King’s Lynn joint boss Boon calls for more
KING'S LYNN 4, NORTHAMPTON SPENCER 1: Patience is a virtue King's Lynn will need in abundance over the UCL Premier Division title run-in on the evidence of a ninth consecutive home league win.
Spencer's mission statement was to frustrate Town for large spells with the visitors' excellent striker Lewis Haycock a constant threat on the counter.
Lynn top scorer Jack Defty slotted an early opener before Steve Spriggs slammed home a quickly-taken free kick in the closing seconds of a half territorially dominated by the hosts.
Defty's 28th of a productive campaign looked to have sealed the points but Haycock cashed in on slack Lynn marking to set up a nervy finish prior to Spriggs' close range effort on 87 minutes.
Town joint boss Kevin Boon admitted the Linnets had been far from their rapier attacking best, but believes Town's reputation on home turf now precedes them.
'Overall, we did what we had to do so we're pleased from that point of view,' he said. 'Disappointed, well disappointed, with the goal we conceded but I think we just did about enough. To be fair, they came and strung five across midfield to shut both our wingers down, but we still scored some good goals and kept the ball on the deck which was the way to go in the conditions. We've got the three points and thoroughly deserved them, but there are a few things we need to be better out when teams try to stop us playing.
'Teams in this division know what we are about at home and they will try to nullify us. You look at someone like Jamie Thurlbourne. As soon as he had the ball, there were two men on him. They doubled up on him, but he came off his wing and still got decent balls into the box.'
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Town's hierarchy now face a tricky balancing act managing their playing resources ahead of Tuesday's Norfolk Senior Cup trip to Wroxham and a weekend FA Vase fourth round tie in the north east.
Young defender Ross Watson departed on the hour mark with a knee injury, but is cup-tied for the midweek Trafford Park tie. Pat Bexfield is also nursing a back problem and New Year arrival Chris Bacon – who started alongside Defty – is ineligible for FA Vase duty.
'We'll make sure the players are right for the FA Vase,' said Boon. 'That is the most precious thing for us, but we have a game in the Norfolk Senior Cup midweek and I can promise we will give that full respect as well. With Chris and Jack, it's going to take a little time to gel and you have Robbie (Harris) knocking on the door with 17 goals. It's not really about partnerships at this club because no-one is really guaranteed a shirt. It's what myself and Setch (Gary Setchell) feel is best for each game and that was proved again by the fact we had a player like Danny White sat on the bench.
'Kieran Doherty was steady in midfield and Nelson (Moriera) came on in front of a home crowd for the very first time and showed us a few things. He is another option who we can look to play a bit more. He's been in the reserves and done well alongside the youngsters, but there is something about him and he deserves a go.'
Moriera entered the fray for Bacon seconds after Defty had completed his brace with a swivelling strike from the edge of the area. The skipper had earlier opened his account with a clinical side foot finish from Bacon's slide rule pass before Spriggs swept away a close range free kick.
Haycock's reply on 73 minutes threatened a grandstand finale and Alex Street had to react sharply to foil the frontman shortly afterwards until Spriggs calmed home nerves in the dying embers.
• King's Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, L Thurlbourne (White, 68), Buhlemann, Watson (McNeil, 61), Spriggs, Doherty, J Defty, Bacon (Moriera, 56), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Harris, Johnson.
Goals: Defty (11, 55), Spriggs (41, 87)
• Northampton Spencer: P Smith, Nash, Pritchard (Hancock, 74), Marrell (Anger, 66), Deakin, S Smith, Burdett, Cassidy, Haycock, Bushall, Betts. Sub (not used): Naylor.
Goal: Haycock (73)
Bookings: S Smith, Pritchard, Watson
• Referee: A Sharrock (Lincs)
• Attendance: 711