Leaders leave Linnets trailing in their wake

Michael Clunan goes to ground during the defeat to Stockport

Michael Clunan goes to ground during the defeat to Stockport - Credit: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town’s survival hopes suffered another bashing in front of their own fans. 

National League leaders Stockport had the game sewn up by half-time as they continued their relentless return to the Football League. 

Lynn, meanwhile, will have to regroup and try and find a way of beating promotion hopefuls FC Halifax at The Walks on Saturday – which they will have to do with defender Aaron Jones who was shown a straight red just after the hour mark. 

The difference between the top and bottom of the table was patently obvious; the contrasts between the teams – not just in financial terms – could not be more stark.  

Stockport have won 14 and drawn one of their last 15 games, scoring 40 times and conceding just seven. 

In the same period, Lynn have won two games, drawn four and lost eight, scoring 15 and conceding 22. 

The visitors’ fight to leave the National League via promotion is still a difficult one to negotiate  – but perhaps not as difficult as Lynn’s desire to stay in it at the other end. 

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Lynn boss Tommy Widdrington made three changes to the team which won 3-0 at Aldershot on Saturday, Josh Barrett, Brett McGavin and Jak Hickman out and Aaron Jones, Olly Scott and Munashe Sundire all in. 

Scott Quigley had an early sighter for the visitors but from a difficult angle skewed a shot wide. 

Lynn responded quickly, Olly Scott forcing keeper Ben Hinchliffe to concede a corner under pressure from Gold Omotayo. 

The early minutes were uncomfortable at times for the visitors as Lynn probed and picked at their defence, putting the pink shirts under pressure at every opportunity. 

But Stockport’s dangers are clear and obvious, and Sam Minihan’s volley from the right of the area forced keeper Paul Jones into a punched save. 

Lynn suffered a setback on 15 minutes when striker Malachi Linton, who scored twice at the weekend, limped off, having failed to recover from an earlier problem. 

And Stockport turned the screw in the worst way possible three minutes, Ryan Croasdale volleying across the area and Elliott Newby applying the finish touch at the back post – a goal filled with pace and skill. 

Suddenly, Lynn’s early danger had dissipated – and Stockport knew it. With half an hour gone, Newby turned provider, his corner from the right brilliantly headed in by captain Liam Hogan. 

Ryan Johnson should have made it three but volleyed Croasdale’s clipped ball in over the bar from eight yards. 

It had become very much a rearguard action for Lynn, although they finished the half well, Barrett forcing Hinchliffe into a near-post save - but with half the game to go it was an awful long way back for the hosts. 

Quigley should have put even more distance between the teams after Barrett lost possession, but shot wide of the far post. 

It was Quigley who played a part in the third Stockport goal – he was heading goalwards when he tangled legs with Jones on the edge of the area. Jones saw red – and Paddy Madden fired home the free-kick with an unstoppable shot. 

The mountain Lynn have to climb is steeper than ever. 

King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, A Jones, Coulson, Barrows, Denton, Scott (Fernandez 63), Sundire, Hargreaves, Sundire, Omotayo (Kureran-Brown 75), Linton (Barrett 15). Subs not used: McGavin, Bowry. 

Stockport: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Kitching, Hogan, Palmer, Madden (Keane 65), Collar (Sarcevic 65), Johnson, Croasdale (Crankshaw), Newby, Quigley. Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Hippolyte.  

Att: 914 

Ref: Thomas Kirk