King’s Lynn Town 10, Raunds Town 1
King's Lynn Town returned to league action for the first time in seven weeks on Saturday with an emphatic thumping of sorry Raunds Town at the Walks.
Robbie Harris completed a first half treble, Jack Defty and the returning Chris Bacon grabbed braces and Kieron Doherty and Jamie Thurlbourne joined in the fun with the unfortunate Darren Halfyard turning the ball into his own net to give the Linnets double figures. Sam Johnson scored a mere consolation for the visitors who in truth did well to keep the score to ten.
Boss Gary Setchell could hardly contain his delight afterwards as he reflected on his teams stunning display. 'I am absolutely chuffed to bits with that,' confirmed Setchell.
'These past few weeks have been some of the most difficult I have known in my time involved in football. It's been very hard to get the lads together to train and at times to find somewhere to train. Nearly all of our work has been done inside and we have had to do some different little things to keep the boys fresh and keep their minds active.
'Great credit must go to them as a group because they have come in and given their all in the training sessions we have managed to do inside but this week we will be looking to go out and use the grass two times.'
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Setchell was also pleased that his team kept going till the end and refused to release the foot from the throttle despite holding a six goal lead at the interval. 'It is always very difficult when something like this happens in a game. It's all over as a contest and it is difficult to keep the mind focused on the job in hand. If you go out unfocused you will always be punished but again credit to them all because they all kept going until the end and everybody wanted a piece of the action and refused to take it easy.
'Some of our play today has been from the top drawer and to be able to produce that after the problems we have had says a lot about the character of all of the team.'
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The Linnets handed a full debut to defender Ross Watson who slotted in alongside Martin McNeil at the heart of the home defence. Harris was rewarded for his impressive goal tally with a start which meant the returning Bacon had to make do with a bench place along with the returning Brady Stone.
The pattern of the match was quickly established with the visitors having to repel wave after wave of home attack in action which resembled a training match. A cheeky effort by Harris almost beat keeper Brad Wilson and Watson headed straight at the same player as he almost marked his debut with a goal.
Doherty was on hand to convert Lynn's first goal of 2011 on the quarter hour after Harris had picked him out nicely. Defty had the freedom of the area to make it two with a header following more good work from Stephen Spriggs and Harris added the third following more generous defending as Lynn found themselves three up inside 19 minutes.
Harris had another in the 26th minute as Spriggs again dismantled Raunds' defence single handedly to allow Harris a simple close range finish. Defty robbed a defender and played in Jamie Thurlbourne who smashed home from 12 yards and just before the break Harris had his third and Lynn's sixth with another prod home from close range.
Raunds emerged shell shocked for the start of the second half and if they had any thoughts that the Linnets would be easing off they were quickly dispelled as Defty's towering header had the scoreboard ticking again three minutes after the restart.
Halfyard endured a comedy own goal which he could plainly not see the funny side of as eight goals were reached with twenty minutes still remaining.
Johnson scored for the visitors which also had the home support clapping more in sympathy than support.
Bacon was introduced to the action to allow Harris generous applause and the big striker was not going to pass over the opportunity to fill his boots as two late goals were to prove as he opened his Lynn account again in some style.
• King's Lynn Town: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, Luke Thurlbourne, McNeil, Watson (Stone, Buhlemann), Spriggs, Doherty, Defty, Harris (Bacon), Jamie Thurlbourne.
Unused subs: Livoti, Fryatt.
• Raunds Town: Wilson, Hartley, Campion, Fox, Halfyard, Belfon (Blewers), Williams (Coksey), Sharp, Elwood, Johnson, Tite (Boatang),
Unused subs: Bueham, Batlen.
• Referee: Mr C Wesley (Long Sutton)
• Attendance: 721