Gaughran cracks in winner as Linnets open healthy gap at the top
A Michael Clunan penalty and a scrambled Sam Gaughran effort in either half was enough to secure an important win for King's Lynn Town at a damp Camrose Stadium.
A controversial equaliser from the Dragons' Ben Wright tested Lynn's resolve and character to the full, but anything other than a win would have been harsh on Ian Culverhouse's side, who are now six points clear at the top.
Lynn soon gained control following an even opening, with Craig Parker scooping over the bar from close in when it appeared much easier to hit the target. With the pressure building, the visitors went ahead after 25 minutes. Ryan Hawkins collected the ball deep and proceeded on a now trademark mazy run which was abruptly ended by home captain Marcus Johnson-Schuster just inside his own box, leaving referee Mark Shapland no option but to point to the spot. Clunan stepped up and smashed the ball to keeper Colm McAdden's right – his third penalty success in three games.
But missed first-half chances looked to have cost Lynn dear as Wright levelled moments after the restart. The front man initially looked well offside from a hopeful punt into the Lynn box, but there was no flag and Wright charged into the onrushing Alex Street and bundled home the loose ball, although he appeared to foul the keeper.
Lynn had the perfect response three minutes later when Michael Gash's header crashed against the bar and Gaughran was on hand to ram home the loose ball.
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Leon Mettam spurned a great opportunity when one on one with McAdden, who made a great blocking save. Deep into stoppage time Wright thought he had snatched a point, but his half volley was inches wide as Town held on to inflict the hosts' first home defeat since the opening day.
Basingstoke: McAdden, Johnson-Schuster, Bennett, Collier, Hollamby, Demuria, Smart, Kennedy, Wright, Argent, Bunting. Subs not used: Wolhfiel, Sackey, McKnight, Goater. Goal: Wright 49.
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King's Lynn Town: Street, Norman (Ward 76), Blake-Tracy, Gaughran, Fryatt, Jarvis, Clunan, Parker, Gash, Mettam, Hawkins (Lappin 56). Unused subs: Siddons, McQuaid. Goals: Clunan 25 pen, Gaughran 52.
Referee: Mark Shapland. Att: 303.