King’s Lynn assistant boss shores up midfield as Chester are held to a goalless draw in National League North
King's Lynn Town 0 Chester 0
Sam Walker was tucking into a mixed grill at a popular town restaurant on Friday night - before answering his manager's call to get stuck into Chester at the Walks.
And the King's Lynn Town assistant manager made light work of his latest dish as Lynn put Tuesday night's home humiliation behind them with a performance full of grit and determination.
"He's just a top player, admitted Lakeland after the goalless draw.
"It's been doing my head in that he's not been available, but, you know over a mixed grill at Mem's Kitchen last night I said: 'I need you, I'm just going to have to get you through it'.
"He's had an issue with his calf. It's a bit of a strange one. He trains and he feels fine and then sometimes he'll just tighten up.
"It just tightened up a little bit there, but to be fair the game was tough and the pitch was getting heavy and he's got through a massive chunk of it.
"I thought that Cameron (Hargreaves) and George (Morrison) playing in there, they looked a lot better probably for having an older head in there with them but he just sets standards and he's a leader of men.
"We'll just have to get him right again this week and see. I think there be certain games where we have to use him and I think there'll be other games that might not be as suited to him but I thought he was great today."
Walker, who had only played 14 minutes of football in five months before this afternoon, added some much-needed steel and experience to the Lynn midfield.
Lakeland revealed: "I just said to him yesterday: 'how do you think you could get through a decent section of the game'
"And probably just with the nature of the injury that he's got it, you probably don't know till you try and we just felt kind of given the back of Tuesday. You know where we kind of needed just an older head in there.
"I planted the seed last night and told him to sleep on it and see how he felt and he felt good this morning and was well up for giving it a go.
"I thought he was he was outstanding for us but he's just a top player and a top man. I mean he's a leader and if we can get him out there in certain games that we feel need. Skill set. Then it would be a fantastic option for us.
It was far from a National League North classic but gives Lynn something to build on ahead of a huge six-pointer at Gloucester City next weekend.
Lakeland said: "I think in the context of things and off the back of the week we've had, it's an excellent point for us against a very good team who have lots of good players.
"They're flying at the minute, had a great win during the week at Chorley, which is probably one of the hardest places to go.
"We spoke on Thursday and Friday about being solid, being organised, horrible and just showing everybody that we're up for a scrap and I thought the lads did that tremendously well today in a game a very few chances.
"It was about getting our way through sections of the game today.
“I think in recent games where we've conceded a goal and we've suffered a bit of adversity out there, we've allowed it to affect us for probably the next five to ten minutes of the game and then we've conceded another quickfire goal and then the mountain is even bigger.
"We've spoken about being solid, being organised, giving nothing away and being a real compact unit and I felt second-half we had a little bit more of an attacking threat than we did in the first half."
King's Lynn Town: Jones, Ronan, McFadden, Coulson, Taylor, Hargreaves, Walker (Castro 75), Morrison, Crowe, Devonport (Hughes 89), Cybulski (Margretts 78). Unused subs: Rogers, Dixon-Hodge.
Chester: Stanway, Woodthorpe, Weeks, Burke, Williams, Peers, Glendon, Caton, Whitehouse, Daly (Heywood 68), Okeke (Taylor 68). Unused subs: Windsor, Norton, Hall.