Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 0, Rushall Olympic 4
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Mid-table Lynn were leapfrogged by the Pics in the standings after losing their third home game on the bounce thanks to a dismal second-half collapse.
The Linnets were well in the match for much of the first half until Ross Watson rushed out to close Aris Christophorou down only to upend him in the process. The guilty party hardly clattered through the Rushall defender but there was more than enough contact to send him to the ground. Gavin Caines made no mistake from the spot to put his men ahead.
The home team failed to offer any real sort of response from the setback and thing got considerably worse during a dire final 45 minutes. The confidence seemed to drain from Town's play with every passing minute. And a trio of defensive calamaties only helped to gift-wrap Olympic's victory which moves them from 14th to 13th, swapping places with their hosts for the day in the process.
The visitors' second came from Kris Taylor's corner which saw an unmarked Aaron Williams – who was granted the freedom of Lynn – sidefoot the ball into the net. He couldn't miss.
An inabity to clear a later ball into the box allowed Caines, played in by Christophorou, to make it three. And Street's embarrassing gaff late on topped the lot as it allowed Williams to make it four amid sounds of laughter which compounded a truly miserable day at The Walks.
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Despite picking up one point from a possible six, Gary Setchell had declared he was happy with Lynn's last two away showings. So it was no surprise the Linnets' manager named the same starting XI that drew at then league leaders Skelmersdale United – now replaced at the top of tree by Northern League giants FC United – on Saturday.
Failing to win on their own turf in the previous three matches prior to kick-off had failed to mirror some improved form on the road. So Setchell was clearly keen for his men to produce the goods in front of his club's restless faithful.
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It almost started very horribly though when the 3-5-2 formation, with Jackson Ramm and Jordan Yong at full-back, which worked so well at Skem was breached in the opening few minutes. Steven Leslie played in Williams who looked suspiciously offside. But it didn't matter as the man who had netted 30 goals in all competitions completely fluffed his lines and shanked an effort well, well wide of Street's goal.
A period of limited chances ensued but to their credit both sides tried to get the ball down. Ramm and Yong were causing problems in advanced positions while Peter Winn continued to impress after increasing his temporary stay in Norfolk.
It was Ramm, down the right-hand side, that carved open the hosts' first opening when he got to the byline and pulled the ball back to Sam Mulready. The striker did excellently to get across his man but his effort was palmed away by keeper Ryan Price as it fizzed across his path.
Javia Roberts blazed over and Carl Palmer saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Henry Eze as the Pics then tried their luck from distance. But it was from much closer to the target, 12 yards specifically, that saw the away team take the lead.
After Watson had felled Christophorou, Caines kept his cool to give Olympic an advantage during a period that had been incredibly even. And that's how it remained despite Michael Frew and Ramm – picked out expertly from the other flank by Yong – threating to alter the scoreline before the break.
The Pics almost doubled their lead not long after the restart but Street, who then with a combination of Eze's despairing block, shut the door on Jake Heath and Williams in quick succession.
That impressive rearguard action didn't return in the 52nd minute though as Williams was allowed acres of space to convert Kris Taylor's corner. It was beyond simplicity and left Lynn with a mountain to climb if they wanted to get anything from the game. And that's when the rot really set in.
Setchell moved quickly to change things and replaced Ramm, who stormed down the tunnel after being withdrawn, and Frew with David Bridges and Steve Spriggs. But they failed to spark a comeback, nor a shot on target, which summed up a near 70-minutes of home heartache.
Yet it got much, much worse when Eze and company failed to get rid of the ball as Heath returned it into the mixer. Eventually Christophorou squared to Caines and he did the rest.
To rub salt in Lynn's gaping wounds Street, not for the first time, tried to dribble the ball out his area towards the end of a day to forget and this time was punished for it. His pass at Yong was more than over hit and the full-back had little chance of getting it under control. The ball span loose to Williams who was able to turn away and almost apologetically walk it into an empty net.
The scenes were comical – but not for Setchell and Lynn who were left with little to laugh about as fans aired their grievances and headed for an early exit in their droves.
Lynn (3-5-2): Street, Ramm (Spriggs, 58), Watson, Fryatt, Eze, Yong, Quigley, Bell (Stocker, 85), Winn, Mulready, Frew (Bridges, 58). Unused: Colman, McLeish. Booked: None. Goal: None.
Rushall (4-2-3-1): Price, Melbourne, Hawker, Taylor, Christophorou, Caines, Heath, Palmer, A. Williams, Roberts (Gascoigne, 77), Leslie (Reid, 81). Unused: Smith, C. Williams, Duggan. Booked: Palmer. Goals: Caines (pen, 37, 75), Williams (52, 87).
Referee: J. Burridge
- Pictures from today's game will be added to this report soon.