King's Lynn Town 3 Weymouth 0: Three moments of magic amid classy display earn Lynn play-off final place
PUBLISHED: 22:05 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 22:49 02 May 2018
If class tells, then King's Lynn Town are on the way up.
A trio of magnificent goals embroidered a near-perfect display by the Linnets, who were in control by half-time and managed the second half to perfection to earn a final spot against Slough on Bank Holiday Monday.
The damage was done in the space of two minutes, a Cameron Norman free-kick swiftly followed by a Craig Parker thunderbolt to make it 2-0 after quarter of an hour, before a Cameron King volley - all of them worthy of winning any match, anywhere, anytime. That they helped win this one made the night extra special.
The game almost got off to a sensational start when Michael Gash was pulled down in area by Weymouth centre half Stephane Zubar as he jumped for a throw, but referee Abi Marriott wasn’t buying Lynn’s appeals for a penalty with just 30 seconds on the clock.
But at the other end Alex Street was called into early action with the first save of the night, as Abdulai Baggie broke down the left, got to the edge of the area, but ignored the support of his team-mates and went for glory - ending up with failure.
A minute later Baggie teed up Brandon Goodship in the area but the striker shot tamely and Street was able to keep the ball out.
Baggie was a problem down the Lynn right, but Ryan Fryatt put in a superb tackle to deny him as the visitors broke.
Lynn’s old heads adjusted the pace of the game to the hosts’ liking - and how Lynn were rewarded.
Toby Hilliard was brought down by Thiago Caze Da Silva, which earned him a yellow card and Lynn a pot-shot at goal from 25 yards, and Norman made no mistake, curling a superb right-footer in the top left-hand corner.
Early goals are a valuable commodity in football and when Parker saw his opportunity from 30-plus yards - almost out of nothing - just a minute later he let rip and Lynn were 2-0 up.
Good form is equally comforting - Norman and Gash were both on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Chesham, which secured this home advantage.
Hawkins teased Callum Buckley into a foul on the right wing and a place in referee Abi Marriott’s notebook - this time the free-kick play ended with Ryan Jarvis shooting over. Ben Thomson should have at least followed after a stamp on Hawkins, who was causing Weymouth plenty of problems.
Norman almost repeated the free-kick trick with seven minutes of the half left but, from almost the same spot, went low, and saw his effort pushed narrowly wide of the right-hand post. But then came yet another moment of magic as the corner was cleared, King, 25 yards out, watched it come down, and then lashed it superbly into the top corner.
Three terrific strikes and Lynn were even more in control of the tie - and 45 minutes from the final.
Weymouth tried to come out fighting in the second half, but Lynn’s resistance was frustrating them.
Hilliard shot wide from a difficult angle as Lynn broke - and continued to look more dangerous themselves.
When Weymouth did get into the Linnets area, Frazer Blake-Tracey came up with a fine block to deny Goodship - a player with 38 goals to his name this season and with scouts in the stands watching his performance.
Parker could have had a second on the hour mark but his effort was blocked close in and keeper Will Dennis grabbed the ball as it moved slowly towards the goal-line. Hawkins was denied by Dennis from close range after being teed up by Gash as the Linnets, managing the game perfectly, threatened a fourth. Hawkins and Hilliard departed on 74 minutes as Lynn made a double change, with Leon Mettam and Tom Ward coming on.
Lynn turned the screw, looking for the insurance goal, if one was necessary, and Ward should have got it but flashed a header wide before a sliding Gash poked the ball over.
King’s Lynn Town: Street, Norman, Fryatt, Blake-Tracey, Lappin, Jarvis, King (McQuaid 89), Parker, Hawkins (Ward 74), Gash, Hilliard (Mettam 74). Subs not used: Frary, Siddons. Goals: Norman 14, Parker 15, King 39.
Weymouth: Dennis, Wells (Baker 63), Buckley, Zubar, Caze Da Silva (Davis 46), Carmichael, McCarthy, Baggie (Wakefield 63), Thomson, Goodship, Brooks. Subs not used: Sa, Stewart. Booked: Da Silva, Buckley, McCarthy, Goodship, Wakefield, Zubar.
Att: 1,223. Ref: Abi Marriott (Mildenhall)