‘If we deviate from what we are good at we could be in for a long season’ - Linnets boss
PUBLISHED: 14:45 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 09 October 2020
Ian Burt Photography
King’s Lynn Town are on their travels again, hoping to end their first week as a National League club in style – Chris Lakey looks at their ‘beautiful game’
Ian Culverhouse steadfastly refuses to deviate from his footballing principles as he pits beauty against the beast.
In his case, the beauty is King’s Lynn Town, and the way he wants them to play football.
The beast is what lurks around many corner in this debut National League season for the Linnets: sometimes it will win. Other times, the beautiful game will prevail.
Culverhouse leads his side into the fray again on Saturday, for the third time in the opening week of the campaign, when they head to Solihull Moors.
The rules of engagement will be the same for Lynn: play football, no matter what the opposition do. Culverhouse has already said he wants his players to cut out the errors which gifted Maidenhead two penalties on Tuesday. That bit he didn’t like, What he did enjoy was Lynn’s response as they twice came from behind – as they had in the opening day 2-2 draw with Yeovil – through Simon Power and Dayle Southwell before Aaron Jones’s late winner.
Right up until Jones struck, Lynn were still passing it around, looking for an opening against a side which mixed a bit of gamesmanship, a lot of experience and a fair bit of brawn.
“We’re missing the big man (Michael Gash) anyway up front so we haven’t got an out ball,” said Culverhouse. “We have to be patient on the ball and we have to work our little patterns and get into pockets. We kept doing that. I think if we deviate from what we are good at we could be in for a long season so we will keep trying to play our way.
“I’m pleased we didn’t go against our principles, and that is important. We will lose games trying to play our way because we will probably over-play sometimes, but we will learn as we go along.”
Lynn’s first two games have been notable for some fine individual performances, perhaps best exemplified by two players not necessarily accustomed to seeing their names in lights.
Right back Aaron Jones and striker Dayle Southwell have hit the ground running. Jones provided a superb assist for Adam Marriott’s equaliser which earned Lynn a point on Saturday – and took away the man of the match title to boot. On Tuesday, he popped up in the final minute to clinch the three points.
Southwell had scored the opener at the weekend, and on Tuesday got the second equaliser – a superb turn and shot which gave the home keeper no chance as it headed towards the top right-hand corner. Southwell’s form is perfectly timed, with Adam Marriott still getting back to full match fitness and Gash sidelined after illness.
“It was a cracking strike,” said Culverhouse. “And we needed it because it gave everyone a massive, massive lift, but he took the ball really well and swivelled – it was an unstoppable shot and flew in. He has started well as well – he works ever so hard for the team.
“He has come from a professional environment and he has brought that with him. Every training session he is at it and his work rate off the ball is tremendous for us. He is the first line of the press and I am really pleased with the way he has started.”
Lynn’s good start has been done without Gash, the injured Jamar Loza and with Marriott not yet firing on all cylinders – while that is a distinct disadvantage, the prospect of supplementing this side with that quality is mouth-watering. In the meantime, their team-mates have stepped up to the plate: Alex Brown – dangerous when the two full-backs are pushed higher up – has proved a fine new signing at left back, Ryan Jarvis has turned back the clock in midfield alongside the excellent Jordan Richards.
The music that blared out from the away dressing room in midweek proved what victory meant – and the togetherness in the squad that so impresses the manager. Proof on the field is that they have come from behind four times in two games.
“Magnificent character, it really is,” said Culverhouse. “But we have a tough one on Saturday at Solihull, a really good side. But we have to turn up again, roll them out and they will give as good as they get.”
Simon Power – who scored the first equaliser at Maidenhead, may be a doubt, while Culverhouse will be hoping Loza will be ready for his full debut.
“He (Power) is playing with a really tight groin at the moment so we have just got to be careful with him,” he said. “But what a first goal that was – an unstoppable strike. That is the quality he has got and that is why he is here.
“He has just got to learn the trade and we will try and do that.”