Linnets open league account
Hitchin 0, King's Lynn 1Kings Lynn banished the opening day blues to open their British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division account at Top Field last night.
Hitchin 0, King's Lynn 1
Kings Lynn banished the opening day blues to open their British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division account at Top Field last night.
Jack Defty's composed 84th minute finish – his 50th for the club - earned Tommy Taylor's much changed team a hard earned victory.
Lynn responded to Taylor's stinging criticism following Saturday's disappointing defeat against Halesowen with a display brimming with energy and commitment.
Taylor kept his pre-match promise to perform major surgery after the opening day debacle. New skipper Mark Warren made his league debut along side Grant Copper in the central defence.
Mark Camm was restored to mid field in tandem with Shaun Carey as Sam McMahon made way. Frazer Toms and Luke Kennedy filled the wide berths with Matt Nolan and Paul Atkins delegated to the bench after a lack lustre weekend outing — Michael Frew partnering Defty.
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Toms skinned Mark Ducket in an early raid down the left but his intended cross was too high for Defty in a positive early sign of intent from the visitors.
Shaun Marshall pouched David Deeney's long range pile driver before Adam Smith's acrobatic clearance foiled Neil Pugh from underneath his own bar as the Canaries upped the pace.
Deeney tried his luck again with a fizzing right footer watched over his bar by the alert Marshall.
Defty was inches from the opener on 18 minutes after a cute interchange with new strike partner Frew — Hitchin skipper Liam Folds making a timely intervention eight yards out.
Michael Yarian sprung to his left to beat away Toms' close range strike from Defty's perfectly weighted set-up in the crowded Canaries box.
Yarian denied Toms again after the former Barnet man rose highest to connect with Dean West's hanging cross.
Toms turned provider just past the half hour mark to tee-up Frew whose sharp strike on the turn went straight at Yarian.
Warren's commitment to the cause earned him a booking for scything down danger man Chris Dillon.
Daniel French side footed over from 16 yards before Dillon rolled wide with only Marshall to beat then strike partner Wayne Mills slammed behind from close range as Hitchin finished the half stronger.
Dillon's scuffed strike flew wide on the re-start. Warren's superb anticipation cleared the danger after French had carved open the visitors.
Lynn were nearly undone from a rapier Hitchin counter — James Taylor's inviting centre headed over by the unmarked Dillon from point blank range.
Marshall bailed out his side with a diving parry to foil Dillon after Mills mugged Toms in midfield.
Pugh slid in 'Gazza style' on the back stick but failed to connect with French's driven cross.
Defty rifled over after fending off Stuart Hammonds before testing Yarian from the edge of the box.
Toms fired home on 82 minutes but the wide man's joy was short lived with the assistant flagging for an off-side in the build up.
Second half arrival Atkins hammered at Yarian as Lynn pressed for a decisive late breakthrough.
Defty's buccaneering run finally broke the deadlock on 84 minutes — slaloming past two defenders before keeping his composure to round Yarian and slot into the empty net.
Lynn survived a huge scare in stoppage time when Glen Lammacroft's ricochet dropped at Marshall's feet as Hitchin poured forward in search of a late equalizer.
KINGS LYNN: Marshall, West, Smith, Warren, Copper, Camm, J Defty, Carey, Frew, (Atkins 62), Kennedy, (McMahon 76), Toms, (O'Halloran 89).
SUBS (not used): C Defty, Nolan.
Bookings: Warren, Frew.
Goal: Defty (84).
HITCHIN: Yarian, Cretton, (Taylor 48), Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Pugh, Ross, (Lammacroft 86), Dillon, Mills, (Bridge 86), French.
SUBS (not used): Frater, Hayes.
Referee: M Blackledge