Linnets look to get claim their ticket to play-offs
PUBLISHED: 20:33 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 20:33 12 April 2019
King's Lynn Town can put their name in the play-off draw on Saturday afternoon when Tamworth head to west Norfolk.
Victory, and some favourable results elsewhere, would see the Linnets secure one of the four spots by 5pm.
At the top, the picture is clear: Kettering will be crowned champions if they get a point from their remaining four games, starting at Halesowen.
That would end the challenge of the only team who can catch them, Stourbridge, who are three points ahead of Lynn, with Alvechurch two further back and Stratford another two behind in fifth.
If Lynn win on Saturday, that means any hopes that Coalville Town – currently outside of the play-offs – have of catching them depend on how they fare: lose and a Lynn wins guarantees a lottery ticket.
So the games that matter on Saturday are: Rushden & Diamonds v Stourbridge; Alvechurch v Coalville and Stratford v Royston.
The Linnets will need to shrug off any after-effects of last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Banbury, which halted their winning run at four – and manager Ian Culverhosue knows the shackles are off their opponents.
“We are playing a side that have got nothing to lose,” he said. “Tamworth are not going to go down and they are not going to go up, so they can play with an abandonment of freedom. Teams like that can be very dangerous opponents as there’s nothing on the game for them, but we’ve got to do our job and make sure that we remain strong.
“We were all disappointed by the result at Banbury, but it was just one of those days and I can’t fault anything the players have done. When you think back to where they were to where they are now it is testament to the group who have done absolutely brilliantly for this football club.”
Linnets defender Joe Robinson looks set to be sidelined again as he recovers from injury while Michael Clunan, Ryan Jarvis and Ryan Hawkins will be assessed ahead of the game. Hawkins missed the game at Banbury after picking up an injury in training while captain Clunan was only fit enough for the bench as a precautionary measure, but was able to take to the pitch in the second half.
Jarvis limped off early with a dead leg.
Tamworth’s joint manager Andrew Danylyszyn is excited at the prospect of pitting his wits against the Linnets
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I love these games. I’d like to play King’s Lynn, Stourbridge and Kettering every week. I absolutely love them. I can’t wait for the game. I am absolutely buzzing for it.”
Tamworth are likely to welcome back Joe Magunda, after he served a one-match ban against Royston last time out. Chris Lait will also be assessed to see if he is fit. The likes of Charlie Shaw and Revarnelle James will be hoping to retain their starting positions from one week ago.
Stourbridge: Today, Rushden & Diamonds (a); Good Friday, Alvechurch (h); Easter Monday, Rushall Olympic (a); April 27, King’s Lynn Town (h).
Linnets: Today, Tamworth (h); April 20, St Neots (a); April 22, Needham Market (h); April 27, Stourbridge (a).
Alvechurch: Today, Coalvile (h); Good Friday, Stourbridge (a), Easter Monday, Banbury (h); April 27, Needham Market (a).
Stratford: Today, Royston (h); April 20, Lowestoft (a); Easter Monday, Biggleswade (h); April 27, Kettering (a).
Coalville: Today, Alvechurch (a); April 20, Rushden & Diamonds (h); Easter Monday, Bedworth (a); April 27, St Ives (h).