King's Lynn Town F.C
Gash 8, 20
Linnets triumph on pitch as battle continues off it
- Credit: Ian Burt
Light at the end of the tunnel is all King’s Lynn Town have been looking for – and the players lived up to their part of the deal.
Whether it matters in the long run is unknown – this weekend’s game against Weymouth could be their last as the club wrestles with the financial issues caused by the worldwide pandemic and a left hand-right hand mix-up between government and the National League over financial assistance.
The club are doing it their own way, asking for pledge donations to keep games going. It’s not what manager Ian Culverhouse wants – but the consequences of stopping are, as yet, unknown.
All eyes will be on the punishment Dover land for failing to fulfil their fixtures – including last Saturday’s at The Walks – if they escape the wrath of the league then it would be much easier for the Linnets to call a halt.
Which simply makes the overwhelming completion of a double over Barnet – Lynn were 2-0 winners there in November – more galling because the emphatic performance, in the end, could mean nothing.
Culverhouse changed to four across the back, Chris Smith dropping to the bench with Michael Gash and Adam Marriott paired up front rather than deploying a lone striker.
The reasoning was pretty obvious – Barnet are in worse straits than Lynn at the wrong end of the table and the hosts would have fancied their chances of inflicting defeat number 15 this season. And so it proved.
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The first opportunity of the game on eight minutes proved their point: Cameron King made plenty of distance down the inside right channel, got into the area, looked up, saw Gash and put it on a plate for the striker to fire home from 10 yards.
Kiwomya forced keeper Scott Loach to turn away a low shot two minutes later as Lynn turned that surge of confidence into another attack.
On 20 minutes it was 2-0, Gash on target again, Barrows found Kiwomya down the right, he clipped a perfect cross over and Gash nodded it into the far corner. It was a goal of simplicity, but brilliantly executed.
Lynn were rampant, with King and Kiwomya on fire, but Barnet put a spanner in the works on 28 minutes when, completely against the run of play, they pulled a goal back, Jonathan Hooper slotting under Archie Mair after latching on to a long ball from the back.
Moments later Marriott ‘s neat back-flick from Kiwomya’s cross was cleared off the line as Lynn looked for an immediate response.
Barnet’s goal didn’t do much to change the game - it was all Lynn and Gash came within a finger-tip or two of completing his hat-trick when he rose highest to meet a Sonny Carey free kick from the right but saw Loach claw it away, with Ross Barrows lurking with intent.
Another long ball, by Loach, almost caught out Lynn, but Michael Petrasso drove his shot into the side netting.
Lynn were forced to make a change for the second half, Smith replacing Callan-McFadden, who had picked up an injury.
Harry Taylor should have levelled it soon after the restart but shot tamely wide while at the other end Marriott uncharacteristically wasted a chance as he fired over from eight yards.
Carey saw a shot come back off the underside of the bar and then shot wide as Lynn laid siege to the Barnet goal. Mair the saved well from Anthony Wordsworth – all of which was good entertainment value but would have pleased neither manager.
Lynn lost their second central defender when Rory McAuley went off injured, with Barrows partnering Smith and Carey slotting in at right back.
King settled a few nerves when he took advantage of good work by Marriott to slide the ball into the far corner just after the hour mark - and sub Dayle Southwell made it safe with four minutes remaining, tapping home after the keeper had parried Marriott’s shot - and there was even time for Marriott to get in on the act with a fifth with a powerful drive from a difficult angle.
Linnets: Mair, Barrows, Callan-McFadden (Smith 45), McAuley (Jarvis 61), Denton, Clunan, King, Carey, Kiwomya (Southwell 72), Marriott, Gash. Subs not used: Gyasi, Mitchell.
Barnet: Loach, Connors (McQueen 22), Dunne, Petrasso, Hooper, Kefalas, Taylor, Baker-Richardson (Mason-Clark 58), Judd, Daly, Wordsworth (McBurnie 77). Subs not used: Azaze, Faal.