Culverhouse: Linnets will learn lessons from opening day setback
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:41 04 August 2019
Ian Culverhouse always knew there would be days when his King's Lynn team would have to sit back and accept some harsh lessons - and it came on day one of a new campaign in a new league as they went down 3-0 at Guiseley.
If the final scoreline was a little tough on Lynn, it was clear what the players need to take away from Guiseley: take your chances, and remember that individual errors will be punished, especially at National League North level.
Lynn's chances weren't exactly numerous - at this level it is to be expected - but the mistakes were costly. Guiseley pounced each time - and Lynn paid the price.
It was Lynn's worst defeat since they lost by the same scoreline at Hitchin in January - and after that they rarely put a foot wrong on their promotion journey.
Culverhouse's notebook was out within the opening minutes on Saturday and by the end of the game he had enough material to write a coaching manual - that, you can rest assured, will be passed on to his players, who have to rid their minds of Saturday's defeat in readiness for the visit of Kettering Town tomorrow night.
The manager is unlikely to search for excuses, but it ought to be mentioned that traffic problems on the A1 delayed Lynn's arrival by 20 minutes; centre-half Rory McAuley didn't come out for the second half because of illness and full-back Ross Barrows wasn't ready to feature after holiday.
At this level, those issues are magnified and simply put Lynn even more on the backfoot.
Culverhouse's verdict was expected.
"Some good bits - but the goals we gave away were poor," he said. "But I thought we started each half really, really well - the goals we conceded were at the wrong time and poor goals to give away really. But it is about a learning process these early games and what we can do and what we can't do and as long as we learn we will get better and stronger.
"We said in there you can get away with one or two in the league below that you won't here. The higher you go the more you are picking the ball out of the net because you can't give these teams chances. I thought today we did give three bad goals away.
As long as we learn, that is the main thing. If we continually make the same mistakes then we have got a problem.
"But this is a good to learn because now we know what we have got to do. We have come here and at times we moved the ball really, really well, we had two great chances early doors and on a different day you are going in 2-1 up, but we didn't take our chances.
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"We have got a young team and we will get better and stronger."
Culverhouse went with three central defenders, but their desire to pass it around across the back gave Guiseley time to shut down the avenues and wait to pounce on mistakes: they were quick, strong and not afraid of the physical side. Lynn held their own, they did pass the ball well, they did try and play football and they did have opportunities. Chris Henderson could have given them a dream start when he poked a shot past advancing keeper George Sykes-Kenworthy only to see it hooked off the line, but on 19 minutes Aaron Martin headed Guiseley ahead.
Henderson again went close at the near post and near the end of the half forced a fine save from Sykes-Kenworthy.
Lynn started the second well, as they had the first, but just as they looked to get on level terms, their problems deepened on 58 minutes when Reiss McNally pounced on Jordan Richards' wayward pass, bounded down the right and cut the ball back to Jamie Spencer who fired home from the edge of the box.
Spencer sealed the win on 68 minutes when Lynn central defender Chris Smith failed to clear - again down that left defensive area - and Spencer took advantage.
While Spencer was making hay, it was clear the hosts had done their homework to nullify Lynn's attacking threat. Adam Marriott was crowded out all afternoon and had one decent chance, in the second half, when he was denied by a good save. Michael Gash worked well in the aerial battles but left his shooting boots at home.
No one can accuse either of lack of effort, but it was just a cameo example of how tough this league will be for Lynn. If there were bright sparks it was Henderson, who looked sharp, the appearance in the second half of Sam Kelly, who added some edge and a driving thrust from midfield and Ryan Hawkins for his willingness to run at defenders.
Guiseley: Sykes-Kenworthy, McNally, Nicholson, Cantrill, Bencherif, Garner, Felix (Shaw 75), Spencer (Barkers 82), Martin, Soleman, Johnson. Subs: Allinson, Digie, Clayton.
Goals: Martin 18, Spencer 58, 68
King's Lynn Town: Street, Jones, Fryatt, Smith, McAuley (Richards 46), Fox, Jarvis (Kelly 65), Clunan, Henderson (Hawkins 76), Marriott, Henderson. Subs not: Payne, Carey.
Referee: Paul Brown