Evo-Stik Division One South: King’s Lynn Town 3, Kidsgrove Athletic 1
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn showed no signs of giving up the championship fight after bagging another valuable three points.
With leaders Coalville's game at Leek falling victim to the weather, Lynn made vital inroads into their lead – the gap at the top of the Evo-Stik Division One South is now down to four points.
And while Coalville have a game in hand, Lynn boss Gary Setchell will know that a little bit more pressure has been placed on their rivals – and with a 14-match unbeaten league run stretching back to mid-December it's looking good for his side.
Victory last night was built around first-half goals from George Thomson and Jason Lee, with Danny Beaumont adding a third in the second half.
Lynn started slowly, with Dan Jacob the first to show after quarter of an hour, although the ball just wouldn't sit up for him and the visitors cleared the danger.
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It signalled the first spell of pressure by the hosts, warming the crowd on a bitterly cold night at The Walks.
Karl Espley almost silenced them when he was inches away from connecting with a low ball across the area before John Johnston lashed a shot inches wide after Lynn failed to clear a free-kick.
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But then came the breakthrough; James Jepson won possession in midfield and slid the ball forward to Thomson, who shrugged off two challenges before sliding the ball past keeper Chris Rowley from 15 yards –the perfect response to manager Gary Setchell demands from the dug-out for more urgency. Eight minutes later it was 2-0, with centre half Lee finding himself in space midway into Kidsgrove's half and, with few options, firing a left-footer into the bottom right-hand corner from all of 30 yards.
Jacob's speed earned him a sight of goal minutes later but he stabbed over, with Lynn now firmly in the driving seat.
Setchell made a double change just before the hour mark, Quigley and Steve Spriggs replaced by Russell Dunkley and Danny Beaumont – and within moments had seen Shane Tolley curl a long-range effort just wide.
Kidsgrove lost Rowley to injury and with no keeper on the bench, outfielder John Johnston went between the sticks – minutes later he was picking the ball out of the net as sub Beaumont steered home Jacob's cross.
Lynn's defence went to sleep on 78 minutes to allow Espley to poke the ball home, but they cruised home.
• King's Lynn: Gay, Watson (Butt 75), Lee, Gulliver, Yong, Spriggs (Beaumont 58), Jepson, Quigley (Dunkley 58), Thomson, Tolley, Jacob. Subs: Fryatt, Mulready. Goals: Thomson 27, Lee 35, Beaumont 73. Bookings: Tolley, Jepson
• Kidsgrove: Rowley (Woods 71), Street (Byatt 85), Dove, Espley, Donnelly, Taylor, Sherratt, Skelton, Curley, Reaney, Johnston. Subs: Smith. Goal: Espley 78.
• Referee: A Rayner (Chatteris)
• Attendance: 356