Linnets still sitting pretty - thanks to some of those on the sidelines

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse, right, and his assistant Paul Bastock Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse, right, and his assistant Paul Bastock Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

For the first time since mid-November, King's Lynn Town have a team above them in the promotion race.

King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town owner Stephen Cleeve Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

The Linnets had been top since a 2-1 win at Southport back on November 16, but while they were kicking their heels on Saturday following the postponement of their game at Altrincham because of a waterlogged pitch, York City were winning 1-0 at Kidderminster Harriers.

It was enough to send the Minstermen top, with a two-point lead, albeit from three games more than the Linnets.

Even sitting in second spot is, as manager Ian Culverhouse says, beyond anyone's wildest dreams as the Linnets continue to defy the odds.

Whilst the players will take most of the plaudits, it's time to look away from the pitch and to the sidelines - and the stands - to see what Culverhouse, his assistant Paul Bastock and the club owner Stephen Cleeve, have contributed to the story so far...

Ian Culverhouse

His first spell as manager was pretty good. This second has been ridiculous. Three weeks ago he suffered his first home defeat in the league since his return almost a year and a half ago. Took Lynn to the National League North after a brilliant play-offs campaign.

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The odds were on a survival battle, but the Linnets are still sitting pretty - and maybe a little of that top-of-the-table pressure has eased.

From outside of the dressing room, Cully is a mild mannered, good humoured man. He chats amiably with the media post-match (something he didn't always do in his first spell), enjoys a laugh and you feel there is a trust established. Ask the players and they see him as a man they respect, a man with a CV that proves he's right. And they love playing for him, not least because it's good football to watch. He lets them make mistakes (not too many of course), as long as they learn. He can explain every decision he makes and is a brilliant coach - watch him with his notebook during the game.

Paul Bastock

Booming voice, the man on the touchline who does the dirty verbal stuff, and loves it. Works hard with Alex Street and it has paid off... player relationship is good as is the one with the fans. Wears his heart on his sleeve at times, and we love him for it. Him and Cully are chalk and cheese - but the best manager-coach teams often are.

Stephen Cleeve

Fell out with his manager first time out, but knows a good thing when he sees it. Has put an awful lot of money into the club and has enabled recent new signings. Running a football club is a costly business, and the owner has to have a businessman's head, which doesn't always go down well, usually with those who don't have to keep dipping into their pockets.

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