King’s Lynn Town 3 Marine 1: 10-man Linnets complete memorable turnaround

Stephen Spriggs slotted home Lynn's equaliser. Picture: Ian Burt

Stephen Spriggs slotted home Lynn's equaliser. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

King's Lynn Town overcame all the odds to record a spectacular win over Marine and propel themselves into the top five of the Northern Premier Division.

The never-say-die mentality installed by manager Gary Setchell again came to his side's rescue following Ryan Fryatt's early dismissal. Andy Fowler gave the visitors the lead from the resulting spot kick but a brace from the in-form Stephen Spriggs and a nerve settling George Thomson drive late on gave the Linnets a victory that had looked unlikely for much of the first half.

Much credit for the turnaround must go to Setchell. Those that remember him as a player will remember the no nonsense, sometimes feisty performer who always wore his heart on his sleeve in a career that saw appearances at Wembley and promotion fighting teams. This Lynn team is moulded in his image and he was delighted with the fight his charges showed.

'I always expect us to give passion and keep going until the end,' said Setchell. 'We may not always win but we will always give 100pc effort for the supporters. They pay their hard earned money to come in here to be entertained and we always go out trying to give them just that. Our work rate and performance today were outstanding – the dressing room is full of tired players. We dominated the second half and it was difficult to see the side out there who had 10 men.'

Marine began the game much the brighter with Christian Langos, a product of Liverpool's famous Melwood Academy, causing panic amongst Lynn's defence. It was Langos' industry that brought about his team's penalty after 15 minutes, the winger forcing Fryatt to clip his heels inside the box giving the referee no option but to show a straight red having been deemed the last man. Fowler converted and a long afternoon looked ahead for Town.

Both Langos and Neil Harvey had further chances to increase Marine's lead with the Linnets becoming frustrated. However from nothing, and their first shot on target of the half, the hosts went in level at the break. David Bell's low centre was collected by Thomson whose fierce, driven shot was only parried by Matthew Cooper to Spriggs who rolled the ball into an empty net.

Seconds into the restart and the Linnets had the lead.

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Thomson laid the ball into the path of Spriggs and the wide man's pace took him beyond a flat footed defence to steer home beyond Cooper. With 10 minutes remaining Bell picked out Thomson with a raking, crossfield pass of 50 yards and this time the midfield man made no mistake with a sharp driven finish.

Not surprisingly Lynn left the pitch to a standing ovation with Setchell clearly appreciating his team's and supporters' efforts on a memorable afternoon.

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