Barrows is proof King's Lynn Town's success is built on a strong team ethic
PUBLISHED: 21:14 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 21:14 07 December 2019
In every football team you will have your stars, the players whose names are in lights week after week.
Adam Marriott, Michael Gash, Chris Henderson - coincidentally the three scorers in the 3-0 home win over Blyth Spartans - are a case in point.
But without those in supporting roles, they would be much less effective, if not redundant.
Which is why all three will look at the likes of Aaron Jones, Ross Barrows and Ryan Hawkins and be forever grateful for their 'supporting' roles in this impressive National League North campaign.
Marriott wouldn't have scored league goal number 21 of his brilliant season had Hawkins not generously cut back the ball rather than have a shot with just a minute left on the clock.
Had Jones not put a ball smack on Gash's head, Henderson wouldn't have picked up the loose ball for the opener.
And had Ross Barrows not produced arguably the pass of the game to find Henderson, Gash might not have scored Lynn's second.
Barrows is proof that this Lynn team is made up of 11 team players - not just 'stars'. He's playing out of position in the centre of defence because Lynn have two defenders injured and a third, Tom Ward, couldn't play because of the effects of a concussion and the properly observed protocols around such injuries.
The unassuming Barrows has been excellent in the role - as acknowledged by his manager, Ian Culverhouse, who knows a thing or two about defending.
"Ross fits in there," said the Linnets boss. "He is a good footballer, Ross, an intelligent kid, and he makes sure we are not missing the boys who are out at the moment.
"He's no frills, doesn't want the limelight, he is a team player - just ask him to go and play everywhere and he will give you everything he has got and that is the beauty of having him in this team. He is a talented kid, he really is, and he is very much team orientated."
The pass to Henderson, to tee up Gash for the second goal, was a peach: Barrows strolled out of defence in possession, saw Henderson in the right channel and sliced the visitors' defence with a precision pass. Henderson's low cross to Gash was on the button, too, but Barrows' pass was the eye-catcher.
"Great weight, great vision and a great run to be fair - to see that," Culverhouse said. "He looks comfortable coming out with it, he drives in to space and to see that run he has done very well."
Henderson was unfortunate there was no match sponsor - he was a shoo in for a bottle of plonk to stock up the Christmas cupboard.
Culverhouse said: "He made good runs from deep which helped because they played a high line and tried to condense the play a little bit and we managed to get that third man in a couple of times and Hendo is really good , he reads the hame really well and makes those runs and he was a constant thorn all day."
Hawkins came off the bench to replace the impressive Sonny Carey with 20-odd minutes left - and suddenly the game opened up, with chances galore. Marriott saw a clutch of them come and go, but with a minute of normal time left, Hawkins teed him up, squaring the ball into Marriott's path rather than having a blast himself.
"Hawkins was excellent when he came on," said Culverhouse, who was without midfielder Sam Kelly because of a slight groin strain. He asks a lot of defenders with his pace and is very forward thinking and it was a great cut-back for him."
King's Lynn: Street, Jones, Barrows, McAuley, Fox, Carey (Hawkins 68), Clunan (Payne 80), Richards, Gash, Henderson, Marriott. Subs not used: Jarvis, Bastock. Goals: Henderson 17, Gash 38, Marriott 89
Blyth Spartans: Hemming, Evans, Callaghan, Mullen, Ritson, Devitt, McGlade (Scott 23), Hunter, Sweet, Roberts, Hawkins (Amantchi 69). Subs not used: Hutchinson, McKeown.
Referee: A Humphries