King’s Lynn 5, Blackstones 1
Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon warned his men to buck up their ideas despite hammering Blackstones tonight to move second in the UCL.
Town laboured for long spells after failing to convert their first half dominance before Robbie Harris' introduction sparked a late burst. Steve Spriggs volleyed Lynn in front on 12 minutes but Matty Cox reduced the arrears prior to the break just seconds after Chris Pippard's own goal had moved Lynn further in front.
Jack Defty slotted his 15th of the campaign from the spot when Harris was hacked down prior to the substitute notching a close range fourth and Jamie Thurlbourne completing the rout with a sublime 25 yarder. Boon insisted Lynn's goal rush merely papered over the cracks of a below-par display.
'The final score flattered us,' said Boon. 'Both myself and Setch (Gary Setchell) are very, very disappointed with that performance. We wanted to carry on from where we left off against Boston. We didn't and I have to question whether some of them did what we asked. We didn't train last Thursday and we gave them the option to train Friday and Saturday on their own due to us not having a game. Yes, it was 5-1 but some of the lads let themselves down.
'I thought the substitutes turned the game for us. There was a bit of complacency. People can see it with their own eyes. Some of them have abused our trust and we have told them that in the dressing room afterwards. We won't do it again. We'll make them train twice a week if we have to because there were 750 here who paid good money.'
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Boon was delighted with Harris' immediate impact which turned a potential nervy finale into a late stroll.
'Robbie is a predator in the box,' said Boon. 'He gets the penalty and is in the right place to pounce when the keeper drops it. Jamie finishes the game with a fantastic strike and he is certainly one who did perform. A few others didn't and that will be well and truly addressed. We didn't train Thursday because we had a few knocks but it showed in the touch and the passing. We played too high up the pitch, we were taking far too many touches across the back four - which is something we never ask them to do.'
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Boon revealed pre-match the club were chasing two fresh recruits but the Town joint boss conceded they may have to admit defeat over one target.
'One of them is going to be very, very hard to bring in,' he said. 'The other we're just waiting on a decision. I've spoken to their manager and he will ring me. The other is going to be hard work so we're not too hopeful. I don't want to break up our squad because we have a great set of lads but I still feel we are one or two players short. No-one is irreplaceable and if they don't perform we will change it. A couple of other clubs have also rung me to ask would we take a player or two on loan.'
Lynn named an unchanged starting line up from last week's Boston Town demolition. Luke Thurlbourne had to mop up on his own goalline inside the opening three minutes after Luke Avis raced away from Jamie Alsop.
Jamie Thurlbourne picked out Defty for the first home sighter on eight minutes but the Linnets' skipper's glancing header drifted wide. Spriggs rifled his fourth goal in two games with a stunning volley lashed past Mike Duggan on 12 minutes after Blackstones failed to clear Jamie Thurlbourne's centre.
Andy Ellis denied Kieran Doherty from point blank range after the Linnets' wide player flicked Danny Buhlemann's header goalwards. Doherty then tried his luck with a half volley which brushed the side netting as Lynn continued to dominate.
Jamie Thurlbourne's 25 yard free kick flew into the Hospital End then Spriggs' perfectly-weighed ball across the penalty box was squeezed past Duggan by Defty but Luke Hunnings bailed out his keeper.
Luke Thurlbourne rattled Duggan's crossbar on 28 minutes after a free-flowing move down the left ripped Blackstones apart before Duggan bravely dived at Danny White's feet.
Josh Grange almost shocked the hosts following the totally one-sided opening half with a 25 yard piledriver that cannoned back into play via Alex Street's left-hand upright.
White's strike from the edge of the box flew away off Matt Porter's head with Duggan well beaten. The luckless Pippard diverted Jamie Thurlbourne's inswinging free kick home under pressure from Martin McNeil on 41 minutes. Blackstones pulled one back seconds later when Street's attempted clearance smacked Buhlemann allowing Cox to slot into an empty goal.
White stabbed at Duggan on the restart before Spriggs' angled strike was headed over by Grange with Lynn starting on the front foot. Defty's cut back dropped to striker partner Spriggs who miscued wildly but the hosts were struggling to penetrate the visiting defence with quick as much ease. Pippard burst through the Lynn ranks on 67 minutes but Jamie Alsop reacted quickest to clear at Street's near post with the home crowd increasingly restless.
Matt Porter hacked down the newly-introduced Harris who just got a touch to Jamie Thurlbourne's curled pass before the defender went to ground. Defty steadied himself to fire past Duggan who had guessed correctly. Duggan flapped at Jamie Thurlbourne's hanging cross – a la Edwin van der Zar – allowing Harris to poke a fourth home. Buhlemann glanced Bexfield's cross over at the near post before Jamie Thurlbourne saved the best until last with a gorgeous curling left footer from fully 25 yards that flew over Duggan.
• King's Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, L Thurlbourne, Buhlemann, McNeil, Spriggs (Harris, 71), White, Defty (Cubberley, 78), Doherty (Smith, 86), J Thurlbourne.
Subs (not used): Plumb, Barnes.
• Goals: Spriggs (12), Pippard og (41), Defty (74), Harris (77), J Thurlbourne (89)
• Blackstones: Duggan, Grange, Ellis, Porter, Hunnings, Pippard, Avis (Holmes, 52), Burns, Cox, Boome, Pearce (Oldaker, 76).
Subs (not used): Goode, Chambers.
• Goal: Cox (42)
• Booking: Pippard
• Referee: P Goodacre (Lincs)
• Attendance: 767