Linnets suffer blow to hopes of a Great Escape

Linnets boss Tommy Widdrington watches from the stands

Linnets boss Tommy Widdrington watches from the stands - Credit: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town’s battle against relegation suffered a huge body blow when they dropped points to one of their rivals at the bottom of the table. 

The Linnets had harboured hopes of ending a good week on a high, but their hopes of adding to a four-point haul from two games was ruined by a first-half injury-time goal by Ryan Colclough.  

It was Altrincham’s first win since November and their first away clean sheet of the season – stats which only emphasises the disappointment in the home camp. 

Lynn – whose manager Tommy Widdrington was in the stands at the start of a four-match touchline ban - had been fortunate not to go behind earlier, and were thankful to keeper Paul Jones for a brilliant penalty save. 

It was a Lynn performance that was below par and they can have few complaints. 

Lynn made two changes to the team which drew at Grimsby in midweek, with Brett McGavin and Josh Barrett coming in for Tyler Denton and Cam Hargreaves, who were on the bench. 

There was an early sighter for Jordan Hulme, who clipped a ball over Jones’s bar after good work down the right. 

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Altrincham were getting some joy down that flank and earning a string of corners, although Jones and Co dealt with Daniel Mooney’s inswingers – until referee Scott Simpson ruled that Josh Coulson had handled a flag kick when the ball reared up at him in the 32nd minute. Mooney stepped up, picked out the bottom right corner - but Jones produced a brilliant full-length save to keep it level. 

That moment looked to have out a spring in Lynn’s step, and Brett McGavin let go from distance with a shot that flashed wide of the left post. Moments later the Ipswich loan man was guilty of losing possession cheaply in midfield, allowing Colclough a shot which Jones gathered with ease. 

In truth, quality was in short supply from both teams, until Colclough produced a moment of magic from the edge of the box with a left foot shot which flashed past Jones and into his bottom right corner. 

It was no less than the visitors deserved - and Lynn needed a big second 45 minutes. 

The early stages saw Lynn at least spend some time in the visitors’ half, and there was at least a sighter on 57 minutes when Harry Phipps’s long diagonal from the right flank was met by the head of Olly Scott, whose effort drifted wide of the far post. 

Scott then put the ball on the head of McGavin from a free-kick out wide but the effort went wide. 

If nothing else it was proof there was some life in the Linnets, although Colclough provided a reminder of Altrincham’s superiority with a left-footer than Jones did well to punch wide. 

Barrett flashed a low ball across the area – but there was no one to get on the end of it. It took 77 minutes for them to get their first effort on target, Barrett’s curler comfortably saved by Anthony Thompson. 

King’s Lynn: P Jones, A Jones, Coulson, Phipps, Barrows, Scott, McGavin (Hargreaves 65), Widdrington (Charles 78), Barrett, Clunan, Linton (Omotayo 54). Subs not used: Dentons, Hickman. 

Altrincham: Thompson, Densmore, Moult, Mooney (Mudimu 82), Osborne, Colclough (Marriott 90), Cooper, White, Mullarkey, Hulme, Conn-Clarke (Kosylo 16). Subs not used: Pringle, Leitch-Smith. 

Referee: Scott Simpson 

Attendance: 907