Video & photo gallery: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 3, Barwell 2

Lynn's Danny Quigley and Barwell's Guy Hadwell come together in the first half. Picture: Ian Burt Lynn's Danny Quigley and Barwell's Guy Hadwell come together in the first half. Picture: Ian Burt

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
6:35 PM

Striker Sam Mulready came off the bench to bag a brace as Lynn won a New Year’s Day thriller.

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Both sides scored penalties – to make it five awarded when the teams have played each other this term – with Rob Duffy and Luke Barlone converting from 12 yards.

It was the Linnets who looked set to lose the first game of the new year when Daniel Spencer gave Barlone the lead with little more than 15 minutes to go.

However, Mulready’s excellent finish made it 2-2 and in the 90th minute he capitalised on a shocking mistake from the visitors’ keeper Liam Castle to get Lynn’s 2014 off to a flier.

With Jake Jones’ loan over, Gary Setchell was forced to make one change from the XI that started Saturday’s fine 3-2 win at Marine. The former loanee wideman’s place was taken by George Thomson.

Striker Massiah McDonald was unavailable as he began a seven-game ban which has been carried over from his time at former club Grantham Town. So the stretched hosts could only name four substitutes, which included reserve-team youngster Jack Frohawk.

It was something of a disjointed start from the home side with the Leicestershire opponents impressing in the opening stages. They carved Lynn open twice in the first 10 minutes and should have done better with both opportunities.

First, Barlone played in ex-Linnet Spencer, but his effort was saved well down low to his right by keeper Alex Street. After Duffy had volleyed wide at the other end from the edge of the area, Barlone rolled centre-back Ryan Fryatt far too easily to set left-back Jack Edwards free. His attempt was more suited to a back pass mind and barely troubled the home club’s goalie.

As an attacking threat, Setchell’s troops started to find their feet at a windy Walks. Two deliciously inviting centres from Andy Hall and Marc Goodfellow were not capitalised on but it was a sign of things to come out wide.

Hall was fouled on the edge of the area by Edwards and a free-kick was given – although the home faithful appealed for a penalty. The man in the middle appeared to have got his call right but Goodfellow’s set piece wasn’t as accurate and failed to break the deadlock. Thomas Weale drove just over from long range as both sides pressed for an opener – which came in the 30th minute.

Jack McGovern showed tremendous guile to beat a couple of men on the near touchline and create an opening for Hall. The tiny terror got the better of Edwards and Jamie Hood, who could only scythe him down in desperation.

Up stepped the former Wales Under-21 striker to cooly send Castle the wrong way and give the Linnets the advantage their 10 to 15 minutes of dominance warranted.

There was little goalmouth action to excite the Bank Holiday crowd for the remainder of the half as it became a dogfight for supremacy with Duffy receiving two heavy challenges and Quigley being left with a thigh-high stud-based present from Guy Hadland.

The battle was drawn to a close after three minutes of added time and it returned in a similar vein. Quigley spurned a great chance to make it 2-0 when he headed over Goodfellow’s delicious in-swinging corner.

But the game was level following the award of another spot-kick in a match between these two sides. Jordan Yong’s sloppy back pass was underhit and Spencer was shoved over by Fryatt – who was lucky not to be sent off as the last man.

Much like Lynn’s penalty taker earlier, Barlone made no mistake and he crashed his ‘freebie’ home off the underside of the bar to make it 1-1.

George Thomson, whose last action was to crash a 25-yarder just over the bar, was replaced by Mulready as Setchell went 4-4-2. Could his usual desire to press for a victory pay dividends again?

However, it was the visitors who looked the likeliest to take the lead when Barlone released Spencer for a one-on-one chance. This time Street – who had previously endured some nervy moments – stopped with his legs.

Lynn looked tired as their festive schedule threatened to peter out with 20 to 25 minutes remaining. The men from Leicestershire could smell blood. Had Edwards directed his header downwards from 10 yards they could have gone in front for the first time.

Duffy offered some respite with a terrific shot from outside the box which was palmed away excellently by Castle as Lynn looked to find a second wind. But they had that energy sucked right out of them when Weale’s deep cross found Spencer – who had peeled away at the back post – to head back across goal and into the bottom corner. It had been coming.

Once again though the Linnets showed their tremendous character to reply within a couple of minutes. Mulready latched onto a long ball and sidefooted home expertly to make it all square again.

As expected the hosts’ tails were up and they drove forward in search of a winner. Goodfellow half-volleyed wide, Mulready worked the Canaries’ keeper and frustratingly Hall did hit the net – yet the referee Joshua Smith had already blown for a foul rather than playing an advantage.

And the golden chance for the winner came with two minutes left as Hall squared for Duffy. Unfortunately, the big man screwed wide. Thankfully, that didn’t matter as Castle flapped at Street’s long free kick which allowed Mulready to pass into an empty net and bag the winner.

Lynn (4-2-3-1): Street, R. Clarke, Fryatt, Lee, Yong, Hall, McGovern, Quigley, Thomson (Mulready, 57), Goodfellow (E. Clarke, 87), Duffy. Subs not used: Frohawk, Ward. Booked: Duffy, Fryatt. Goals: Duffy (pen, 30), Mulready (76, 90)

Barwell (4-4-1-1): Castle, Lower, Edwards, G. Hadland, Hood, Cain, Brehon, Julien, Barlone, Spencer (Griffith-Junior, 80), Weale. Subs not used: S. Hadland, Putman, Collett. Booked: Hood. Goals: Barlone (pen, 55), Spencer (74).

Referee: J. Smith

Attendance: 492

- Video provided by King’s Lynn Town Football Club’s YouTube channel.

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