Has the wild rover found a home at King's Lynn?
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn are on their travels again this weekend, with a long old poke to Torquay – Chris Lakey picks out some talking points with Ian Culverhouse’s team
They say when one door closes another one opens - and that may just have happened at King's Lynn Town.
The loss of Joe Rowley against Peterborough Sports last weekend was a blow – although the midfielder was due to return to parent club Chesterfield on Monday anyway.
But was it offset by the debut of Josh Barrett, a 23-year-old who admits he has lost his way in football and is looking to push the reset button on his career?
Barrett - signed just a couple of days earlier after being released by Bristol Rovers - is clearly far from match fit, but nevertheless made himself a talking point. His look-away pass in the build-up to Brett McGavin’s winner was top drawer and a later piece of skill in the middle of park defied physics. Manager Ian Culverhouse will have to wait a while before he elects to start him, but it does look like he’s got a player on his hands.
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Central defender Dan Bowry pulled up in training so missed the FA Cup game and is likely to miss the trip to the south coast. However, the good news is that another defender, Pierce Bird, looks likely to return after breaking a bone on his foot, while Tyler Denton’s is hoping to be back after a hamstring injury. It might just be a bit too soon for Junior Morias, who also has a hamstring problem. Joe Taylor, who was cup tied, is available if needed.
The injuries have, if it was needed, confirmed Lynn’s role as small fish in a big pond, as skipper Michael Clunan acknowledged.
"We’re not getting too many players in the door,” he said. “We are not a big team like Stockport or Chesterfield or Notts County who can just replace these players who are getting injured. These big teams will just go out and spend £25,000 and get a replacement; we are not in a position to do that so we will just work hard to get the next points.”
Michael Clunan hasn’t been without his critics – although the fact Culverhouse rarely leaves him out of a starting line-up should answer those who doubt the captain’s influence. The move to full-time football has clearly helped Clunan this season. But there’s no resting on laurels.
“I am feeling good, I’m feeling fit,” said the former Norwich City youth team player. “I have had a fair few injuries in the last few seasons so that has maybe scuppered my form a little bit. But I know when I am not playing well enough. I think last year I had a few games at the end when I thought I played okay. But now I feel good, I have had a full pre-season and I feel like I am doing okay.
“I still feel I can probably do a bit better to help the team get over the line and get those three points sometimes.”
Lynn have lost just once in their last four games - and that after a hotly-disputed refereeing decision – after a start to the season that read L-W-L-D-L-L-L.
The FA Cup win at home to Peterborough Sports was their first success at The Walks after two away wins, at Yeovil and Maidenhead United.
But for the half glass empty types, consider this: all three wins have something in common – Lynn came from behind each time. The plus side of that is that, unlike last season when capitulation was the name of the game, Lynn have proved they have more of a backbone this time around.
One concern that will be eating away at the defenders, though, is that Lynn have not scored first in any game they have played this season.
Of the 11 league and one cup games they’ve played, Lynn have conceded in the first 15 minutes on a staggering eight occasions (it happened twice at Eastleigh).
Head to head (league)
Torquay: 15th. Current form: W-D-W-L-L
King’s Lynn: 19th . Current form: L-L-W-D-L
Last season: Linnets 0 Torquay; Torquay 1 Linnets 0