Linnets putting in hard yards as they look to confirm bookies’ tag

Simon Power - hit a double at Gateshead Picture: Ian Burt

Simon Power - hit a double at Gateshead Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The road to glory continues for the Linnets as they make the long trek to Gateshead.

Ryan Fryatt is on the road to recovery Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Ryan Fryatt is on the road to recovery Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Lynn are certainly putting in the miles - the midweek trip to Leamington was a mere 210-mile round trip while the journey to the north-east will add a further 460 to the clock.

Gateshead are on the fringes of the play-off spots in eighth after an unbeaten 10-game start to 2020 and Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse expects another tough trip.

"A really hard game," he said. "They are a good side, especially at home as well. I think we were very fortunate to beat them at our place but they are all tough.

"This run-in now we have got 13 games to go and we are just going to give it the best effort that we can and wherever we end up we end up. Like I have always said, it won't be for the lack of trying. We have got a squad of 16, 17 and we are going to go all the way."

Lynn's promotion challenge hit a bump with consecutive defeats but they were their only games in February as pitches took the brunt of the storms. Eight matches are scheduled for March, with Culverhouse hoping the point gained in a goalless draw in midweek will build momentum again.

"This is the start of it," he said. "This is a point away from home. It is always a good point in this league and we will get better and sharper as the games roll in that's for sure."

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Lynn have slipped to second, two points behind York, with four games in hand - and remain odds on with the big High Street bookmakers to take the title. York were thumped 4-1 at home by Hereford in midweek - not that the Minstermen's fortunes bother Culverhouse.

"I don't worry about anyone else, it's just about us, I don't care if they won 5-1, I really don't care about any other team in this league," he said. "It is about us creating what we can create and seeing where we can go."

On the injury front, Culverhouse remains without influential skipper Michael Clunan who is "still a little bit away" as he recovers from a fractured fibia, but there is better news over central defender Ryan Fryatt, who hasn't featured since the FA Cup win over Alfreton in September but played 90 minutes for the reserves in midweek.

Simon Power, on loan from Norwich City, has been struggling with a calf strain, but Culverhouse hopes to have him available

"He has been with Norwich and he is back out on the grass at Norwich so we are hopeful that he can join the squad," said the Lynn boss. "It is a body back, which is great because he is a good talent, Simon and if we can get him out on the grass then that will hold us in good stead. We need options, we need weapons coming off the bench as much as we can and we need players all firing at the same times."

Lynn were 1-0 winners over Gateshead at the end of November, thanks to an Adam Marriott goal, but the hosts will be eager to get into the play-off picture.

"We go in the game with good form," said manager Mike Williamson. "We enjoy playing here and we know what they are about. They have got a good manager, experienced manager, and a good team, obviously, which is reflected in their league position. It will be a big test for us but one we will relish."

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