FOOTBALL: A place in next season’s National League line-up is firmly in King’s Lynn Town’s hands after they saw off the challenge of their closest rivals in front of a huge crowd at The Walks on Saturday.
Adam Marriott’s poacher’s goal was all that separated the Linnets from visitors York City but that was enough to open a four-point lead, with two games in hand on the pre-season title favourites.
The biggest league crowd at The Walks for more than half a century saw 4,019 fans pack in, the majority cheering the Linnets from first whistle until last and beyond.
Manager Ian Culverhouse handed a debut to Norwich City loanee Simon Power, who joined the club on Thursday, and the 21 year old put on a show to excite the fans.
The opening 45 minutes saw several half chances for both sides in an enthralling contest. Rory McAuley headed over from inside the box and Jordan Burrow and Alex Kempster wasted good chances for the visitors.
The best chance fell to Marriott but he dragged his effort wide of the target after some great link-up play down the left with Power.
The second half started with both sides having chances. Visiting keeper Pete Jameson was forced into a good save from a Michael Gash’s deflected free-kick, while at the other end Alex Street needed to be on guard to keep out another effort from Kempster.
The goal arrived after 67 minutes. Ryan Jarvis played the ball to Power who, with some neat skill, created an opening for himself. His low shot was not held by Jameson and Marriott was on hand to poke home the rebound.
Culverhouse’s men stood tall for the remainder of the game with York throwing everything at them; former Football League centre-back Steve McNulty having the best chance, heading a corner straight at Street.
A delighted Culverhouse paid tribute to his team.
“The lads were superb,” he said. “It wasn’t pretty because the pitch doesn’t allow it but to a man we stood up and went toe to toe with them. That’s all we could ask. We wanted to get in their faces and try to make it ugly for them”
“York are a good side. They’re well drilled and have got a great manager and good coaching staff so the task was always going to be a hard one.
“We said at half-time that the game was a scrappy affair with both teams going at it hammer and tong. We didn’t want to be the ones to make the mistake.
“When Simon (Power) cut inside and hit a low shot, on this pitch if it bounces you don’t know where it will end up and then the man was there (Marriott).”