Simon Clark, right, and Stephen Cleeve’s short-lived spell of working together came to an end on Sunday.

The reaction on and off the pitch proved King’s Lynn Town’s owner got it spot on.

The pressure had been growing on beleaguered manager Simon Clark long before Saturday’s disappointing 2-2 FA Cup draw with Histon – who play two levels below the Linnets.

But the apparent joy from supporters on social media at his sacking 24 hours later proved he’d lost the fans. 

And judging by his former players’ display on Tuesday night, it seems he’d completely lost the dressing room too.

Under the temporary stewardship of Neil Fryatt and Robbie Back, it took Ryan Hawkins – played out of position by Clark – just three minutes to blow away a sad and toxic start to the campaign for last season’s beaten Southern League Premier Division play-off finalists. By half-time, they’d scored as many times during 45 minutes of the replay at Histon as they had during Clark’s seven games in the dugout.

It’s certainly going to have to be a case of onwards and upwards from now for the Linnets if they’re going to get anywhere near last season’s memorable promotion push under Ian Culverhouse.But that 7-0 midweek mauling and the removal of Clark and his assistants has provided a platform and lifted some of the gloom.

It’s all down to Cleeve now to make the right call. The responsibility, as owner, rests with him and him alone.

‘By half-time, they’d scored more times during 45 minutes of the replay at Histon than they had during Clark’s seven games in the dugout’

Many questioned his decision to relieve club legend Gary Setchell of his duties in 2017. Culverhouse taking Lynn to within one victory of going up a year later suggests the owner didn’t make such a huge mistake after all. However, he certainly did by appointing Clark. One win in seven games, but more importantly the over complicated style of play that came with it, meant Cleeve had to act. 

Wait any longer, and the decreased attendances would have hurt even more financially.

The daunting prospect is the man at the helm just keeps raising expectations. Talk of a title challenge and increased playing budget only whets the appetite of an already incredibly demanding Linnets faithful. 

Following Culverhouse’s success and this summer’s soundbites, Clark was always up against it. And it will be the same for Ronnie Moore, Simon Lappin, Wayne Anderson, Tommy Taylor, Dennis Greene – or whoever else takes on the job of climbing into Norfolk’s warmest non-League hot seat.


Neary leaves with head held high

It’s not just at The Walks where there’s been a managerial exit this week.

Simon Bird, in action above, and Craig Dickson will take interim charge.

Paul Neary has walked away from Thurlow Nunn League First Division North Downham Town with his wife expecting their fourth child.

Downham’s manager can depart with his head held high. 

Neary may have spent little more than 12 months at the Memorial Ground helm but he’s made a lifelong impression during that time.

He secured the Reds’ first
top-10 finish for more than 10 years and led them to the Norfolk Senior Cup final – something that hasn’t been achieved by them since 1969. 

Being Downham first-team boss hasn’t always been the most appealing job in local football but their departing manager has ensured it looks much more inviting.


Rider got his just deserts

Just when you think you’ve seen it all.

Moto2 rider Romano Fenati grabs a rival’s brake lever while travelling at 135mph during a race. 

I’m just delighted Fenati’s contract has been cancelled and he’s lost his ride for next season. Because it’s one of the most dangerous and inexcusable actions I’ve ever seen.

We asked… 

After four defeats in their first six games, where will last season’s beaten Southern League Premier play-off finalists King’s Lynn Town finish in the new Central Premier League this season?

You voted… 

Top five 7%

6th-12th 34%

13th-19th 47%

Relegated 12%

  • This week’s poll…

After Alastair Cook made his 33rd century in his final Test, who do you consider to be England’s greatest ever batsman?

Alastair Cook

Kevin Pietersen 

Sir Jack Hobbs 

Someone else
(name them)

Get involved, vote and comment, on Twitter
@GavinCaney

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