King's Lynn 2, Hemel Hempstead 2

Manager Keith Webb made two changes to his starting 11 that successfully won at Cheshunt on Boxing Day. Michael Frew returned to the side along with Jack Defty who passed a late fitness test on a back injury.

King's Lynn 2, Hemel Hempst'd 2

Manager Keith Webb made two changes to his starting 11 that successfully won at Cheshunt on Boxing Day. Michael Frew returned to the side along with Jack Defty who passed a late fitness test on a back injury.

Steve Melton and Matt Nolan who were both in the starting 11 at Cheshunt were given bench places by Webb as the Linnets aimed to open up a four point gap at the top of the division with 2008 fast approaching.

The Linnets began brightly with a stiff breeze blowing briskly at their backs. Francis's low centre was inches away from Bloomfield which produced a brave stop from Brown.


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Moments later another Francis centre was invitingly delivered but this time there was not one single Linnets shirt present for what would have been a tap-in.

On 10 minutes Frew was allowed to cut in and produced a stinging shot which was parried away for a corner by the busy Brown.

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A minute later Sedgemore scuffed a 20 yard shot which was comfortably gathered by Brown and moments later the same player set up Bloomfield who sent a bobbling shot wide of its intended target. A minute later the same combination saw Brown produce a sprawling save.

On 23 minutes Howie saw his first action of the afternoon as he dealt comfortably with a Hunt header.

After 27 minutes West played in Frew whose shot was charged down for a corner which resulted in Warren cutting the ball back for Frew who sent the ball over the bar from six yards.

On 35 minutes Defty was fouled on the edge of the area which allowed Francis the chance to test Brown from a free kick but again the effort was wide of the post.

On 38 minutes Francis's run produced a cross-cum-shot which was scrambled away.

On 41 minutes Sedgemore was booked for a foul on Burgess. Cracknell put the resulting free kick into the mix which saw the visitors take the lead with a simple HUNT header.

Three minutes later HUNT doubled his side's advantage from close range with a static Lynn defence watching in admiration. With Lynn desperately needing a goal before half time BLOOMFIELD finally got his name on the score sheet as he tucked away Francis's lobbed pass from six yards.

Half time: King's Lynn 1, Hemel Hempstead 2.

Lynn began the second spell with Frew on the attack on the right-hand side and his 20-yarder was inches away from Brown's right post. On 50 minutes Lynn won a corner which saw an expert delivery from Sedgemore which allowed Crane a header from close range which Brown gratefully clung onto.

The dangerous Francis again beat his marker but was fouled around 20 yard from goal which allowed him to send a dipping free kick over the bar.

At the other end Hemel briefly countered and Cracknell sent a shot away which forced Howie into a diving save.

The action quickly reverted to the other end with the Linnets on an all-out assault to gain an equaliser. Warren's lay-off saw a stumbling Frew shot and Defty's low cross was collected by Brown with Bloomfield lurking.

On 70 minutes Francis' shot from a tight angle was only partially dealt with by Brown which allowed Camm the opportunity to shoot which he did with a Hemel defender desperately blocking the chance.

On 73 minutes the visitors were reduced to 10 men with Cracknell being dismissed for the visitors for his second yellow of the afternoon, the latter for a foul on West.

However, it was his side that had the chance to clinch the game as Warren pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring pull which allowed Sozzo the chance to run through on the Lynn goal but a mixture of Crane and Howie denied the dangerous front man.

Warren was replaced by Melton and shortly after Turner was introduced to the action as the Linnets went all-out on the attack.

The busy Sedgemore produced another inviting cross which Turner was only inches away from connecting with and then Defty's shot and turn from the edge of the penalty produced another diving Brown save.

Sozzo fired over for the Tudors but, with time running out, the Linnets finally equalised as SEDGEMORE applied the finishing touch from close range following a drawn-out scramble which rescued a point for the Linnets and increased their lead at the top of the table to two points.

t King Lynn: Howie, West, Chapman, Warren, Crane, Camm, Frew, Sedgemore, Defty, Bloomfield, Francis. Subs: Turner, Melton, Nolan, Lake, Murray.

t Hemel Hempstead: Brown, Sweeney, Coulson, Cavill, Yeboah, Sinclair, Burgess, Cracknell, Hunt, Roberts, Edgeworth. Subs: Sozzo, Gearing, Martin, Nicholls, Herron.

t Attendance: 1,230.

t Referee: C J Miller (Kettering)

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