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King’s Lynn’s FA Trophy hopes come to an end

08:34 16 November 2015

Michael Clunan shows his frustration after missing a chance for King's Lynn at Nantwich. Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd

Michael Clunan shows his frustration after missing a chance for King's Lynn at Nantwich. Picture: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images Ltd

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Nantwich Town 5 King’s Lynn Town 1

King’s Lynn Town’s FA Trophy hopes were dashed as Evo-Stik Northern Premier pacesetters Nantwich Town gave a counter-attacking master-class at Weaver Road.

Goals from Liam Shotton – elder brother of Derby County’s Ryan – who grabbed himself a hat-trick, Steve Jones and Lewis Short meant that Sam Gaughran’s strike midway through the second half proved only a mere consolation.

To further compound the Linnets misery, defender Liam Fryatt was sent off late on in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity after being adjudged the last man which leed to the Dabbers’ fifth goal.

Town probably knew it wasn’t going to be their day when Matt Castellan missed the team coach, which then had to endure a near five-hour journey caused by motorway hold-ups which saw them arrive at Nantwich just 45 minutes before kick-off.

Despite all of their problems, Lynn began brightly, with Michael Clunan’s free-kick falling to Kern Miller, whose drilled effort was saved well by keeper Krystain Burynski.

However, moments later Miller was completely deceived by a bouncing ball which allowed the experienced 39-year-old Jones – with 29 international caps for Northern Ireland to his name – a free run on keeper Alex Street, who had no chance with a low, firm drive from eight yards.

The Linnets responded with another Clunan free-kick dropping to Liam Hurst who sent a 30-yard pile-driver inches over Burynski’s bar. Lee Stevenson fired wide and Fryatt over as Lynn continued to enjoy good possession.

A lovely flowing move between Clunan, Toby Hilliard and Stevenson resulted in the latter shooting at Burynski with the home keeper saving with his knees from Clunan just before the interval.

Simon Bird replaced Miller at half-time and with the Linnets continuing to press, mostly through Clunan’s promptings, hopes were high of an equaliser, with Hilliard heading just wide and Jordan Yong trying his luck from distance.

On the hour a goal did arrive, but from the hosts – a quick break from Darren Thornton saw him play the ball across goal and Shotton had the simplest of chances from close in. With just over 15 minutes remaining Lynn finally got themselves off the mark, with Gaughran alert to tap home Clunan’s free-kick.

However, Town’s hope of an equaliser were extinguished as yet again they were caught out by a speedy home break, this time Short the benefactor, and with the defence on the ropes a quick one-two between Thornton and Shotton presented the home striker with his second of the afternoon.

Substitute Chris Smith hit the post for the now-rampant Dabbers before winning a penalty with nine minutes remaining following another pressing foray into the Linnets box.

It appeared that Gaughran had upended the speedy forward, but it was Fryatt who walked for the offence, which resulted in Shotton completing his hat-trick from the spot.

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