Big derby clashes on Boxing Day - including King's Lynn v Lowestoft and Yarmouth v Gorleston
PUBLISHED: 10:20 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 24 December 2018
Matthew Usher Photography
Chris Lakey takes a look at what's on offer for local football fans on Boxing Day
Ian Culverhouse has called on King’s Lynn Town fans to crank up the atmosphere ahead of a big Boxing Day clash against East Anglian rivals Lowestoft Town.
There is motivation in abundance for the Linnets – 2-1 winners at Biggleswade on Saturday – as they look to make it 14 games unbeaten and consolidate their Southern Premier Central play-off position.
Lowestoft beat Lynn 1-0 in Suffolk back in August, but the Trawlerboys have struggled for form while Lynn’s managerial change has worked wonders, taking them up to fifth.
Ryan Jarvis, Frazer Blake-Tracy, Chris Henderson and Rory McAuley have all played for Lowestoft ... and relationships between the clubs have been strained at times as players moved across the border.
The biggest motivation, of course, is the three points on offer – and Culverhouse knows the home fans can play a significant role.
“Football matches at this time of the year always create a great atmosphere and it would be brilliant if we can get some real noise about the place on the afternoon,” said Culverhouse, who has yet to lose at The Walks on his return to the club.
“The team are doing alright at the moment and played with their hearts on their sleeves at Biggleswade.
“It was a dig-deep mentality that was required and that is what I got – I couldn’t have been more pleased as it was a great result in difficult conditions.
“Derby games are always hard fought and keenly-contested affairs and Lowestoft will be no different. They need the points for other reasons.
“I suspect some will be looking at our relevant league positions and saying home win – well I’m not one of those people.
“The game will have a little edge to it, I’m sure, and again the day being what it is will add a little extra.
“Just like the weekend it’s a game against a side who have beaten us earlier in the season so for me that will add even further motivation – and we already have load of that at the moment.”
Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve added: “It’s a great time of year for all football fans and we have been very kind with the fixtures we have been presented with over Christmas.
“We have a great team and a fantastic manager in Ian and I have every confidence that we will continue moving forward both on and off the field as we head into 2019.”
Lowestoft’s game at home to Halesowen on Saturday was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Town assistant boss Andy Reynolds said: “I’m sure that we will be facing a very different King’s Lynn side this time round even though their personnel hasn’t changed too much. They clearly love playing under their manager and it’s going to be a great test for us.
“They are not a team that we should be measuring ourselves against on or off the pitch. If we can leave there with our heads held high then we will be pleased but we will obviously be looking to take something from the game.
There are match of the day choices all over the Premier Division, given the derby day nature that comes with Boxing Day schedules.
Perhaps the biggest is at The Wellesley, where Great Yarmouth entertain Gorleston. One look at the table and you’d probably go for Gorleston to take all three points against the team sat bottom of the table, but things have changed in the past couple of weeks.
Having endured a terrible run of nine defeats in a row, things have picked up joint managers Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair, whose team have won their last two – at home to Newmarket Town and then, on Saturday, away to Haverhill Rovers.
Gorleston were held to a 2-2 draw at Cedric Anselin’s Norwich United at the weekend, a result which brought an end to the Planters own losing streak that had reached 10 games. United face a trip to seventh-placed Wroxham.
Kirkley & Pakefield have gone about their business without much fuss and sit nicely in sixth place - the Royals entertain Woodbridge Town, who are one place above them, on goal difference.
Thetford Town have had an extra day to prepare following their Friday night defeat to leaders Godmanchester, and go to fourth-placed Walsham Le Willows.
In the First Division, there is no doubt of the match of the day – that’s at Harleston where Mulbarton Wanderers are the visitors as first host second. Third-placed Swaffham Town are at home to Downham Town, while Fakenham Town, one place below, them, are at home to Norwich CBS, who are fifth.
All Thurlow Nunn League matches are 11am kick-off.