Evo-Stik Division One South: Lincoln United 2, King’s Lynn Town 3

Saturday, September 15, 2012
5:34 PM

Substitutes Jamie Forshaw and Rob Hughes were the goalscoring heroes as Lynn won an exhilarating encounter at Ashby Avenue.

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The Linnets were 1-0 down thanks to Chris Funnell’s breakaway goal in the 49th minute before Forshaw turned the game on its head.

He pounced twice in the box inside seven minutes to restore Lynn’s lead as Lincoln headed for their sixth consecutive league defeat.

However, Stuart Reddington’s equaliser five minutes from time appeared to have salvaged the Whites first point of a torrid campaign - before Hughes took centre stage.

The midfielder powered forward into the box to bravely head home 60 seconds later to spark wild scenes from another large travelling crowd and secure three morale-boosting points.

The Linnets arrived at Ashby Avenue seeking goals, but more importantly a win, after spurning a host of chances in their last three matches. The only Lynn player to net in the previous four games was Jason Turner from the penalty spot at Daventry Town but the two goals in the midweek FA Cup replay defeat came courtesy of the visitors’ Guy Sanders.

Having racked up more than 400 minutes without a goal in open play, from one of their own players at least, Gary Setchell had urged his side to find their shooting boots.

He kept faith with front pair Turner and Danny Beaumont as Russell Dunkley made the bench on his return from a calf injury. Dan Buhlemann was the only player to lose his place from Tuesday night’s side as Jordan Yong shook off a badly-bruised foot to start.

Lynn went into the game in much better form than their hosts who sat rooted at the bottom of the Evo-Stik Division One South table having lost all of their five league matches this season.

There was little to separate the two teams initially with both looking to push forward at every opportunity. The Whites’ Ben Garrick showed some good touches while Jamie Thurlbourne strode through at the opposite end but over-hit his centre.

Lynn’s left-winger forced a comfortable save from Phil McGann before Beaumont had him scrambling to his right in the 13th minute. Unfortunately for the ex-Dereham frontman, and Lynn, his superb 20-yard effort fizzed just past the post.

The Linnets started to take control and Phil Gulliver was the next man to go close as he steamed in at the back post to head Thurlbourne’s corner just wide. And Beaumont went nearer 60 seconds later with another vicious drive which McGann parried.

Player/manager Terry Fleming’s charges looked a better outfit than their miserable league start suggested. The bright front three of Garrick, Scott Coupland and Funnell impressed with their movement. And in Fleming they had a right-back with drive, passion and a long throw to offer a threat from deep.

Beaumont pulled a half-volley wide near the half hour mark but the hosts’ Coupland went even closer in the 31st minute when he bundled his way through a couple of challenges before scuffing his weak effort wide.

The Linnets certainly weren’t having it all there own way as a resilient Lincoln scrapped and snapped into tackles. Yet Setchell’s men carried a threat and a bit of class from Thurlbourne created another opening. However, on his much-weaker right side, the wideman pulled his 35th-minute strike past the top corner.

The Linnets almost found the net three minutes into the start of the second half and they were made to pay for almost opening the scoring. Gulliver’s header beat McGann but was cleared off the line before Ryan Fryatt’s rebound was blocked. And within 20 seconds Lincoln had taken the lead.

Thurlbourne was dispossessed and in two passes the hosts had turned defence into attack with Funnell finishing off a sweeping move at the back post.

But substitute Forshaw quickly became the two-goal hero as he showed the predatory instincts that had deserted Lynn of late to complete a remarkable turnaround.

First, in the 63rd minute, the diminutive frontman stabbed home while McGann was grounded after challenging for a ball into the box. And Forshaw notched again when the ball found him in the box seven minutes later after Spriggs’ header and shot had been saved excellently by the Lincoln shot-stopper.

Funnell fired a warning that his side weren’t out of it before Reddington hauled the sides level with a powerful header five minutes from time.

However, it was another header, this time Hughes’ which settled an eventful clash that had also seen Fryatt and Dan Quigley grounded in off the ball incidents which left Setchell and company furious.

Lincoln: McGann, Fleming, Butler, McDaid (Raby, 75), Reddington, Hone (Wilkinson, 81), Wright, Zuerner, Garrick, Coupland, Funnell. Subs not used: Cowan, Coyde, Leverett. Booked: Zuerner. Goals: Funnell (49), Reddington (85)

Lynn: Street, Fryatt, Gulliver, Lee, Yong (Hughes, 57), Spriggs, Bunting, Quigley, Thurlbourne (Buhlemann, 87), Beaumont, Turner (Forshaw, 57). Sub not used: Dunkley. Booked: Spriggs. Goals: Forshaw (63, 70), Hughes (86)

Referee: A. Newbold

Attendance: 181

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