Linnets v Chesterfield: Another setback at home

King's Lynn Town midfielder Munashe Sundire in determined mood against Chesterfield

King's Lynn Town midfielder Munashe Sundire in determined mood against Chesterfield - Credit: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town slipped to their second home defeat of the season - but the tell-tale signs of a club on the mend are clearly visible. 

No one will thank the fixture compiler for an opening run that gave them games against Southend, Yeovil and Chesterfield, but there is a different mentality about Ian Culverhouse’s side this season. 

A year ago this might have been a very different outcome. Then, a 15th-minute opener for the opposition might well have been quickly followed by a second and a third. Lynn’s soft underbelly was used to being ripped open at will. Nowadays, they are starting to toughen up. 

Yes, they failed to win a point, but if anything can be taken from the manner of defeat, then fans should be optimistic. 

Errors proved costly but they will learn. And there were mitigating circumstances: with Junior Morias serving the second of a three-game ban the last thing they needed was for Wycombe to temporarily recall loan striker Malachi Linton, which left Gold Omotayo ploughing a lonely furrow up top. Add the absence of midfielder Joe Rowley, ineligible against his parent club, and Lynn were back to bare bones territory – perhaps the only thing in common with last season’s mix and match squad. 

“There are fractions in it,” said assistant manager Paul Bastock. “Two mistakes cost us, Jonesey (Paul Jones) has made one great save and apart from that I can’t really remember us having too much trouble.  

“We defended all the long set-pieces in there, we looked organised, but toothless going forward - but when we have only got the big fella up there our hands were pretty tied. 

Most Read

“But I thought the lads gave a great account of themselves and played some good football. 

“We are proud of the way they tried to play, they dug in – this time last year we would have been talking about a different story. 

“To be fair there were a lot of plusses – if we can just get rid of the errors we will be alright.” 

Paul Bastock appeals a decision

Linnets assistant manager Paul Bastock appeals a decision - Credit: Ian Burt

It was a brace by Kabongo Tshimanga which settled the issue after Lynn had settled well. 

They almost made a breakthrough on 10 minutes when Michael Gyasi played in Tyler Denton down the left and the defender tried to lob the keeper from way out - the ball ending on top of the net. 

But then referee Robert Massey-Ellis intervened on 15 minutes when he penalised Kyle Callan-McFadden for a rash challenge on Liam Mandeville – although the Chesterfield man looked to have over-ran the ball. 

Tshimanga stepped up and just about beat Jones, who got a boot to the ball before it spun into the roof of the net. 

Ross Barrows is fouled

Ross Barrows is fouled - Credit: Ian Burt

Callan-McFadden came to the rescue when he took the ball off Liam Mandeville’s toes after a sloppy ball by Ethan Coleman. 

Munashe Sundire saw a header from Michael Clunan’s perfect delivery blocked by a defender as Lynn began to build a head of steam – Dan Bowry’s header from the corner was blocked on the line, but Chesterfield broke immediately and Calvin Miller was unfortunate to see a shot on the turn slide past Jones’s left post. 

It was anyone’s game at the break, but within a minute of the restart, Tshimanga made it 2-0, getting on to the end of a nod back by George Carline in the area and poking the ball past Jones from close range, with hardly a defender in sight. 

Coleman forced a save from Scott Loach when he got on the end of Denton’s free-kick moments later. Jones went one better, brilliantly tipping over Carline’s header. 

Lynn were up against it and Culverhouse made a double change, with Fernandez and McGavin replacing Bowry and Gyasi. 

Tempers flared after Kyle Callan-McFadden beat Danny Rowe to the ball

Tempers flared after Kyle Callan-McFadden beat Danny Rowe to the ball - Credit: Ian Burt

Lynn perked up and only keeper Loach denied Clunan from 12 yards after a superb passing move involving Sundire and Ross Barrows. 

Denton looked likely to get on the end of Clunan’s low cross but was outmuscled – and furious that he didn’t get a penalty. 

It was a good response by the Linnets - but not enough to deny the Spireites, who managed the closing stages well. While there were echoes of ‘brave but beaten’ from last season, make no mistake – this Linnets side is a different animal, which is beginning to stir.  

Players take the knee

Ross Barrows takes the knee before kick-off - Credit: Ian Burt

If there was one definite disappointment it was that a section of the crowd thought it right to boo when the players took a knee before kick-off.

King's Lynn: Jones, Barrows, Bowry (Fernandez 65), Callan-McFadden, Bird, Denton, Coleman, Clunan, Sundire (Gascoigne 81), Gyasi (McGavin 65), Omotayo. Subs not used: Jones. 

Chesterfield: Loach, Carline, Miller, Gunning, Maguire, Weston, Mandeville (Clarke 75), McCourt, Tshimanga, Payne (Rowe 72), Kerr (Grimes 81). Subs not used: Khan, Whittle. 

Goal: Tshimanga 15, 46