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No damage done as Lynn ’strengthen’ position - despite not playing

PUBLISHED: 17:48 21 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:48 21 December 2019

Midfielder Alfie Payne is on loan to King's Lynn Town from neighbours Norwich City Picture: Ian Burt

Midfielder Alfie Payne is on loan to King's Lynn Town from neighbours Norwich City Picture: Ian Burt

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Ian Culverhouse will, perhaps, be counting his blessings that the rain that fell over Gloucester City’s Jubilee Stadium last week forced the postponement of King’s Lynn Town’s trip there at the weekend.

King's Lynn Town's Ryan Jarvis suffered a back injury in the FA Trophy game against Dover Athletic Picture: Ian BurtKing's Lynn Town's Ryan Jarvis suffered a back injury in the FA Trophy game against Dover Athletic Picture: Ian Burt

It meant more time for the club physio to work her magic on Culverhouse's walking wounded in preparation for the Boxing Day game at home to close rivals Boston United.

The only damage in league terms that could have been done was that York could have closed the gap - they were at home to Darlington but went down 1-0, while Chester slipped to fifth after they could only draw 0-0 at home to Telford. It all means Lynn remain three clear of York and seven clear of Southport in third, with a game in hand on both. Boston's game at home to Gateshead was also postponed.

So no real harm done there, then. But with skipper Michael Clunan out for at least six weeks, the experienced Ryan Jarvis troubled by a back spasm and Chris Henderson missing the FA Trophy win over Dover the previous weekend, Culverhouse may have to perform a square pegs in round holes trick, just as he has done in the centre of his defence, where Ryan Fryatt and Chris Smith remain sidelined and Ross Barrows has emerged as something of a local hero in a makeshift role alongside Rory McAuley.

The extra time granted by the rain gods on Saturday may keep Culverhouse out of the loan market: such deals can be fraught with danger, and often come at a price.

There is a relationship with Norwich City, of course, which could prove fruitful: their loans manager Neil Adams is a regular at The Walks as he keeps an eye on the progress of Alfie Payne. Adams will have an input into Lynn's suitability as a temporary home for City's young talent, but with the January transfer window opening soon, and the Canaries having constant injury issues of their own, the senior club will be treading extremely carefully.

But having a Premier League club an hour up the road is useful.

"From Norwich's perspective, we can take their players on loan and the higher we go through the leagues the better players we can take," said Linnets owner Stephen Cleeve in an interview with Tribal Football.

"They can monitor the players closely and they still train with Norwich every day, while also doing a couple of evenings with us. Then on match days they come with us. These relationships need to grow and the higher we grow, the better it becomes for Norwich too as it gives them the opportunity to give some of their youth prospects men's football.

"I think men's football is much better for developing youth players."


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