Photo gallery: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 2, Witton Albion 0
- Credit: IAN BURT
Frontman Sam Mulready's brace helped the Linnets end their short winless streak in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
After three league matches without a win, separated by two FA Cup victories, the home side did more than enough – especially after the break – to pick up the three points against Witton at The Walks.
Mulready's opportunistic finishes came five minutes into each half and continued his decent streak which has now seen him bag six times in 11 appearances this term. His team's win could have been by more had it not been for Ryan Swift who made a number of fine saves for Albion – as did his opposite number Alex Street who remained alert to thwart any visiting advances.
But the Linnets won't be too concerned about the size of their triumph as they head to Halesowen Town on Tuesday in high spirits having ended their mini Evo-Stik slump to start thinking about moving up the tightly-congested table.
Gary Setchell was forced into one change from the team that stunned Hednesford Town at The Walks last time out with Ryan Fryatt being given time to recover from a head wound. His place at the heart of the defence was taken by Henry Eze, returning to action after being ruled out seven days ago due to being cup tied. Setchell's other was slightly less enforced with Jackson Ramm replacing Shaun Stocker, named on the bench despite a slight knee niggle, at right-back.
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Albion – who last 3-0 on their last visit to the home of Norfolk's biggest semi-professional outfit – went into the match with incredibly their third manager of a chaotic term so far. So Tony Sullivan would have been looking to get off to a good start during his first game in charge.
Yet it didn't materialise as a miss-hit David Bell free-kick in the fifth minute was prodded home at the near post by Mulready. It was a real striker's finish and showed the confidence he is displaying in front of goal right now.
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The hosts were nearly caught napping less than a minute later as the visitors spurned a great chance to immediately equalise. A richochet presented Neil Harvey with a golden one-on-one against Street. But Lynn's keeper got the better of him and palmed his attempt from close range wide.
Ross Watson lost a tackle with Joshua Hancock 10 minutes later but the away side's number seven opted to try and beat Street from long range and got his angles all wrong. Yet Watson did better a few passages of play later by winning a fine tackle with Alex Tichiner on the touchline to deservedly draw a warm round of applause from the home faithful.
Their next loud dose of praise was reserved for Witton goalie Swift who pulled off a wonder stop to deny Mulready a second. A sweeping Lynn move, which involved Jake Jones, Jordan Yong, George Thomson and Steve Spriggs, saw the ball find their team's goalscorer at the back post. Yet with the goal seemingly as hit mercy, Swift dashed across his line and denied the striker with a point-blank save.
Not to be outdone, Lynn shot-stopper Street showed his capabilities once again on the half-hour mark as he continues to impress this term. Daniel Andrews played in Tichiner who had drifted free of the whole Linnets' back four and practically walked his way into the box. Yet he couldn't gain the upper hand with Street racing to greet him before using his legs to prevent the goal-bound effort.
Watson produced a smart block in the area as Harvey went to pull the trigger as the visitors' ascendency continued to grow. Setchell's troops just couldn't keep hold of the ball as the opening period wore on.
The Linnets were gifted an incredible opportunity to relieve some of the growing pressure when – with about five minutes to go till the interval – Swift fluffed a clearance. Unfortunately Michael Frew opted for precision over power and made a hash of it as he practically passed the ball into the hands of the grateful and backpedalling goalkeeper.
The frontman's next chance produced a better attempt yet his bullet header from Bell's free-kick was saved at almost full stretch by Swift who quickly redeemed himself for his earlier error.
It was still 1-0 when the whistle blew for the break with Lynn heading for their dressing room knowing they would certainly need to use the ball better if they were going to extend their advantage when play resumed. Witton had performed well, and used the ball better for much of the opening 45 minutes, yet needed to tighten up at the back if they were to stand any chance of getting any thing out of the clash.
Albions's hopes decreased five minutes after the restart as another smart Mulready finish doubled his, and his team's advantage. Right-back Ramm robbed Hancock of the ball in the middle of the park and darted towards the danger zone. He could have gone left or right, but he chose the former and laid it on a plate for his in-form number 10 and he found the net, cleverly, through the legs of Swift with his weaker left foot.
Street kept it at 2-0 with another smart dash off his goal-line to smother substitute Scott Bakkor. Yong blocked the follow-up from Michael Powell. At the other end, another brave save from Swift prevented second-half arrival David Bridges making it three. From the resulting corner, Cliff Moyo's goal-line clearance stopped Frew from scoring.
And as the hosts' pressure failed to subside, the superb Swift saved from Bridges and held onto it as Mulready got ready to pounce. With Witton barely threatening, unlike the opening 45, it looked like the third goal was only going to come from one team. But that strike never came as Lynn saw the game out more than comfortably.
Lynn (4-4-2): Street, Ramm, Watson (Ward, 80), Eze, Yong, Spriggs (Stocker, 78), Bell, Thomson, Jones (Bridges, 56), Mulready, Frew. Subs not used: Frohawk, Pearson. Booked: Mulready, Spriggs, Frew. Goals: Mulready (5, 50)
Witton (4-4-2): Swift, Moyo, Lea, Harrison (Blake, 85), Corbett, Davidson, Hancock (Dawson, 68), Powell, Harvey (Bakkor, 59), Titchiner, Andrews. Subs not used: Koral. Booked: Hancock. Goal: None.
Referee: S. Pawley