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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Gary Setchell got the reaction he was looking for as King’s Lynn Town won their final league game of the season - but ended up with runners-up medals after Long Buckby beat Blackstones to become champions.
Great strikes from Ryan Fryatt and Jamie Thurlbourne put Lynn 2-0 in front. A Matt Gearing penalty gave Cogenhoe hope but Jason Turner’s goal secured a win for the Linnets. However, it wasn’t enough to seal a much-coveted UCL title with Buckby winning 2-1 at home to Blackstones.
Gary Setchell’s side were hoping to bounce back from a miserable fortnight that saw them lose 2-1 to Long Buckby and draw 1-1 with Desborough Town.
The dropped points basically handed the title to Buckby who only had to draw with Blackstones today to win the UCL. Lynn needed to beat Cogenhoe United and hope Glen Cotterill’s side lost to a Blackstones team they beat 11-1 less than a fortnight ago to ensure they didn’t finish runners-up for the second time in a row.
The game began in dreadfully windy conditions and Rob Hughes tried to capitalise by firing a shot from long distance within seconds of the kick-off. However, his speculative effort, drifted harmlessly wide.
The hosts’ top-scorer Gearing spurned a fine opportunity to put his side ahead in the sixth minute when he outpaced Ross Watson to get on the end of a through ball. However, the Cooks’ number seven opted for a clever finish and his chipped effort sailed over.
He was made to pay minutes later when defender Fryatt belted the Linnets in front. The makeshift left-back for the day fizzed a fine 25-yard half-volley into the bottom right-hand corner past the despairing dive of Darren Smith.
Jack Defty nearly made it two in the 13th minute but his header from Jamie Thurlbourne’s corner just whistled over the bar.
Cogenhoe were making a decent fist of facing head wind and continued to look dangerous on the break with the impressive Gearing causing problems with his pace.
Red-hot frontman Turner had the game’s next chance after Stuart Wall found him with a clever flick. But the striker’s left-footed effort from close range cannoned back off Smith’s upright.
Ashley Deeney and Danny White continued to be full of energy down Lynn’s right, supported by the tireless Luke Thurlbourne, as Setchell’s side looked to make their back wind count.
It was Luke’s brother Jamie’s turn to take centre stage just after the hour mark though when he scored the Linnets’ second stunning goal of the game.
The left-winger let fly from 30 yards and his rasping strike gave Cogenhoe’s keeper no chance as it screamed into the top corner. It was going to take something to better Fryatt’s strike – but his did.
Alex Deakin nearly pulled one back for the Cooks minutes later but he headed over when it looked easier to score. But it was the first time the hosts had threatened for a while as the Linnets supremacy continued.
As the gale-force conditions showed no signs of changing, Hughes tried his luck from long distance again – this time nearly 45 yards – and his cheeky effort just missed the target.
Turner missed a golden opportunity to seal the victory five minutes after the re-start but he headed Jamie Thurlbourne’s vicious free-kick over when unchallenged in the six-yard box.
Fryatt gifted Cogenhoe a way back into the game when he pushed Lewis Leslie in the back while jumping for a header inside his own box in the 55th minute. Gearing coolly slotted home the penalty but Lynn restored their two-goal lead within minutes.
Turner scored, finding the net for his eighth consecutive game, when he poked Jamie Thurlbourne’s cross home from close range.
And Hughes could have made it four 60 seconds later when he got on the end of a fine move. However, the blond midfielder headed over from inside the box.
The game became scrappier in the final stages as Cogenhoe looked for a way back into the game. And with news seeping through that Buckby had turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, the match began to peter out.
White did his best to raise spirits but his effort from the edge of the box was saved well by Smith.
• Cogenhoe: Smith, Urquhart, Lukeman, McGowan, Deakin, Leah (Avery, 69), Gearing, Ainge (Gillingwater, 45), Bates, Leslie, Herbert (Bartley, 62)
• Subs not used: Kellar, Palmer
• Goal: Gearing (pen, 56)
• King’s Lynn: Street, Deeney, Watson, Wall, Fryatt, White, Hughes, L.Thurlbourne (Davies, 89), J.Thurlbourne (Beaumont, 87), Defty (Harris, 85), Turner
• Subs not used: Hails, Buhlemann
• Goals: Fryatt (7), J.Thurlbourne (32), Turner (58)
• Referee: W. Bright
• Attendance: 203