King's Lynn Town F.C
Linnets edge closer to safety after huge win
- Credit: Ian Burt
Battling King’s Lynn kept it in the family as they maintained their National League survival hopes.
A goal on the hour mark from manager Tommy Widdrington’s son Theo settled the issue and moved the Linnets three huge points closer to the final ‘safe’ position Lynn have Aldershot in their sights and are now just three points behind - and while the Shots have two games in hand, their form is in freefall.
Bromley’s minds may be on next month’s FA Trophy final against Wrexham – Lynn’s is most assuredly on avoiding relegation, and they proved it with a full-blooded display of courage and commitment.
Manager Widdrington made one change from the weekend draw at Dover, son Theo replacing Olly Scott, who was on the bench.
The visitors – who started the day 10th in the table and without a win in their last eight attempts - pinned Lynn back in the opening stages, but the first chance fell to Lynn, Scott McGavin glancing a Josh Barrett corner wide of the target.
Gold Omotayo then tested keeper Ellery Balcombe from the edge of the box after a swift, sweeping end-to-end move.
Lynn were far from overawed by the visitors – they're a tougher, no-nonsense unit nowadays. Barrett, a player Widdrington has said needs to contribute more, summed it up with a lung-busting run to chase down and halt a Bromley break.
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Barret almost turned provider when he whipped in a free-kick from the left that Balcombe gathered at his near post – at the second attempt.
Midway through the first half, a poor clearing header from Ross Barrows almost teed up former Norwich City youth player Mason Bloomfield, who turned a shot, but saw the ball clear the bar by some distance.
Barrett had two attempts within a matter of seconds - and penalty appeals for handball each time – but the visitors were quick to pack their defence.
Omotayo couldn’t quite get on the end of a lovely whipped cross in by Theo Widdrington – the lack of that decisive, final touch was becoming repetitive. Fortunately, it affected Bromley too – Corey Whitely’s low cross from the left was a teaser but, with the goal gaping, the ball evaded two team-mates who were rushing in.
The closest either team came to breaking the deadlock was on the stroke of half-time, as the unmarked Bloomfield headed narrowly wide from a corner.
Tyler Denton shot straight at Balcombe soon after resumption as Lynn looked for the breakthrough. It should have come on 57 minutes when McGavin teed up a shot from the edge of the area which crashed off the keeper’s body and fell nicely for Omotayo, who, with no time to think, could only put the rebound over.
But then it came, with an hour gone – Barrett, one of the main protagonists after the break, saw an opening and fired right footed towards the far corner. Keeper Balcombe managed to keep the ball out but could only push it towards Widdrington, who fired into the roof of the net from six yards.
The Walks erupted – but it was time for cool heads and perfect game management.
Barrett was denied by the keeper after a peach of a long ball from Munashe Sundire, and Balcombe again came to Bromley’s rescue when he kept out Omotayo’s diving header from Michael Clunan’s cross from the right. Josh Coulson saw a shot tipped over and from the resulting corner he headed over.
Lynn were threatening to get a second, but as the minutes ticked by, the tension cranked up. Bromley began to put pressure on Jones’s goal, but Lynn were resolute.
Barrett departed with eight minutes left, replaced by defender Luis Fernandez.
Lynn announced before the game they have extended loan deals for central defender Coulson, from Southend, and midfielder Cam Hargreaves until the end of the season.
Coulson first moved to Lynn in February, initially on a month’s loan, while Hargreaves also joined two months ago, from Bristol Rovers.
King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, Sundire, Coulson, Barrows, Denton, Widdrington (Scott 71), Hargreaves, Clunan, McGavin, Barrett (Fernandez 82), Omotayo. Subs not used: A Jones, Charles, Kurran-Browne.
Bromley: Balcombe, Partington, Bingham, Bush, Arthurs, Wagstaff (Dennis 37), Bloomfield (Cheek 61), Webster, Whitely, Al-Hamadi (Alabi 65), Parsons. Subs not used: Vennings, Nicholas.