“If they survive they will be delighted” - King’s Lynn v FC Halifax Town: Opposition focus

We spoke to Chris Lakey from the Eastern Daily Press for the lowdown on FC Halifax Town’s opponents on Saturday.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 2:15 pm
Ian Culverhouse, manager of King's Lynn Town. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

How has King’s Lynn’s season been so far?

A little bit up and down, which is probably what you’d expect of a promoted team that remains part-time. He euphoria of the first week (four points from two games) was soon ended by some hefty defeats, but there are signs that the Linnets are coming to terms with their new surroundings.

They’ve managed to tighten up at the back – they were excellent in holding to Torquay to a goalless draw in mid-December – the first time the leaders had failed to score this season.

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Who have been your best performers so far, and why?

It’s midfielder Jordan Richards for me. Goes about his business in a no-nonsense way – it’s often only when you reflect on the game afterwards that you realise how good he has been. Brave – never shirks possession, wins good turnover, has excellent stamina. Really good player.

What is the team’s style of play - what can Halifax expect to come up against?

Lynn like to play football the proper way. Sometimes it can be their downfall, but the manager is passionate about playing a passing game. It is pleasing on the eye, no doubt. Given they are part-timers, the fitness levels are excellent too.

The manager likes a tinker – has often played three centre-halves, but against Torquay went 4-4-2, which was a bit old school.

What is the team hoping to achieve this season - would survival be a successful season?

In a word, yes. Successive promotions and suddenly they are mixing with the big boys, who have much bigger budgets and can sustain full-time players. If they survive they will be delighted.

Who will be your dangerman on Saturday, and why?

Michael Gash. The experienced striker had a serious illness in the summer and is only now working his way back to match fitness – he’s only started two league games. But he is a big presence, works hard, has a lovely touch, even though many regard him as just a big target man... he’s much more than that. And his partnership with Adam Marriott has been prolific.

What kind of shape do the team come into the game on Saturday in, in terms of form and team spirit?

Tough one, because they haven’t played a league game since December 12 (Torquay). They won at Alfreton in the FA Trophy three days before Christmas but that’s it – festive games against Notts County (home and away) and Chesterfield away all fell to Covid. Lynn had their own positive test – assistant manager Paul Bastock – announced on Christmas Day so have had 10 days of isolation. For a part-time team that’s not great preparation.

Injuries/suspensions?

Centre-half Rory McAuley had a back problem but should be fit. Aside from that it looks likely Ian Culverhouse will have a full squad from which to select.

Likely line up and formation?

Mair; Callan-McFadden, Smith, McAuley; Jones, Barrows, Jarvis, Richards, Carey; Gash, Marriott. Subs (from): Power, Southwell, Clunan, Fleming, Mitchell, Gyasi, Brown, Kelly, King, Kiwomya.