Evo-Stik Division One South: King’s Lynn Town 2, Loughborough Dynamo 0
Lynn got back to winning ways as they moved level on points with league leaders Coalville Town.
Two goals in five second-half minutes from Steve Spriggs and Phil Gulliver was enough to secure a comfortable home win for the title-chasing Linnets.
But with Coalville grabbing an equaliser at Stamford, an earning a decent 1-1 draw, it wasn't enough to move the Linnets to the top of the table. They remain second, as a result of having a far inferior goal difference to the Ravens, having played a match more than the Leicestershire outfit.
Lynn went into the game looking to bounce back from an Easter Monday mauling at Stamford. A deserved 4-1 defeat ended Gary Setchell's side's sensational 15-game unbeaten run in Evo-Stik Division One South.
However, the Linnets knew a win this afternoon against mid-table Dynamo and a defeat for stuttering Coalville Town at Stamford would move them to the summit.
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The Walks outfit's boss demanded a reaction and as a result made four changes to the side that got thumped at Kettering Road. Dan Jacob's omission was enforced as he was unavailable due to a family wedding. But Setchell made the call to drop Ross Watson, James Jepson and Shane Tolley to the bench.
In for the quartet came Ryan Fryatt, illness-free midfielder Dan Quigley, Sam Mulready and Danny Beaumont.
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The latter two impressed in what was a fairly bright start from the hosts, with Beaumont drifting in from his left-sided position in midfield and Mulready looking eager to cause trouble.
But it was Loughborough who went closest to opening the scoring inside the first five minutes when Dan Henton whistled a free-kick inches past Danny Gay's post.
The hosts were enjoying the territorial advantage but were struggling to carve out any genuine opportunities – often down to poor decision making in the final third or a slightly over-hit final ball.
Mid-table Dynamo looked slightly more threatening and had it not been for a fantastic tackle, followed by an equally important interception minutes later, from Jason Lee they could have worked the clearest sight of goal so far.
That finally came in the 25th minute when Mulready darted across the front of his marker to meet a Spriggs cross at the near post. Unfortunately, his finish wasn't as good as his movement, and the frontman – who likes to call himself Justin Timberlake – headed over. Spriggs soon created an opening for himself, but scuffed a tame left-footed shot at Lawrie Pearson.
It remained a bit flat, and strangely quiet, until captain-for-the-day Gulliver looped a header goalwards. However, his clever effort failed to dip enough and cannoned back off the crossbar.
Minutes later Spriggs darted inside the box from out wide but his finish failed to match the build-up, which had seen him skin three men, and his sliced attempt almost hit the corner flag.
And just before the break a poor punch from Pearson wasn't punished as Fryatt's weak effort was booted clear. It was the last goalmouth action of a subdued 45 minutes and with Coalville losing 1-0 at the break, an injection of intensity was needed in the second half to reignite Lynn's title push.
And that spark was provided by Beaumont who charged at the heart of the visitors' backline and played in Spriggs with an inch-perfect pass. Once the little man drew out the 'keeper you always fancied him to score. Which of course he did, as he dinked the ball past the on-rushing Pearson and into the far corner.
He nearly made it 2-0 within a couple of minutes as he latched onto a quickly-taken free-kick but was unable to do the same with his left foot, as he had his right, as Dynamo's goalie pulled off a fine save.
The home crowd didn't have long to wait to celebrate their team's second though when in the 52nd minute an unmarked Gulliver headed in Spriggs' corner from close range.
Setchell had wanted a reaction, and a good result, and in the space of seven second-half minutes it looked like the Linnets had delivered.
The hosts were well on top and playing some nice football. But Dynamo showed they weren't out of it when Reece Lester forced Gay into a decent stop just after the hour mark. Substitute Jamie Clarke saw a rare sight of goal but his effort barely troubled Lynn's number one.
But Dynamo were hardly threatening to haul themselves back into the game with Lynn looking pretty comfortable – especially in possession.
Jepson nearly grabbed a late third for Lynn, who cruised to victory in the closing stages, but his side-footed effort was easily stopped by Pearson.
Lynn: Gay, Fryatt, Gulliver, Lee, Yong, Spriggs (Butt, 81), Quigley (Jepson, 77), Thomson, Beaumont, Mulready (Tolley, 67), Dunkley. Subs not used: Street, Watson. Goals: Spriggs (48), Gulliver (52).
Loughborough: Pearson, Sibson, Young, Williams (Henson, 61), Betts, Jarvis, Brennan, Henton, Langham, Norris (Clarke, 73), Lester (Whitman, 71). Sub not used: Mann-Kier. Booked: Henson.
Referee: N. Evans