Concern for King’s Lynn boss as injuries make untimely appearance
- Credit: Nick Butcher
King's Lynn Town's promotion push could be derailed by an injury crisis.
The Linnets secured a vital point at play-off rivals Slough, Cameron King's first-half brace putting the Linnets ahead after they fell behind to a first-minute strike from Perry Coles – who nicked a point with just three minutes remaining.
But Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse's thoughts turned quickly from the league table to the treatment table with the business end of the season now firmly in sight.
'It is a real concern,' admitted Culverhouse. 'Michael Clunan has a fractured toe, Leon Mettam continues to struggle with a calf problem and Sids (Tom Siddons) has a hamstring so that's three that were unavailable to me today. Then after 15 minutes we have had to take Ryan (Fryatt) off with a heel problem – and that doesn't look good at present – and we ended with Tom (Ward) struggling with his ankle.
'Add to that a couple of others with injuries that we continue to try and manage and it's a real worry. People say that I have a big squad, but in reality it's not and when a situation like this arises it puts you under a strain. However, there's nothing we can do about it so I will have to probably dip into the reserves to fill out the team. I am grateful that we have a clear week which allows us to get some rest into them and work on the injured ones and see where we are come Thursday evening.
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'They have all been magnificent for me today and given everything they had in their tanks for the second time in less than 48 hours. I have nothing but praise and admiration for them all – they have been outstanding for myself, the club and the supporters all season.'
Lynn got off to the worst possible start when Coles lobbed Alex Street from close in as Fryatt appeared to lose his footing on the 3G surface. Parity was restored just after a quarter of an hour as King stole in and diverted Gash's short pass beyond Jack Turner. King then had the ball in the net again only to see the assistant raise his flag for an offside decision that left Town's players shaking their heads in disbelief.
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Substitute Toby Hilliard forced Turner into a blocked save and the Rebels' Chris Flood sent a headed effort onto the roof of the net before a moment of pure class from King put Lynn ahead. The midfielder glided past two challengers before looking up and sending a shot from fully 30 yards that had the net rippling before Turner had moved in the home goal.
Street pulled off an heroic double save to deny Flood and Matt Lench drove over as the home side strained for the equaliser in the second spell.
Hilliard and Hawkins provided Gash with a great chance to increase the visitors' lead, but he somehow slid his effort wide from close in on a rare foray into the home half. Nathan Smart appeared to have headed an equaliser for Slough with 10 minutes remaining but following consultation between referee Andy Bennett and his assistant the home defender was adjudged to have used his arm to guide the ball past Street instead of his head.
But the hosts were not to be denied and Coles secured a point for his side in the dying minutes as he comfortably beat Street from close in following a spell of intense pressure.
Slough: Turner, Smart, Wells, Day (Williams 77), Nisbet, Togwell, Lench, Davies (Gilkes 67), Coles, Flood, Harris (Dobson 61). Subs not used: Fraser, Hollis, Dobson, Gilkes, Williams. Goals: Coles 1, 87
Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Fryatt (Hilliard 16), Ward, Frary, King (Parker 63), Jarvis, Gash, Hawkins, Lappin. Subs: Hilliard, Parker, McQuaid. Goals: King 15, 45+
Referee: Andy Bennett