Photo gallery: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 2, Stamford 1
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Striker Sam Mulready's 79th-minute winner helped Lynn win this derby and end their home campaign on a high.
In their final fixture at The Walks this term, the Linnets avenged their Boxing Day defeat against Stamford by beating them by the same scoreline that they did in Norfolk last season.
Shane Tolley was the home side's two-goal hero that day, but this time the goals were shared by former Stamford ace Andy Hall and Mulready. The ex-Daniels man opened the scoring with a deflected half-volley from the edge of the area around the half-hour mark while Mulready headed George Thomson's delicious cross into the bottom corner to wrap up the three points.
Their strikes were split by Ryan Robbins' poacher's finish which was his team's first shot on target. It came on the stroke of the break and was sweet for the pacy player who came in for plenty of abuse following his decision to leave Lynn in the summer before kicking a ball for the club.
But in the end it wasn't enough to see him leaving with a smile on his face as Lynn made their superiority tell to see off their fellow promoted Evo-Stik Premier Division rivals to close in on a mid-table finish.
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Gary Setchell wanted to end what's been a decent first season at Step Three on a high in front of the club's own fans. But he knew his troops were going to have to perform better than they did during Saturday's bore draw at already-relegated Stocksbridge Park Steels.
The hosts were the better side from the off but struggled to cut open a resolute Daniels' backline, marshalled expertly as always by captain Richard Jones. An inviting Sam Mulready centre in the 11th minute was the first incident of note before the same player headed the ball the wrong way when he had a chance to burst through.
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A fiesty undercurrent bubbled up to the surface when Jason Lee and ex-Linnet Jordan Smith went face-to-face. It all calmed down fairly quickly, not before Dan Quigley got involved, but the mood remained as George Thomson thundered through Nabill Sharriff with a monstrous challenge.
The defences remained on top however with Jon Challinor shutting the door on Peter Bore and Quigley and Hall seeing shots blocked. At the other end, a Smith cross evaded everyone as the scores remained goalless.
Hall went down in the box under pressure from Jones and a minute later became the first man to have a shot on target. His low drive was pushed away comfortably by keeper Will Jones but he was powerless to stop the tiny terror's next shot as it whizzed past him with the help of a deflection.
It looked like the Linnets were going to take a one-goal advantage into the break but Stamford snatched an equaliser out of nothing. The visitors had barely threatened when Shawn Richards' scuffed cross was poked home by Robbins – much to the frontman's obvious delight.
After the break, Lynn were once again on the ascendency with frontmen Mulready and Hall linking up delightfully only for the latter to be foiled by Will Jones. Lynn's goalscorer was at the centre of another penalty appeal when he appeared to be barged in the back by Paul Malone while trying to meet his strike partner's lofted delivery.
Much like the opening period, Stamford offered very little going forward. A wild long-range drive from Charlie Binns drifted aimlessly wide and Richards lashed over from the edge of the area.
Setchell was screaming for another penalty around the 65-minute mark when Quigley's header was blocked by Richard Jones. It appeared to strike the defender's arm but the man in the middle waved away the appeals.
Mulready missed the target from a narrow angle and then saw a better and more central opportunity go begging as Stamford's keeper saved with his foot. But he wasn't to be denied when he buried his third chance following Thomson's excellent cross.
And that was that in terms of action as Lynn's players signed off in front of their own fans with a determined victory.
Lynn (3-5-2): Street, Bore, R, Clarke, Lee, Bore, Thomson, Quigley, Bell, Yong, Mulready (E. Clarke, 90), Hall (Hurst, 85). Subs not used: Wall, Stocker, Ward. Booked: Lee. Goals: Hall (32), Mulready (79)
Stamford (4-4-2): Jones, Carr, Challinor (Jarvis, 89), Malone, Jones, Nwadike, Richards, Shariff, Smith, Binns (Robinson, 76), Robbins (Lawlor, 67). Subs not used: Field, Feetham. Booked: None. Goal: Robbins (45)
Referee: J. Steel