Ian Culverhouse shares a joke during a pre-Cup training session.

FOOTBALL: Manager Ian Culverhouse is under no illusion about the task his King’s Lynn Town team faces tomorrow when they travel to League One front runners Portsmouth in the FA Cup, writes Chris Milsom.

Lynn teams have reached this stage of the competition eight times before but have recorded only one win – knocking out Coventry in the 1961/2 season. 

After winning at League Two side Port Vale in the first round, Culverhouse is expecting a similar test at Fratton Park.

“It will be backs against the wall and we won’t have much of the ball,” he said.

“I watched them against a very good Crewe side and they demolished them. We are under no illusion of the task in front of us. It’s going to be every man to the pump and we will need to be resolute in our defending”

“We’ve got some young lads, and this will all be new to them. We thought it would be too much going to Port Vale but this is another step up.

“If we get the same reaction, then we’ll do ourselves justice. The lads will revel in it. The pitch is magnificent and it’s going to be a hell of a experience for all of us.”

Culverhouse has had his squad in for extended training sessions and said: “We’ve had two good days training. The boys, as you can imagine after the last couple of results, were in good spirits and we’re now looking really forward to the challenge.”

Culverhouse said Aaron Jones will miss the game because of his on-going knee injury but experienced striker Michael Gash is well on the road to recovery from his illness. He has upped his training over the past few weeks and a decision on his availability was due to be made after a training session last night. 

Jordan Richards is back in training and is expected to be available.

FA Cup factfile

King’s Lynn in the 2nd round

1958/9 Brentford A L 1-3

1959/0 Reading A L 2-4

1960/1 Bristol City H D 2-2

Bristol City A L 0-3

1961/2 Coventry City A W 2-1

1962/3 Oxford Utd H L 1-2

1973/4 Alvechurch A L 1-6

1997/8 Rotherham Utd A L 0-6

2006/7 Oldham Ath H L 0-2

Marriott hopes for Lincoln effect

FOOTBALL: Linnets striker Adam Marriott is looking forward to tomorrow as much as anyone and says the players have to believe and that anything can happen, writes Chris Milsom.

Assistant manager Paul Bastock puts goalkeeper Archie Mair through his paces as the Linnets put in extra time preparation ahead of tomorrow’s big game at Portsmouth.Pictures: IAN BURT.

He speaks from experience, having been part of Lincoln City’s squad when the National League side defied the odds to reach the quarter-finals three years ago – beating Oldham, Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley, before losing 5-0 at Arsenal in the last eight.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s one of the hardest tests we could have got. We’ll try our best but it will be a tough game because they are a good League One side. But we’re excited to be able to test ourselves against the best and see how we do.

“You want to play the big teams but it would have been easier to get one of the lower teams and won that game and moved through but we’ve got to do it the hard way.

“We’ll have a right go and hopefully, on the day, we can be as good as them and get a decent result.”

Marriott said a repeat of the Port Vale performance is needed, when the Linnets dug deep to earn a 1-0 win. “We were brilliant defensively and we are going to have to be the same on Saturday and need to take our chances when they come.

“The Lincoln cup run was a brilliant time and we got so much confidence from it that led into our league form. We went on to win the league that season. 

“It’s such a shame there can’t be fans there as it would have been a packed house at Fratton Park, , maybe close to 20,000 there. That would have been brilliant as we would taken a few down there.”