Stephen Cleeve he had a dream…
It probably wasn’t to hear the rest of the popular terrace chant that will be ringing around The Walks tomorrow. Instead, it was to give the town of King’s Lynn a taste they have never savoured. And that was the Football League.
The visit of York City this weekend hasn’t achieved that goal yet. However, it shows just how far the Linnets’ fairytale journey under Cleeve and the managerial genius that is Ian Culverhouse has taken them.
York arrive as a full-time professional outfit. One who will bring hundreds of fans – most used to the bright lights that Lynn are starting to see in the not-too-far distance for the first time in their history as either the original or reformed club.
Rewind time less than four years and York were in the Football League. In 1998-99 they were in League One. Crikey, in 1995, the Minstermen were winning 3-0 at Manchester United in the League Cup – a team they had met on a level playing field in Division Two (now the Championship) only two decades earlier.
They were light years away from the Linnets. But now the planets have aligned and Lynn welcome their illustrious opponents to Norfolk, sitting above them in the English football pyramid. Admittedly it might only be one place but it shows how far York have fallen and how tantalisingly close Town are to producing something out of this world.
Back-to-back promotions would rocket Culverhouse’s heroes to the National League (Conference if you will). Once there, the Football League dream has never been so close to being a reality.
Tomorrow could produce a nightmare afternoon for the Linnets. Their title tilt could plummet as the season reaches the closing stages too. Yet, for now, it’s all about embracing the fairytale.
Even the wildest of dreams wouldn’t have seen Lynn ahead of York going into a mouth-watering January showdown. But tomorrow it’s happening.
So enjoy it. Savour it. Drink it in. Because these are special times. Very, very special times indeed.
Big game facts
Andy Bond, David Ferguson and Joe Tait found the net when York beat Lynn 3-0 at home in September.
Red-hot Linnets hitman Adam Marriott has scored 25 league goals already this season – that’s 12 more than York’s top marksman Jordan Burrows.
If King’s Lynn Town win tomorrow, they will go four points clear of the Minstermen, despite having played two games fewer.
Despite scoring 15 goals fewer than the Linnets, York have exactly the same goal difference (plus-24) thanks to their impressive goals-against record.
Both teams have won four of their last five league matches.
York were in the Football League from 1929 until 2004 and again from 2012-16.
The Minstermen’s two seasons in Division Two saw them alongside Man United, Norwich, Villa, Southampton, West Brom and Cardiff.
Fan’s eye view from the opposition
King’s Lynn is home for Ben Steel. But he was born into a York supporting family and will be in the away end tomorrow.
How important is tomorrow’s result in your opinion of whether the Minstermen will finish above Lynn?
It’s a huge game, there’s no denying that. Lynn’s form, especially at home, has been unbelievable. There’s a long way to go yet but York’s performances over Christmas have been inconsistent whereas Lynn kept on picking up three points with strong performances to match. A win could be a momentum shift in the season.
Who should we be looking out for as York’s key men?
Expectations were high when York signed Football League veteran Steve McNulty and last year’s league top scorer Dan Maguire, but both have had a frustrating season due to injuries. Goals from target man Jordan Burrow have been crucial recently with the help of speedster Alex Kempster and wing-back David Ferguson offering lots going forward too.
A score prediction please.
I’m going for a 1-1 draw. York can’t afford to lose and will prepare well but Lynn at home will be a tough nut to crack.
Reader calls offside on contentious VAR calls
It is not VAR (video assistant referee system) that is wrong.
It is the viewing and interpretation of it by the match officials, who are making some horrendous and ridiculous decisions based on several viewings on their monitors.
It appears we cannot change the officials, after all Mike Riley is the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) boss (a joke surely, always a poor referee), so why not change the offside rule?
Make it onside unless there is clear space between the attacker’s body and the defender’s body.
If the attacker has an arm, a leg or a head closer to the goal than the defender then so be it.
It is not a big enough advantage to make any real difference if the defender does his job right.
It might even improve our defenders and do away with the stupid ‘marking-space’ defending that is missing the whole point of defending.
Bob Edgley, North Wootton
Bob’s thoughts came off the back of last week’s Caney’s Corner double-page special on VAR.
If you missed it in print, you can still read the story online by visiting our website.
Both pages were uploaded as stories on the sport section of yourlocalpaper.co.uk