King’s Lynn 7, Desborough 0
King's Lynn kept alive their faint UCL Premier Division title hopes after hammering Desborough today at The Walks.
Skipper Jack Defty and Steve Spriggs both grabbed hat-tricks with Robbie Harris also on target for the rampant Linnets.
Town needed a win to stand any chance of overhauling St Neots who beat Daventry 4-0 to move within one win of being crowned champions.
Town joint boss Gary Setchell was delighted with his players' response on their return to The Walks after losing last weekend's title showdown against the Saints.
'No disrespect to Desborough who aren't the greatest side in the world but after losing to St Neots that would have been easy for us to throw it in,' he said. 'We didn't try to overplay. We just passed and moved and reminded our fans that we can pass the ball and we are a good side. Unfortunately against the best sides we came up a little short but they are still good players and there is a lot of positives.'
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Setchell felt fit-again midfielder Danny White shaded Lynn's hat-trick heroes.
'He looked back to his best. Viral meningitis is not the flu. It's not something you got over in a week or two,' said Setchell. 'Those big games just came at the wrong time for him and us. We threw him in against Coalville and he'd be the first to admit he was off the pace but with a fit Danny White, who knows what would have happened.
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'We tried to get away with playing him in an FA Vase semi-final two weeks after he had come back and it didn't work. We're happy to have him and we wish him all the best with his health because he has a big future at this club. I know the two lads scored hat-tricks but he was man of the match for me.'
Lynn made two changes at the heart of their backline from the midweek win at Northampton Spencer. Dan Buhlemann replaced Ross Watson in the starting line up with the former Stamford man suspended whilst ex-Norwich City youngster Ryan Fryatt was drafted in for Martin McNeil.
Harris burst clear inside the opening seconds but Liam Waddy parried the stiker's angled hit - Spriggs unable to latch onto the rebound.
Defty swept home on nine minutes from just outside the six yard box after Spriggs escaped down the right. Defty was inches from connecting with Jamie Thurlbourne's teasing free kick with Lynn continuing to dictate the pace in the sweltering conditions.
Harris despatched Jamie Alsop's raking crossfield ball with a clinical header to double Town's advantage inside the opening quarter.
Defty's glancing header from Pat Bexfield's cross on the run dropped just wide of Waddy's far post. Harris then pulled wide but Spriggs was unable to apply a finishing touch to the striker's flighted cross. Spriggs coolly drew Waddy to slot a third just past the half hour mark after Luke Thurlbourne's weighted throughball spilt the toiling Desborough backline. Jon Mitchell burst down the left on a rare attacking foray for the visitors, but Ryan Gormley was an isolated figure in the Linnets' penalty box.
Defty added a fourth with a carbon copy of his first strike when Harris again escaped a ball-watching backline to pick out his strike partner.
Highly-rated teenage striker Tom Barnes was introduced for Harris shortly after the restart ahead of featuring for Norfolk U18s in next weekend's FA County Cup final against Staffs at Stoke's Britannia Stadium.
Jamie Thurlbourne lashed home his second disallowed goal of the afternoon - Defty penalised for mannhandling Chris Logan.
Gino Livotti and Tom McLeish replaced Alsop and Luke Thurlbourne on 53 minutes with Town's management keen to blood more of their young recruits. Livotti went close to marking his arrival when Jamie Thurlbourne's dipping set piece just evaded the youngster but Defty made no mistake with a perfectly-timed far post looping header to complete his hat-trick.
Barnes raced clear but his impudent chip clipped Waddy and Spriggs' half-volley dropped wide of the empty goal with the hosts now indulging in target practice.
Spriggs evaded Desborough's non-existent defence to hammer underneath Waddy at his near post with the unmarked Defty and Livotti both alternative options.
Jamie Irvine finally pressed Alex Street into meaningful action on 72 minutes when he nutmegged Fryatt but lobbed tamely at the young keeper.
Spriggs matched Defty's tally when he teased his way past Michael Tulton before drilling past the overworked Waddy. Street flung himself to his right to protect his clean sheet on 82 minutes to claw away Mitchell's goalbound hit in the only venomous effort from the vistors. Livotti's header dropped at Waddy in the closing stages before the young wide player wastefully struck the side netting with three unmarked team mates square in the Desborough box.
• King's Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Buhlemann, Fryatt, Alsop (McLeish 53), Spriggs, L Thurlbourne, White, J Thurlbourne (Livotti 53), Defty, Harris (Barnes 48). Subs (not used): Bacon, Stone.
• Goals: Defty (9, 38, 61), Harris (15), Spriggs (34, 66, 76)
• Desborough: Waddy, Donativo, Tulton, D Rogers, Keal, Logan, Hall (Irvine 60), Kitching, Mitchell, Gormley. M Rogers (Thompson 60). Sub (not used): Bailey.
• Booking: Hall
• Referee: P Dobbs (Northants)
• Attendance: 582