Ian Culverhouse’s verdict on King’s Lynn Town’s ’chalk and cheese’ performances
- Credit: Archant
King’s Lynn Town brought home a welcome three points with a disciplined performance at Barnet - Chris Lakey spoke to manager Ian Culverhouse
Ian Culverhouse has a reputation as a tinkerman, a studious manager who likes the challenge of making changes to effect a result.
To the untrained eye the tinkering is sometimes hard to identify, but at Barnet on Tuesday it couldn’t have been more clear:: three centre-halves were fielded to stem the flow of goals, five of which had breached a porous backline at Sutton three days earlier.
That was the easy, and obvious, bit: it was the half-time changed that raised eyebrows. With Lynn leading 1-0, one of the defensive trio, Danny Lupano, made way for midfielder Sonny Carey for the second half. But raised eyebrows gradually became knowing looks as Ryan Jarvis eased back into a protective role in front of the back four, nullifying the threat of Wesley Fonguck. End result: three points.
“We wanted to just get someone on the 18 (Fonguck) because he was finding gaps between the lines so we just changed it and put Jarvs in a deeper role and he nullified that one and we really did grow into the second half,” said Culverhouse,
Having set the ball rolling after six minutes with a fine individual goal, Jamar Loza made it 2-0 just after the hour mark to settle the issue and Lynn headed home with smiles on their faces rather than ringing in their ears.
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“I thought the response was really good – from what we delivered on Saturday it was chalk and cheese,” Culverhouse added. “I said we were weak on Saturday and I thought we laid down a bit, but tonight, to a man, they were magnificent.”
The change of formation was clearly prompted by the weekend debacle which, even whole Lynn are regarded as underdogs in most games in the National League arena, was still a shock to the system.
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“We mixed it up – we wanted to be a lot more stronger in the middle of the back four, so we put an extra defender back there, but our distances were too deep first half, we were inviting pressure,£ explained the Lynn boss.
“We got lucky a couple of times, obviously the penalty miss was bad for them because it brings them back into the game, so we had a little tinker with it for the second half and I thought we looked a lot better second half.
The plan was to hit them on the counter-attack because they overload in wide areas, their two full-backs really push on, so I thought on the transition we could hurt them a little bit with Sam (Kelly), Loz (Loza) and especially Kairo (Mitchell) up there and to be fair both goals were superb finishes, and that is the quality he has got.
“Kairo put in a shift tonight. It is a hard task up there on his won but he put his body on the line a few times. He is only going to get better. He is a talented boy and the more games he plays he is going to come on.”
After Lynn’s good start, Barnet camped around the Lynn area without ever giving Archie Mair too much cause for concern.
“We had to be organised because the shape that we played demanded that and then it is about concentration levels within the shape. We got caught early on when the lad got booked for diving, they played really quick between the lines and got in, but from then on I thought we handled that really, really well.
“We protected Archie really well tonight, we didn’t on Saturday but we did tonight, and the players in front of him put a shift in and you can always count on him to pull some saves off when needed. All round it was an excellent performance.
“It was the performance which was more than pleasing. The results help because it breeds confidence, but I just thought the performance was really pleasing because our organisation and the way they stuck to the organisation was really, really good and that will just breed confidence now and we can go into Saturday (at home to Dover )and go again. Like i have always said, if you get momentum going it is a hard thing to stop.”
The game against Dover will be crucial: the visitors are struggling, second from bottom of the table, and Lynn need to budget for stealing points from ‘rivals’. The possibility that Kyle Callan-McFadden will be involved is realistic. The defender was involved in the Linnets warm-up at Barnet and Culverhouse is hopeful the red tape enabling his moving from League of Ireland side Sligo, will not prove too sticky.
“We are hopeful it will be through this week,” he said. “Both FAs have got all the paperwork now it is just making sure all the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. He will come in and he will be magnificent for this group.”