A tasty side dish for Linnets - now it's back to the bread and butter

Michael Gash

Michael Gash made a welcome return to action with a late appearance at Fratton Park - Credit: Ian Burt

It was a smorgasbord of emotions for the Linnets at Fratton Park. 

We had the posh side dish, the bread and butter and icing on the cake - the FA Cup, the National League and Michael Gash. 

There’s no doubt the FA Cup run has given some players the experience of a lifetime and has helped put money into the club that is more vital than ever to cover for the economic side-effects of the worldwide pandemic. 

Ian Culverhouse

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse making notes during the game at Portsmouth - Credit: Ian Burt

That Lynn went out to a team gunning for promotion to the Championship and scoring at will was no shame  – and even taking into account the slightly lopsided scoreline, no embarrassment either. It is games like this that illustrate more starkly than any others the gulf in class that cannot be covered by merely the physical leap of two divisions of the football ladder. It is bigger than you can imagine. Which is why social media ‘critics’ of Lynn’s performance really need to go and have a word with themselves in a darkened room. 

FA Cup tie

Feeling the pressure at Fratton Park - Credit: Ian Burt

This was a one-off, a blackboard sample offer if you like. Tasty, but of no real consequence in the bigger scheme of things. 

“This is a massive bonus for us, they have done themselves the world of good and can be proud of their efforts,” said Culverhouse. 

What is important is that main course, which is easily digestible and, in the long run, will be much healthier for King’s Lynn Town Football Club. 

Ross Barrows

Ross Barrows climbing high - Credit: Ian Burt

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As Culverhouse himself said, Tuesday night’s home game against Bromley is now the biggest game of the season – he hasn’t forgotten what happened in the previous round of the FA Cup, when a win at Port Vale was followed by a 5-1 thrashing at Sutton United. 

“They have gone down in history,” he said. “Now we have one of the biggest games of the season against Bromley and that is the stark reality of it, that is the main thing. The league this year is the main thing. We have  enjoyed this run, it has been fantastic, they have created their own little bit of history by going as far as we have gone but now we have to concentrate on things we need to get right. 

Michael Clunan

Michael Clunan in possession for the Linnets - Credit: Ian Burt

“We have got to be at it. We need to bounce back and we need to put in a performance at home. 

"And we have got to learn from this. I don’t think we picked up too many injuries, we have a few little knocks and things, a few egos bruised. 

“We will have a look at it - we might have to regroup and might have to rotate a couple, but we will see what it is and hopefully we can put on a performance on Tuesday night.” 

Dayle Southwell

Dayle Southwell scores Lynn's goal - Credit: Ian Burt

One man who is likely to feature in the squad is Gash: had Lynn fans been present at Fratton Park there would have been only a few dry eyes at the sight of the popular striker running on with around 10 minutes remaining. 

It was Gash’s first involvement after he was struck down by illness at the end of August, but in that cameo appearance he showed just what Lynn have been missing: presence, touch, finesse, strength , experience. 

"It was nice to get the big man on and hopefully he enjoyed it and that will give him a lot of encouragement as well,” said Culverhouse. 

“He has been colossal for this football club and we are very, very glad he is coming back and now it is about drip feeding him in and trying to get him game minutes. 

“We will catch up on the way home and see if the limbs are ready, but knowing him he will be ready to go.” 

Gash's presence does mean there is plenty of competition up front for Culverhouse. Kairo Mitchell - who was cup-tied on Saturday - is the other 'big man' up front, while Adam Marriott and Dayle Southwell, who scored Lynn's consolation goal at Fratton Park, make up a formidable strike force quartet.

And, importantly, a strike force more formidable n the National League than against League One opponents in the FA Cup.