Linnets are proving quick learners – but surprise factor is fading
King's Lynn Town face another test of their early-season credentials when second plays third at The Walks on Tuesday night.
Third-placed Alfreton are the visitors, with Lynn - with a 100pc home record - knowing victory could see them take over top spot from York City, who have a difficult trip to fourth-placed Guiseley.
Guiseley's role in the musical chairs that could ensure is tinged with some irony, given the Yorkshire club are the only team to have beaten Ian Culverhouse's side this season. The 3-0 drubbing on the opening day was a rude awakening as Lynn began life in a new division. Culverhouse said they would learn from that, and a record of six wins and a draw since suggests they listened well.
Culverhouse will be hoping defender Chris Smith and striker Adam Marriott are fit, although the way Lynn have coped in their absence does tend to make it look like Lynn are finding the elevation to this level of football simple. The truth is rather different, as Chris Henderson, scorer of the goals that saw off Darlington at the weekend, explained.
"People just turn up here on a Saturday and see the way we play, but there is so much work that goes into it," he said. "And that is credit to the manager for what he has done. I think he has stepped it up again with his planning. He is so meticulous, he is brilliant to work with, we all know what we are doing.
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"He is different class and I think the credit has to go to him for the football we are playing and how confident everyone looks."
What Lynn's lofty position - as well as the quality of the football - has done is take away one factor which may have worked in their favour given that it is difficult not to notice the early-season's surprise packages.
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"I don't think we are going to be a surprise anymore," said Henderson. "We have already been the surprise and I think people will really take us seriously. We have a difficult game on Tuesday night but I just feel at home, and it might be arrogant to say, we are going to be feared. We always said we would see where we are after 10 games and it would be nice to be top after 10 wouldn't it?
"We have played Hereford here and Farsley, who are both up there - I really don't think we have anything to fear. Like the manager tells us, we have got to respect who we are playing. Obviously you can tell the difference in the step up, but we have taken it in our stride."