Chippenham Town 4 King’s Lynn Town 1: Tough luck on Linnets

Lynn's Lee Stevenson. Picture: Ian Burt

Lynn's Lee Stevenson. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The scoreline belied a slick battling performance by the Linnets who had threatened to deny the Wiltshire side claiming top spot after a stirring second-half performance.

A 1-0 half-time lead soon became a controversial two before the hour mark, but after Lee Stevenson had halved the deficit with just over a quarter of an hour to go the Linnets threatened an equaliser until a spectacular Andy Sandell goal eight minutes from time ended their resistance.

Kicking down the slope with the wind at their back, Lynn dominated the midfield battle, with Lee Smith, especially, nullifying the Chippenham threat as the Linnets were first to the ball and keen in the tackle.

The opener came out of the blue when Sandell let fly from 25 five yards and his low shot deceived keeper Alex Street as it went under his legs.

Lynn, despite facing the elements and the slope, were on the front foot from the off after the interval, with Kauppinen forced to punch away a Michael Clunan free-kick.

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The turning point came on 55 minutes when Chippenham were awarded a free-kick near the half way line and, under pressure from Griffin, Street dropped the ball. As the keeper lay on the ground Sandell's shot was blocked only for Griffin to fire into the unguarded net. Referee Mark Russell was surrounded by furious Lynn players, to no avail.

The perceived injustice appeared to galvanise Lynn more than the goal did the home side and Clunan's cross from the right was left by keeper Kauppinen and Mark Preece, but the surprised Stevenson could only scoop his effort over from close range.

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Sub David Bridges soon made his presence count and on 74 minutes the pressure told when the defence failed to clear a cross from the right and Stevenson drove a shot across Kauppinen and into the far corner.

With Lynn still looking the more likely to score, Chippenham made the game safe against the run of play eight minutes when Sandell scored from long range and to rub salt into the wound sub Oli Taylor headed home a cross from the right three minutes from time.

Lynn will play worse than this and win the game, but on the day it was no disgrace to lose against the new league leaders.

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