‘What really excites me is the way we are trying to play’ – Linnets boss
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn Town have secured a play-off spot after a 2-1 home win over Tamworth, but are now chasing second place to gain the most advantageous home advantage – Chris Lakey reports from The Walks
Ian Culverhouse's chest-thumping response to King's Lynn Town's winning goal wasn't just about the passion of the moment – it confirmed his belief that The Walks can become an invincible home ground, and should be respected as such.
Chris Henderson's winner came minutes after Tamworth had grabbed an unlikely equaliser, prompting players and coaching staff to celebrate wildly – a reaction which didn't go down well with the Lynn bench or the home fans.
So when they got the chance, they responded in kind - with bells on, Culverhouse taking the lead role. Just to prove that this is their hunting ground, no one else's. And that is the way Culverhouse wants it between now and whenever the season may end.
Having guaranteed a play-off place it is now imperative Lynn get the best of home advantages for the end-of-season extras - and that means catching Stourbridge, who are one place ahead in second, behind Kettering, whose weekend win clinched the title.
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Now it's a case of jostling for position, and Culverhouse knows that with a fair wind and a healthy backing at The Walks, Lynn could do what they failed to do a year ago, and win promotion.
That final match was the last of Culverhouse's first spell in charge - when he returned in November the aim was to be in the mix for the play-offs. Then the target became the play-offs. Now it has become second place. Things changed rather better than even the manager hoped.
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Did he expect it to be this good?
'Hand on heart, no,' said Culverhouse. 'I thought we would make a run at the play-offs, I really did, because of the quality of the squad. But this is where I am so pleased for the group because what they have done is unbelievable really, from where we were and to where we could possibly finish.
'What really excites me is the way we are trying to play. Everyone has got a right to play anyway they want but, I would rather watch us play and than some teams in this league.'
With three games remaining, Lynn need to come through the holiday games at St Neots on Saturday then at home to Needham Market on Easter Monday which could tee up a shootout for runners-up spot when they travel to Stourbridge for the regular season's final game.
'I think it will go to the last game,' added Culverhouse. 'It is up to us to keep winning and then we have a look at what Stourbridge do. They picked up a good win today but all we can do is look after ourselves.'
Which is pretty much what Lynn did against Tamworth, one of the division's form teams but never able to keep up with Lynn's slick approach.
For 90 minutes they looked the part. They controlled the game, they tried to play football - and did - but the scoreline didn't really reflect the margin of their superiority.
Ross Barrows – who later went off with a calf problem – put Lynn ahead after just 11 minutes but the visitors levelled late on, when Tyrell Waite powered out on a solo break. Ryan Jarvis twice tried but couldn't knock him off the ball, and the striker made his way into the area and put a low shot past Alex Street.
Three minutes later Henderson drilled the ball past Jas Singh to secure the points.
Singh had played a major role in keeping the scoreline down with a string of fine saves, none better than a spell of around 20 seconds just before the goals when he somehow kept out a Henderson shot, Adam Marriott's effort was cleared off the line and Singh then flung himself to keep out sub Aaron Jones' effort.
King's Lynn: Street, Barrows (Jones 66), Fryatt, McAuley, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Richards, Clunan, Henderson, Gash, Marriott (Mellors-Blair 88). Subs not used: Parker, Robinson, Bastock. Goals: Barrows: 11, Henderson 85.
Tamworth: Singh, Stabana (Sylla 66), Gough, Magunda, Kettle, Green, Concannon, Clement, Waite, Shaw (Spencewr 66), James. Subs not used: Frances, Dias, Gordan. Goal: Waite 82
Referee: P Burnham (Wymondham)
Remaining games: April 20, St Neots (a); April 22, Needham Market (h); April 27, Stourbridge (a).