Bideford 0 King’s Lynn Town 5 – Stevenson’s treble rocket fires Linnets to victory
- Credit: Michael Sedgwick/Focus Images
King's Lynn Town showed their play-off credentials as they ended Bideford's seven-game unbeaten run in emphatic style.
The clinical Lee Stevenson bagged a hat-trick, David Bridges bundled one home and substitute Dylan Edge finished to secure a 5-0 win for the Linnets.
Both sides had opportunities throughout the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division clash, but it was the visitors who took them when they mattered to leave North Devon with all three points.
'I am delighted with the result,' said manager Gary Setchell, whose team face another massive trip today, to Hungerford, in Berkshire.
'If I am honest I was disappointed with the first-half performance, we didn't play as well as we have been, but we had three chances and scored three goals.
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'That is the clinical streak we have been looking for. Second half I thought we bossed the game and didn't look in any trouble – we managed to get another two and could have had another two on top of that.'
Any fears the 300-mile trip to North Devon could have hampered the Linnets were put to bed after 12 minutes when Jacek Zielonka pounced on a poor back-pass by Matt Andrew and squared to Stevenson who tapped home.
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The visitors doubled their lead seven minutes later when Sean Downing gifted Michael Clunan possession in the middle of the park, he split the Bideford defence open to find Stevenson in the box and the striker made no mistake.
The game was effectively put to bed 10 minutes before the break. Ryan Fryatt, a constant danger down the right, crossed for Zielonka and his pull-back caused havoc in the hosts' box, with a combination of Bridges and Bideford defender Dan Harrison bundling the ball over the line.
Bideford had come back from 2-0 down in last week's FA Trophy tie, but any chances of a repeat were well and truly put to bed after 54 minutes. It was another superb combination between Zielonka and Stevenson as the former crossed perfectly for the latter to head home his third.
Substitute Liam Fryatt was denied by Kyle Moore and Tony Hilliard should have finished inside the box, but a fifth goal did arrive as Edge latched on to Jordan Yong's through ball and slotted home.
Bideford (4-4-2): Moore; Sampson, Reed, McGrath, Harrison; Downing, Bye (C) (Groves 59), Andrew (Chamberlain 66), Wood; Squire, Tucker (Chaney 59). Subs not used: Hockley, Barker. Booked: Andrew, Bye, Groves. Goals: None.
King's Lynn Town (4-4-2): Street; R Fryatt, Yong, Castellan, Gaughran (C); Smith (Edge 69), Bridges, Clunan (L Fryatt 57), Hurst; Zielonka, Stevenson (Hilliard 64). Subs not used: Bird, Friend. Booked: Castellan. Goals: Stevenson 12, 19, 54, Bridges 34, Edge 80.
Referee: Andrew Turner