Bashley 1, King’s Lynn 1
The Linnets kicked off the new league season at a wet and windy Bashley this afternoon. The team news for the visitors ahead of a difficult-looking fixture was mixed to say the least.
The Linnets kicked off the new league season at a wet and windy Bashley this afternoon.
The team news for the visitors ahead of a difficult-looking fixture was mixed to say the least.
New signing Ben Chapman was unable to take his place in defence due to a calf problem and was replaced by Charlie Defty. Charlie's brother Jack was also unavailable due to a back problem.
Linnets' manager Keith Webb handed two Southern League debuts to John Turner and Joe Francis with another two summer signings in goalkeeper Rob Murray and Greg Lake, who signed late on Friday evening for the club, both on the bench.
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The Linnets began with the strong wind behind them but it was the home side that had the first chance with only a couple of minutes played.
The dangerous Gillespie found space in the area and a clumsy challenge by Linnets keeper Howie resulted in strong penalty appeals, which were waved away by referee Biddulph.
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Three minutes later home number seven Keeler saw a shot deflected for a corner and moments later the same player's corner resulted in Parnell heading over the bar.
It took the Linnets until 22 minutes to have their first meaningful chance which resulted in Francis heading over Turner's cross.
The action reverted to the other end with Gillespie this time heading Knowles's cross wide of its intended target.
On the half-hour mark Turner linked with Frew who saw his long-distance shot blocked by home defender Castle.
Six minutes later Turner and Frew combined again which saw Elm gather the ball easily following decent Lynn play.
On 38 minutes Keeler's ball into the Linnets penalty area was somehow missed by Moss and Gillespie with the home side screaming for the opener.
Shortly before the interval Francis's curling free kick went inches wide of Elm's right-hand post as the Linnets threatened.
On 44 minutes the opening goal of the game arrived. Davis's dangerous corner was met by Gillespie who came across Howie to head easily home from six yards for a deserved opening home goal.
Turner's lazy run got the second half off to a positive start for Lynn, however a few moments later centre back Greg Crane was carried from the pitch on a stretcher with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury after an awkward fall following a corner.
Greg Lake was introduced for his Linnets debut on the right-hand side which resulted in Charlie Defty moving to the central defensive area vacated by Crane's injury.
On 55 minutes the ever-dangerous Gillespie found himself in the area which resulted in a fumbled Howie save.
Action then reverted to the other end as Frew had a shot directly at Elm which created no problems for the home keeper.
Parnell then headed inches wide as Bashley looked for a second.
With 22 minutes remaining Francis's cross was met by substitute O'Halloran at the back post who saw his goal-bound header blocked by a defender which resulted in a corner which came to nothing.
As the match entered its final 15 minutes the home side pressed with the dangerous Davis sending in a searching cross which was headed to safety by Lynn captain Warren.
Finally the Linnets gained the equalising goal on 84 minutes. O' Halloran's precise centre was met by an unmarked Frew who confidently guided the ball home past Elm, giving him no chance.
Davis dragged a shot wide with moments remaining and deep into stoppage time Knowles' angled drive missed its target comfortably as the match ended in a 1-1 draw, which all things considered was a fair result.