Friendly: AFC Sudbury 2, King’s Lynn Town 5

Steve Spriggs was back in the goals for the Linnets at the weekend. Picture: Ian Burt.

Steve Spriggs was back in the goals for the Linnets at the weekend. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

Goal-scoring machine Steve Spriggs netted a hat-trick as Lynn waltzed to a comfortable victory in a bizarre friendly on Saturday.

The Linnets' top scorer from last season could even afford to miss a penalty during a game which saw four spot-kickws awarded in the first half. While Spriggs slotted home one, and saw the other saved well by Dan Heath, Sudbury's Matt Daniels finished both of his to leave the hosts in control.

However, Spriggs and Dan Quigley found the net before the break with the former and Shane Tolley rounding off an exciting pre-season match in Suffolk in the second half.

'Keeper Danny Gay made a fine, fine fingertip save early on to deny a Daniels header before Spriggs broke free from the resulting corner and drew a foul from Ben Lewis inside the box. The little winger picked up himself up and cooly placed the ball in the bottom right-hand corner.

Tolley should have made it two minutes later but he headed Ryan Clarke's cross, which has been stood up expertly at the back post, well wide.


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A few spicy tackles livened proceedings on a beautiful pitch and another foul, this time Ryan Fryatt on Sam Clarke, gifted former Wroxham boss David Batch's men a way back into the game.

Lynn's young defender climbed all over the back of Clarke on the half-hour mark to concede a penalty and Daniels made no mistake.

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A breathless half hour continued when the impressive Ben Thompson sprung the offside trap to find himself one-on-one with Gay. However, his finish lacked the excellence of his run and he screwed the ball wide with the outside of his right boot.

The drama continued when Quigley was shoved in Sudbury's area among a sea of bodies to see Spriggs get another chance to show off his prowess from the penalty spot. This time mind, he fluffed his lines as Heath saved and Ryan Henshaw beat Tolley to Spriggs' clever cutback from the rebound.

The chances – and penalties – continued with the visitors Sam Mulready heading wide and Thompson being bought down by Gay in the next passage of play.

Up stepped Daniels for the fourth spot-kick of a ridiculous first 37 minutes and he did what Spriggs couldn't by finding the net again to double his account.

The Linnets' pacy wideman didn't have to wait long to make up amends for his miss when he fired home on the angle to draw the teams level. And there was still time for Quigley to get in on the act when he smashed home from close range following a ridiculous goal-mouth scramble that had seen him, Tolley – denied by a stunning save from Heath – and Jason Lee all go close.

After the break, the hard-working Mulready was played in cutely by the impressive George Thomson, yet his shot was deflected over. From the corner, Tolley's brave header powered Gary Setchell's higher-level men into a two-goal lead.

Spriggs got his hat-trick in the 68th minute when he finished off a beautifully flowing move which involved Andy Hall and Tolley and delighted with it's pace and directness as much as anything.

A handful of substitutions slowed the game as The Walks club – who play one tier above Sudbury – gave trials to Portuguese duo Valter Fernandes and Ed Gomes. The pair didn't look out of place at right and left-back with Fernandes looking particularly impressive behind Spriggs with his clever use of the ball and storming overlapping runs.

It was left to Mulready to enjoy the game's final bit of goalmouth action after Shaun Stocker found him with a disguised pass. Yet the former Grimsby frontman couldn't grab his deserved goal as he missed a sitter.

Linnets boss Setchell was pleased with his side's second win from their three summer fixtures so far and was in jovial mood come the final whistle.

He joked: 'I think the referee was on a goal bonus in all fairness! But it was a really, really, good game for us. It was a definite improvement on the first two friendlies.

'We're looking a lot sharper, we're looking a lot fitter, and every team we've played against so far we've looked a lot fitter than. And we've got some real quality out on the pitch.

'The two goals, we talked about at half-time, were very disappointing to give away. But it's pre-season, we scored five goals, created numerous chances, and every one of my players looked comfortable on the ball. It was a real team effort.'

The Linnets return to action tomorrow night when they host another Ryman Division One North side in the shape of promoted Dereham Town.

Sudbury: Heath (Archer, 46), Lewis (Swatman, 46), Marc Hatchi (Guyon, 46), Shinn, Henshaw, N'Cho (Harrup, 58), Brothers (Maina, 81), Clarke, Thompson (Antoine, 76), Daniels, Cowley (Forshaw, 67). Goals: Daniels (30 pen, 37 pen)

Lynn: Gay, Clarke, (Gomes, 76) Gulliver (Fernandes, 65), Fryatt (Watson, 50), Lee, Spriggs (Gibson, 76), Quigley, Thomson (Stocker, 73), Hall, Mulready, Tolley. Goals: Spriggs (18 pen, 40, 68) Quigley (43), Tolley (53)

Missed pen: Spriggs (34)

Attendance: 187

Referee: C. Pearse

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