'One bad game and I don't think the gaffer would think twice about bringing someone else in' - Chris Henderson

PUBLISHED: 12:59 11 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:39 11 August 2019

Chris Henderson, centre, celebrates after scoring King's Lynn Town's second goal against Hereford Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chris Henderson, centre, celebrates after scoring King's Lynn Town's second goal against Hereford Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Anyone who thought King's Lynn Town would be a pushover in National League football have been giving a sobering reminder that counting chickens before they hatch is a dangerous past-time.

King's Lynn manager Ian Culverhouse and assistant  Paul Bastock Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKing's Lynn manager Ian Culverhouse and assistant Paul Bastock Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The sobering opening defeat at Guiseley has been followed by two hugely impressive home wins, in midweek over Kettering and then, on Saturday, an even better 3-1 home win over Hereford.

It leaves them third in the table, the highest position for 18 years, and whilst it has been a highly productive week, it is the manner in which they have gone about the game that has raised eyebrows.

Regulars have been used to the quality of Ian Culverhouse teams, but at a higher level, Saturday's performance was exceptional. For the first hour they destroyed a Hereford side tipped for promotion on the back of a very large weekly budget and the weight of history on their shoulders. Some thought we'd see a higher degree of pragmatism from Lynn, but this latest win wasn't about 'never mind the quality, feel the width'; it was all about the game in its purest form. And, yes, at this level, football can be quality entertainment.

What Culverhouse has on his hands is a squad that runs deep: he always remind us that you are only as good as your bench, and that quality has pushed the starters to new heights. Selecting a man of the match on Saturday was near impossible; the back line was excellent, the wing backs much improved, Up front Michael Gash was his usual superb self, even if Adam Marriott was a shade off his game. And in the middle, the engine room purred: Ryan Jarvis goes about his game understated but effective, but it was Michael Clunan - on his 200th appearance - and Chris Henderson who stood out.

Michael Clunan played his 200th game for King's Lynn against Hereford Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMichael Clunan played his 200th game for King's Lynn against Hereford Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And it was Henderson who nailed it when he explained his own role in the first week of the new season... and what he had done differently.

"I've looked after myself a bit better really," he said. "When I was younger I used to get away with being able to step off the pitch on the last day of the season and then come back pre-season and not really do anything between.

"But I was 29 last week and I have to look after myself a bit better. The gaffer has brought in Sonny Carey and Sam Kelly in pre-season and I know I have got to fight for my place.

"I didn't want another opportunity to lose my shirt. I have grabbed it at the moment and it is mine, but one bad game and don't think the gaffer would think twice about bringing someone else in, so I think it is that competition for places that keeps you really hungry.

The crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I think I have started the season well and I hope I continue that way too."

Michael Gash got Lynn's reward for their early dominance with a trademark header from a fine cross from Nathan Fox on the left, with Henderson then firing home on the stroke of half-time, this time Gash the supplier with an intelligent square ball from the right flank.

Hereford, for all their supposed quality, were predictable and there were few complaints when Lynn just about wrapped it up seven minutes after the break when Aaron Jones crossed from the right side of the area, but the ball took a touch off a defender who was closing him down and looped over the keeper. Fortuitous, but you earn your luck.

If there was anything to take the edge off Culverhouse's mood it was that Lynn allowed Hereford back into the game. Alex Street made a fine stop - his second of the afternoon - to deny Jordan Nicholson, but on 75 minutes the visitors got a consolation through Mike Symons.

Rory McAuley in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRory McAuley in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I thought we played really well," said the Lynn boss. "Especially first half - we got on the ball and moved it around really, really well and created some good chances, then going 2-0 up it was important we managed the game and I thought we did that. Alex Street pulled off a great save at 2-0 and obviously we go up the other end and get the third goal. Whoever scored it was important and luckily we got that and killed the game."

Culverhouse is the master tactician, but it is the simplest ideal that could be most important.

"We have got to win our home games," he said. "It has got to be a massive place for us - the crowd turned up again and got behind the boys and made some noise and it was really great."

King's Lynn Town: Street, Jones, Fryatt, Smith, McAuley, Fox, Jarvis (Richards 64), Clunan, Henderson (Kelly 73), Marriott (Hawkins 80), Gash. Subs not used: Payne, Carey.

Rory McAuley in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRory McAuley in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Goals: Gash 24, Henderson 45, Jones 52

Hereford: Hall, Hodgkiss, Pope (Styche 46, Symonds 62)), Thomas, Cullinane-Liburd, Gowling, Nicholson, Jagger Cane, Liburd, Owen-Evans, Hanley (Ash 69). Subs not used: Maye, O'Sullivan.

Goal: Symonds 75

Att: 1,148

Adam Marriott was spot on at Brackley Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAdam Marriott was spot on at Brackley Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aaron Jones, second right, celebrates with his team mates after scoring King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAaron Jones, second right, celebrates with his team mates after scoring King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aaron Jones, second right, celebrates with his team mates after scoring King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAaron Jones, second right, celebrates with his team mates after scoring King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aaron Jones prepares to shoot to score King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAaron Jones prepares to shoot to score King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

King's Lynn fans celebrate with Adam Marriott  as Aaron Jones scores against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYKing's Lynn fans celebrate with Adam Marriott as Aaron Jones scores against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Adam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAdam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Aaron Jones prepares to shoot to score King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAaron Jones prepares to shoot to score King's Lynn's third goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Adam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAdam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Adam Marriott, pictured in action for King's Lynn against Hereford, scored a late equaliser at Brackley  Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAdam Marriott, pictured in action for King's Lynn against Hereford, scored a late equaliser at Brackley Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Chris Henderson, left, celebrates with team mate Adam Marriott after scoring King's Lynn second goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChris Henderson, left, celebrates with team mate Adam Marriott after scoring King's Lynn second goal against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe crowd watch the action from King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chris Henderson, right, scores a goal for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChris Henderson, right, scores a goal for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Michael Clunan in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMichael Clunan in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Michael Gash, left, is congratulated by his King's Lynn team mates when he scored against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMichael Gash, left, is congratulated by his King's Lynn team mates when he scored against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Adam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAdam Marriott in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Chris Henderson in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChris Henderson in action for King's Lynn against Hereford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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