Photo gallery: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 0, Trafford 1
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Lynn failed to make late pressure count as they lost at The Walks for the first time this season.
Substitute Sam Mulready went close twice, with one great attempt hitting the post, as Lynn desperately tried to preserve their home record. But in the end it wasn't to be and Trafford – who would have been kicking themselves had they conceded anyway – recorded their maiden win of the new term.
Shelton Payne's 40th-minute set piece was the difference but the visitors' margin of victory could have been even more impressive had they taken a host of chances on the counter after the break. Yet it didn't really matter as they headed back up the A17 with all three points forcing Lynn to trudge off having suffered back-to-back defeats.
Gary Setchell had decided to make two changes following the Linnets' first defeat of the term at Stamford on Monday. Out went Sam Brooks and Ross Watson and in came Steve Spriggs and Dan Quigley.
Nine points from 12 going into the match was a more-than-decent start for the hosts while their Manchester-based opponents arrived having picked up just three points, via draws, from their opening fixtures. However, they shared the spoils last term at The Walks and finished a place above 11th-placed Town so Town were well aware of the threat the men in white posed.
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Centre-back Ryan Fryatt was in the wars early on as he suffered a head wound that required patching up. But once again he soldiered on and it did little to affect his performance until he hurt what appeared to be his ankle and was removed on the half-hour mark.
The North saw the first two sighters with Joseph Shaw and Payne screwing wide. Their defence was kept busy by the lively Spriggs who looked a threat down Lynn's right on his maiden start of the new campaign. The loanee had a shot deflected wide before, picked out expertly by David Bell, he forced keeper Thomas Read into a save with his legs. The rebound was inviting for Jake Jones but his effort was just off target as he fired back across the goal.
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Quigley's eagerness to win possession – which came back to haunt him later - can usually be applauded. But he gifted the away side a free-kick just yards from the danger zone. Agonisingly for Shaw his delicious effort struck the upright and bounced to safety.
Trafford's Christopher Palmer and Town's Brooks, who replaced Fryatt at the heart of Setchell's back four, threatened to break the deadlock with half chances. Yet it was from another Quigley foul that the stalemate was ended. Having not learned from his earlier misdemeanour, the midfielder-turned-defender hauled Michael Oates to the ground. If anything, he was lucky his infringement hadn't strayed an inch further into his own area.
Payne netted at The Walks during the 2-2 draw in February and he got his name on the scoresheet in Norfolk once more when he picked himself up and made sure Quigley paid the full price for his mistake. An eight-man wall of sorts couldn't stop the number 11 from finding the bottom corner as his team took the lead with five minutes to go before the break.
While there had been little in it, some might have suggested Trafford deserved their advantage for coming away from home and being expansive. Credit had to be given for the way they moved the ball about beautifully. Yet Lynn had a home start to protect and hadn't performed poorly themselves despite a slow opening quarter.
Hitman Michael Frew tried to inspire an equaliser minutes after the re-start with a near-perfect cross which just evaded Spriggs at the back post. At the other end Payne worked himself into a decent position yet could only curl the ball into Alex Street's grateful arms.
Jordan Yong arrived a few minutes later and whipped a flashing centre into the Trafford six-yard-box which was just too well struck to connect with anybody. While he started well on the left, Spriggs was still looking a threat on the opposite flank.
Man-mountain Nia Bayunu forced Lynn's keeper into a decent save with a powerful header as the whites continued to push forward in search of a second. And for a while that was about it for action as the man in the middle appeared to continue his desire to become the centre of attention. At every opportunity he blew on his whistle.
That said, it should have been game over when Jason Lee inexscusably presented Payne with a straight foot race against Brooks which he was always going to win. While the defender did well to force him inside, the goalscorer failed to trouble Street from 15 yards. Payne scuffed another opening as Lynn, who still enjoyed lots of possession, looked vulnerable on the counter.
It was soon a question of how many chances did Trafford want to spurn as Town hung in there? This time, Payne found Rees Walsh and he couldn't beat Street. Oates did with the follow-up but Brooks was there to mop things up on his own line.
The best chance to level things up finally came with about 10 minutes to go as Spriggs wreaked havoc cutting in from the left. Unfortunately, his fizzed delivery was turned wide from yards out by substitute Mulready.
As the pressure to snatch at least a draw grew, George Thomson tried his luck and saw his shot diverted away from goal. Mulready saw an acrobatic effort strike a post. The North spurned another, even better, chance as an unmarked Oates headed wide.
And at the death it was heads in hands all round as Quigley rose majestically in Trafford's area but could only bullet a header straight into the more than grateful arms of Read.
Lynn (4-4-1-1): Street, Ramm, Lee (Mulready, 71), Quigley, Fryatt (Brooks, 30), Spriggs, Bell, Bridges, Frew, Thomson, Jones (Yong, 54). Subs not used: Watson, Ward. Booked: Bridges, Ramm, Spriggs. Goal: None
Trafford (4-2-3-1): Read, Welsh, Chalmers (Beadle, 76), Mason, Bayunu, Schofield, Palmer, Andrews, Oates, Shaw (Hackney, 71), Payne. Subs not used: Matthews, Sturgess, Derbyshire. Booked: Chalmers. Goal: Payne (40)
Ref: N. Holmes