Linnets find the going tough against strugglers
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn Town missed a golden opportunity to reclaim top spot in National League North after their long-awaited return to The Walks ended in a 1-0 defeat to bottom side Bradford Park Avenue.
Lynn remain second, two points behind York, with three games in hand, so would be considered to be in the driving seat - but they won't want many more performances last night when they couldn't hit top gear.
There was a nod to the coronavirus, with the teams lining up in front of the main stand before kick-off, but not shaking hands. And then it was down to business, would-be table-toppers against bottom side. Sometimes, though, football can be confusing. An outsider would have thought Lynn would run away with it, but the opening 45 minutes proved to be far from easy.
Lynn showed flashes - Simon Power was always the main thrust of their best work - but that is pretty much all it was. Only once was visiting keeper Tom Nicholson really troubled - and that was courtesy of some pin ball in the area after good work by Power and Sonny Carey which saw the ball bounce off one of his own defenders and roll inches wide of a post.
Power had pinged in a few good crosses, but could find neither head nor boot of a blue-shirted team-mate.
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It had started promisingly enough for Lynn, but Bradford were not here to park the bus and it didn't take long to see they were up for a game. Ryan Hall got in a decent cross but couldn't find a team-mate, before Power got the crowd on their feet for the first time with a lovely bit of footwork followed by an inswinging cross that was too strong for Adam Marriott.
Bradford had a few sighters from distance and the cliche is usually that they can do that all night - but it paid off on 25 minutes after a lovely move that went down their right, across to the edge of the box where big centre forward Tom Clare was waiting, back to goal and criminally unmarked. All he had to do was turn and shoot - and he did, Alex Street diving to his right but unable to reach the shot.
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It silenced the crowd, as it should: but they expect great things of their team nowadays. For once, they didn't deliver.
Manager Ian Culverhouse made his first change on 62 minutes, Sam Kelly replacing Carey and Chris Henderson on for Ross Barrows. The visitors introduced former Norwich City striker Oli Johnson, who was at Carrow Road when Culverhouse was assistant manager, while Power made way for the Linnets.
Sadly, it made little difference for Lynn, who simply couldn't step up a gear.
King's Lynn Town: Street, Jones, Barrows (Henderson 62), Jarvis, Smith, McAuley, Power (Southwell 70), Richards, Gash, Marriott, Carey (Kelly 62). Subs not used: Payne, Ward.
Bradford PA: Nicholson, Byrne (Knight 82), Demetriou, Lund, Priestley, Nowakowski (Toulson 76), Hall, Hurst, Clare (Johnson 69), Hibbs, Clee. Subs not used: Boshell, Green. Goal: Clare 25.