King’s Lynn Town’s ‘super’ win at Warrington - exactly a year ago
- Credit: Archant
King’s Lynn Town enjoyed one of the biggest days in the club’s history a year ago - Chris Lakey was there to watch the drama unfold
Ian Culverhouse played in the Premier League and on the European stage for Norwich City, but a year ago was celebrating what he considered to be his finest achievement in football.
It was the day that, as manager, he plotted King’s Lynn Town’s dramatic super play-off final win at Warrington – 3-2 in extra-time – to earn a place in the National League North.
A year on, Lynn sit second in that table, having defied the odds and expectations in what has become a curtailed season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the footballing front, they’ve been so good.
For Culverhouse, the quietly-spoken boss who a year earlier had led the team to an ultimately unsuccessful Southern League Premier Division play-off final against Slough, this was as good as it gets.
“It is what I have always wanted – I always wanted to be a number one and this is by far the biggest achievement I have ever had in football,” said Culverhouse in the aftermath of huge celebrations in the north-west. “That is because your head is above the parapet. When we got promotion (at Norwich) they were magnificent promotions, they really were, and I will never ever forget them as long as I live, but my head was below the parapet. I can bark orders all I want and it is only for someone that is out there, but now I am the one who is out there and the buck stops with me.”
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On a hot, sunny day, 400 Lynn fans made their way to Warrington’s picturesque Cantilever Park ground.
The Linnets took an early lead through Jordan Richards but, with just minutes remaining, were 2-1 down and in need of a minor miracle. Up stepped hot-shot Adam Marriott to tuck away a penalty and send the game into extra-time.
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A shoot-out was on the cards until fellow striker Michael Gash produced a piece of magic to put Lynn ahead. Gash made a celebratory beeline to his family in the stands - he knew Lynn’s place in the National League North was secured. When the final whistle went, Culverhouse slumped to his knees – and then disappeared. His players celebrated with their supporters and each other, the manager happy to let them enjoy the moment. He eventually surfaced some time after for the formalities. As anyone who watches Lynn knows – that’s what how he does things. Out on his own.