King’s Lynn Town 2 Gosport Borough 0: Linnets off to flying start
PUBLISHED: 19:56 12 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 13 August 2017
Matthew Usher Photography
King’s Lynn Town took just three minutes to get their season up and running - and never looked back.
A Michael Clunan penalty and Craig Parker’s goal five minutes before the break were the least Ian Culverhouse’s team deserved after an excellent opening 45 minutes of the season.
Michael Gash had two efforts ruled out - one for offside and the other for handball, which rather harshly earned him a yellow card. Had luck been on his side, Lynn would have been out of sight at the interval. Instead, the visitors stepped up their efforts in the second half to at least make a game of it but, effectively, it was all over bar the shouting.
The Linnets never really looked in much trouble and whilst a first-day rout would have sated the fans’ appetite, Culverhouse will be happy to see his summer signings fitting in seamlessly.
The most impressive was the most recent recruit, former Norwich City youth player Cameron Norman, whose endeavours led to Ryan Hawkins being upended in the area by Chin Vine – skipper Clunan did the honours from 12 yards, and with some aplomb.
Leon Mettam was busy up front and when he couldn’t break free from a gaggle of defenders in the area, he did tee up Hawkins for a shot which was straight at keeper Sam Grey.
Mettam was then denied at the near post when he helped on Norman’s cross, before Gash was denied a goal on 14 minutes after excellent play between Clunan and Norman.
The busy Clunan set up Mettam, whose volley whistled over and then came Gash’s second moment of misfortune, when he handled Norman’s cross into the net – deemed deliberate by the referee.
Gash then drove an effort wide and was just off target with his head from a Clunan free-kick, before Lynn added a second. It owed much to Norman’s persistence in the right channel as he combined a delicate touch with a hint of brawn to make his way to the byline and put in a low cross which Parker knocked home from close range.
Sam Gaughran headed wide from a Clunan corner just before the break when he really should have scored.
Gosport came out with more intent – it made the game more of a contest but in truth they were never really on top at any stage.
Lynn keeper Alex Street had to dive at the feet of Aaron Dawson, who late in the game headed over at the back post.
But the highlight of the half was arguably a Hawkins lob which he attempted, right-footed, as he meandered across the penalty area from left to right - the ball scuffed the top of the net, but had it dipped earlier would have been the perfect icing on the cake for Lynn.
King’s Lynn: Street, Norman, Fryatt, Gaughran, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Clunan, Parker, Hawkins (Warburton 80), Gash (Hilliard 75), Mettam (Siddons 75). Subs not used: Ward, Whayman, Booked: Gash (handball). Goals: Clunan 3 pen, Parker 40.
Gosport: Grey, Saidy (Breed 74), Leigh, Dawson, Medway , McCarthy, Buse, Roach, Przespolewki, Mitford (Smith 74), Vine (Granger 45). Subs not used: Lis, Kimber.
Referee: C Walchester (Lowestoft)