Photo gallery: Evo-Stik Division One South: King’s Lynn Town 2, Leek Town 0
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Winger Dan Jacob scored on his debut and Shane Tolley ended a spell of seven games without a goal as Lynn moved up to second.
First-half goals from the former St Neots Town pair maintained Lynn's unbeaten league record in 2013 as Stamford lost at home to Chasetown – who Lynn travel to on Tuesday night.
This afternoon's triumph means that's 12 Evo-Stik Division One South games unbeaten for the Linnets – who have kept three clean sheets in four games – and they now have a three-point cushion over the third-placed Daniels, having played a game less.
The Walks outfit, despite being in the middle of a sensational spell of form, went into the game looking to get back to winning ways after back–to–back draws at Carlton and Newcastle Town.
And they knew they'd be in for a tough afternoon against a side who they were fortunate to pick up a 1-1 draw against earlier this term in Staffordshire.
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Gary Setchell, who admitted his side got 'murdered' that day, made three changes from the side that forgot their shooting boots at Newcastle last Saturday. Defender Ross Watson, making his 100th appearance, fit-again midfielder Dan Quigley and new arrival, wideman Jacob, came into the side. Ryan Fryatt, James Jepson and George Thomson made way for the trio.
The Lynn boss did keep faith with strike pairing Russell Dunkley and Tolley – who both missed glorious chances last time out at the Aspire Stadium during a disappointing 0-0 draw.
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Quigley, who bagged a hat-trick on his last outing at The Walks, forced Leek 'keeper Ben Chapman into a routine save inside five minutes with a well-placed half volley as the hosts tried to make home advantage count in the early stages.
They should have taken the lead when fine play between Steve Spriggs and Dunkley, who played a clever one-two, created an opening for Jacob. But the new arrival wasted a glorious chance to open his Lynn account as he screwed Spriggs' cross wide, while unmarked, from just inside the box.
The hosts' approach play was far superior but they nearly got caught out by a long clearance from Chapman in the 20th minute. One long ball from the Leek shot-stopper cleared the Linnets' defence but home number one Danny Gay raced off his line to deny Peter Wright.
At the other end, Dunkley was his usual nuisance-creating self and he found himself in space out wide and pulled the ball back to his strike partner Tolley, who lashed horribly wide – much to the annoyance of the home crowd.
Their moans and groans seemed to inspire Lee Casswell's men and they carved out a fine chance for in-form hitman Wright with a sweeping move. Luckily for Lynn he dragged his effort hopelessly wide when he should have done better.
He was made to pay for it in the 30th minute – and of course, it was that man Jacob who broke the deadlock. Setchell's newest recruit latched onto Spriggs' centre and smashed the ball home with his weaker right foot. Chapman did his best to try and deny the former St Neots Town player, getting his hands to the stinging drive, but the wideman's shot was just too sweetly struck to push round the post.
It could have been two almost 10 minutes later when Tolley regained possession in the opposition's area. However, Dunkley could only tickle an effort at Chapman after the ball span into his path.
And it was the striker known as Custard, rather than the Beast, that doubled Lynn's advantage before the break as he rifled home from inside the box – following a clever Richard Bunting free-kick – to end his own barren spell in front of goal.
Taking a 2-0 lead into the break, Lynn looked set to continue their fine run of results which has seen them set Step Four alight this term – especially since the turn of the year.
But had Anthony Danylyk not scuffed an early effort wide their advantage could have been halved within 90 seconds of the re-start.
And their encouraging start to the second period could have been stopped by Tolley had he not smashed a good chance over when he looked certain to net his second, and Lynn's third.
Skipper Bunting, searching for his first goal at The Walks since his summer arrival, went agonisingly close to a third but his sweet effort curled just inches over. And a matter of seconds later Dunkley hooked over with an acrobatic effort that belied his giant frame.
It wasn't exhilarating, but Lynn didn't look particularly threatened until Matt Bell strode forward from left-back and thumped a shot which Gay saved with 15 minutes left. He got up quickly to smother the ball at Tim Grice's feet.
Yet it was another bit of goal-mouth action which left fans talking come the final whistle after Tolley put his name forward for one of the greatest-ever misses at The Walks.
The ex-Peterborough United frontman did everything right as he rounded Chapman. Yet from two yards out, at most, he contrived to smash the ball against the post, rather that roll the ball into a virtually unguarded net.
Substitute Danny Beaumont went close to adding a late third but Leek's huge goalie tipped his half-volley around the post.
Lynn: Gay, Watson, Gulliver, Lee, Yong, Spriggs (Beaumont, 76), Bunting, Quigley, Jacob, Tolley, Dunkley (Mulready, 76). Subs not used: Fryatt, Jepson, Thomson. Booked: Yong. Goal: Jacob (30), Tolley (43).
Leek: Chapman, Smith, Bell, Storey, Thomas, Hall, Urwin, Shelley, Wright (Kinsey, 54), Grice, Danylyk. Subs not used: Peach, Roberts, Connor. Booked: Storey, Thomas.
Referee: D. Foreman
- A gallery of Matthew Usher's pictures from today's game will be added to this report soon.