King’s Lynn Town 4, St Ives 1
It was a case of 'heads you win' at the Walks on Saturday as four headed efforts saw King's Lynn Town claim three league points against St Ives.
Jack Defty nodded the hosts in front on 15 minutes but Ricky Dear equalised quickly following hesitation in the home ranks. Despite some sticky moments, goals from Luke Thurlbourne, substitute Kieran Doherty and Martin McNeil midway through the second spell restored Lynn's advantage and ensured a much-needed victory.
With league leaders St Neots smashing 13 goals past Yaxley without response it was the victory, and not the way it was achieved, that occupied the thoughts of manager Gary Setchell afterwards.
'We needed any kind of win today following Tuesday's defeat and I am pleased that we have achieved that,' said Setchell. 'Everyone was down after Deeping but the response today has been a credit to the boys, even though we are aware that we can play better. We have dug in, and at times it hasn't been pretty to watch, but the quality of some of the goals today has really pleased me.'
Singled out for special praise was Jamie Thurlbourne who created three of his side's goals with some precise centres. 'We all know that Jamie is an outstanding player who has lots of natural ability.' continued Setchell. 'Some of his play today has been outstanding and at times I would guess he was unplayable for their full back. But despite all of that he knows that he still needs to work and concentrate on other aspects of his game, like tracking back and helping his team-mates out and producing what he has today regularly on our away days.
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'Everyone, though, has played their part in this win and we now need to go on another long, unbeaten run to keep ourselves where we want to be.'
Setchell made just one change to his starting line-up with full back Jamie Alsop returning at the expense of Doherty. The Linnets started with a healthy tempo with Danny White's cross-cum-shot bouncing on top of the bar before falling to safety.
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The visitors' luck soon ran out, however, and Defty benefited from Jamie Thurlbourne's centre to easily nod past Gavin Armitage in the visitors' goal.
That was to be Defty's only contribution of the afternoon as he was replaced shortly afterwards with what looked to be a lower back injury – something that will be a major concern to Setchell and Kevin Boon ahead of tomorrow's home encounter with Boston Town (7.45pm).
Doherty replaced him with Lynn switching to the shorter strike force of Robbie Harris and Steve Spriggs.
Dear reacted first to a loose ball on the edge of the Linnets' box to rifle past Alex Street moments later to silence the home support.
Alsop played in Spriggs with a stunning crossfield ball but the effort drifted wide and a trademark Jamie Thurlbourne free-kick sailed wide. St Ives grew in confidence, feeling they could take something from the game, and just before the break Dear hit the bar from close in to underline the fact.
It was the visitors asking the questions early in the second half, and had Scott Fielding looked for his strike partner Dan Matson and not gone for glory himself his side should have been in front. Dan Newman's shot was blocked by Luke Thurlbourne and Ozzie Foster put his header wide with the hosts coming under increasing pressure.
It is, however, the Linnets' ability to score goals out of nothing that has served them well this season, and Luke Thurlbourne's effort underlined that fact as he guided the ball into Armitage's net from Doherty's centre even though he was surrounded by defenders.
With the shackles released Lynn were enjoying themselves and Doherty scored the goal of the game, arriving on cue to head powerfully home from Jamie Thurlbourne's delivery. McNeil rounded off the scoring following more good work from wing wizard Jamie Thurlbourne.
King's Lynn Town: Street, Bexfield (Plumb), Alsop, Luke Thurlbourne, McNeil, Buhlemann, Spriggs, White, Defty (Doherty), Harris (Smith), Jamie Thurlbourne. Unused subs: None. Bookings: McNeil.
St Ives Town: Armitage, Bannister, Duncliffe, Newman, Phillips, Dear, Cobb (Ekins), Foster, Fielding, Matson (Ade), Foreman (Everdell). Unused subs: Read. Bookings: Dear, Fielding.
Referee: Mr M Wardell Wellingborough. Att: 829.