Fringe players will get chance to impress King’s Lynn Town boss Culverhouse in League Cup tie

PUBLISHED: 17:20 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 28 September 2017

All-action Lynn skipper Michael Clunan is one of eight ever-presents in the league this season. Picture: Matthew Usher

All-action Lynn skipper Michael Clunan is one of eight ever-presents in the league this season. Picture: Matthew Usher

Matthew Usher Photography

Ian Culverhouse will get to see what his fringe players can do on Saturday afternoon when the Linnets take a break from league football.

Lynn head to Kempston Rovers for a League Cup first round tie, with Culverhouse ready to give some game time to those who have been forced to sit and watch from the sidelines as the Linnets have stormed through the early stages of the season.

Culverhouse has had little need to change personnel: Lynn are second in the table after nine games and eight players – keeper Alex Street, defenders Frazer Blake-Tracy, Cameron Norman and Ryan Fryatt, midfielders Michael Clunan, Ryan Hawkins and Ryan Jarvis and leading scorer Craig Parker – have started every league game. It’s provided a stability to the Linnets, but Culverhouse needs his other squad players to be able to step in at a moment’s notice – which is why Saturday’s cup game is more important than its face value.

“It’s been a tough week for the lads with two games in four days, but they have conducted themselves brilliantly and we picked up six points, which was the sort of response I expected after back-to-back defeats,” said the Linnets boss. “The league cup gives me a chance to have a look at a few different things and get some minutes into a few of the boys who have sat patiently on the bench. I don’t want it to be a massive distraction for us, but we will want to win the game.”

Lynn were 3-0 home winners over Biggleswade in midweek with a trio of second-half goals quickly putting paid to an argument that they are a first-half team – having wiped the floor with last Saturday’s visitors Tiverton Town but failing to add to their half-time 2-0 lead. Three points is three points and Lynn’s game management was spot on, but Parker accepts the theory.

“When we are playing as well as we have done and we are two or three up the momentum of the game is inevitably going to slow because they (opponents) are going to have a spell in the game,” he said. “Half-time comes and there is a delay and as much as we try to keep pushing ourselves forward and try to keep ourselves up for it, the job has been done in the first half in a lot of the games. It’s important we perform in the second half as we have in the first.”

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Opinion: It’s been a very eventful few days for Norwich City, and it all started with that brilliant 1-0 win at Ashton Gate. This win was thanks to another wonderful James Maddison goal and one hell of a save by Angus Gunn, one his old man I’m sure would have been proud to make. Sadly Norwich went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the fourth consecutive season, but gave a magnificent account of themselves and pushed Chelsea all the way – but it wasn’t to be as they were knocked out in the cruellest way, on penalties. The win against Bristol City means the club have won nearly twice as many away games as they have done at Carrow Road, Norwich are now unbeaten in their last four league games while conceding just one goal in those four games. Saturday gives City an opportunity to win back-to-back league games for the first time at Carrow Road this season, which is quite astounding considering we’re now in mid-January. I guess it just goes to show how they’ve struggled to break teams down and how inconsistent they have been on their own patch. Chris Wilder brings his out-of-sorts Sheffield United down to Carrow Road – I’m sure he’ll get a nice warm welcome from the Norwich faithful after some of the remarks he made after Norwich’s very impressive win at Bramall Lane in a bad-tempered game earlier in the season when the Blades we’re flying in the league, something they aren’t quite doing at this moment in time, having won just one of their last 10 Championship games. I think tomorrow gives the lads a real chance of closing the gap even more on the teams in those play-off positions. I scored a few goals against Sheffield United in my career, especially when I played at Bramall Lane – a brace for Leicester springs to mind. I scored a couple for Norwich against them at Carrow Road and looking back on my 96 goals for the Canaries, one of those was one of the most important that I scored for the club. The first of those two City goals came in a thrilling game when we found ourselves 2-0 with just 24 minutes gone, but we made the boos and the jeers turn to cheers with goals from Phil Mulryne, Tony Cottee (his one and only for Norwich), Chris Llewelyn and yours truly seeing us make a tremendous comeback to win the game 4-2. The other goal I was talking about came in our Championship-winning season on January 31 and, as I said, it’s right up there with some of the most important goals I scored for the club. It was a top-of-the-table clash as both us and Sheffield United had had a very good first half to the season and were fighting it up at the top of the league. It was a very close game with not many clear-cut chances until a ball broke to me in the 59th minute. It came to me perfectly, about 12 yards from goal and without breaking my stride I smashed it past the helpless Paddy Kenny and Carrow Road erupted. It was a very important win for us and as a forward there’s no better result than winning the game 1-0 with you getting the winner. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both Russell Martin and Cameron Jerome all the very best at their new clubs. Both have been magnificent servants to the club and have been ultimate professionals while they’ve represented Norwich City and have always given everything when they’ve played. Both have taken harsh criticism in the last two or three seasons and at times been made scapegoats, but one thing is for sure, they’ve never hidden and taken everything on the chin and got on with things. Let’s hope that whoever comes in to replace Russ and Cameron will show the same level of commitment to Norwich City over the next few years.

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