought in won’t be eligible and he’s moved on two or three of the senior players early so he’ll be looking to look ahead to next year and to give everyone a fair crack of the whip.
“So we will need to give them a lot of respect but if we’re at it then we’ll be able to give it a good go.”
The Planters bounced back from two disappointing away defeats with a 1-0 win at Thurrock on Saturday, thanks to Christie Finch’s first-half strike, taking his tally to 11 goals in 15 games since joining from Leiston in December.
That leaves the Blofield side eighth in Ryman League Division One North and six points adrift of the play-off places, and Eastaugh believes his players still have plenty to play for.
“I believe we can get in the play-offs,” he added. “We’ve got eight games left and six of them are at home, so we will probably have to win all of them, we’ll certainly have to be unbeaten, but we are capable of that.
“It was a big result for us on Saturday, we’ve still got to go to (third-placed) Hornchurch, so it’s there until we stop winning and the Senior Cup is another carrot on the end of the stick for us.”
The Planters will be without midfielders Lee Mason (suspended) and Vinny Datocompol (cup-tied), with the experienced Andy Eastaugh facing a late fitness test.
Kick-off tonight is 7.30pm, with entry costing £5 for adults and £3 for concessions. Harleston take on Fakenham in the second Senior Cup semi-final, tomorrow night at the FDC, also at 7.30pm.