Photo gallery: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 1, FC United 2
- Credit: Ian Burt
Lynn's winter slump continued at The Walks as FC United continued their charge up the Northern League top-flight table.
Recent results suggested the Linnets would be hard pressed to see off their illustrious opponents and goals in either half from the Reds ensured the formbook wasn't ripped up.
It wasn't until six minutes of time added on in the opening period that FCUM (FC United of Manchester) opened their account when Thomas Greaves fired home. That lead was extended when defender Lewis Lacy ghosted into the box to meet a corner and smash it into the top corner in the 70th minute.
Davis Bridges' header at the death offered some hope of a stirring finale but it never arrived as the hosts' struggle to lift themselves out of a mid-table position goes on.
Lynn, 12th, went into the match having won just once in seven league games and looking to bounce back from a 4-3 Boxing Day loss at Barwell. Their ninth-placed visitors on the other hand thumped Curzon Ashton 4-0 during their fixture two days ago and had only been defeated during one of their last eight Evo-Stik Premier Division outings.
Home manager Gary Setchell made two changes from the team that tasted more away misery during a festive cracker in Leicestershire. Out went Henry Eze and Michael Frew and in came Jackson Ramm and David Bell.
The sides drew when they last met in Norfolk and there was little to separate them again early on. United's Matthew Wolfenden got in behind early on but, out wide, was stopped in his tracks by Linnets' number one Alex Street who raced off his line. At the other end full backs Ramm and Jordan Yong – who beat three opponents with a mazy run – flashed efforts wide.
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The hosts' ascendency continued when Bridges headed two efforts on target in quick succession. His second was weak but the first across goal drew an excellent stop from keeper Dean Carnell after Bell had bamboozled Greaves out wide on the right and whipped in an inviting centre.
Much like their maiden encounter more than a year ago, the Reds soon displayed their impressive ability to retain possession. With that territorial advantage came the away team's first decent sighter.
Wolfenden cut the ball back to Greg Daniels. He stepped over it. And Joseph Fox, who was the grateful recipient, blazed yards above Lynn's goal. Sixty seconds later Greaves would have been presented with an even better opportunity had it not been for Ramm's excellent covering tackle.
The hosts' number nine Gregg Smith forced Carnell into a comfortable stop with an instinctive volley as Lynn attempted to get a foothold back in proceedings. Yet his opposite number Street was less impressive as he raced off his line to collect a cross which he failed to collect. In the ensuing madness, Greaves' header was nodded off his own line excellently by Ryan Fryatt before classy skipper Dean Stott climbed highest in the bundle of bodies to get his forehead to the ball but couldn't direct it downwards.
As FC – formed by disillusioned Manchester United fans in 2005 – upped the pressure Fox and Daniels kept Street busy. But perhaps Lynn blew the best offering for a good half-hour when late on at the end of the first period Bell picked out George Thomson and the usually reliable marksman scuffed a dribbler into the hands of United's goalkeeper.
The deadlock was finally broken deep into first-half injury time though when Fox picked up on Fryatt's miscued clearance, as he appeared to be impeded, and fed Greaves who thumped the ball across Street and into the bottom corner.
After the restart Craig Lindfield and Jerome Wright went close for the Reds while Bell shot wide and then found the head of Bridges, like in the opening 45, who once again couldn't quite steer his try home.
United's search for a second nearly arrived as first, Street denied Wolfenden, then Yong powered Lindfield's corner off his own line as he marshalled the rear post dilligently.
Those scares seemed to inject fresh impetus into Setchell's troops and Smith should have equalised when he met Ramm's cross six yards out but nutted wide when everyone expected to see the net bulge. Substitute Steve Spriggs stung Carnell's palms. But Lynn quickly felt something more painful with about 20 to go.
Lindfield's inswinging corner was met by the unmarked Lacy and he crashed a side-footed volley to bag for the first time in FC colours.
To many it appeared the hope of a comeback was now gone. And those theories were further strengthened when Bridges' latest header was saved down at his near post by Carnell.
The midfielder denied team-mate Sam Mulready inadvertently with his back but eventually registered via a close-range header. However, the goal wasn't enough to spark a late siege and stop Lynn slipping to a fourth Evo-Stik home defeat on their own turf this term.
Lynn (4-4-1-1): Street, Ramm (Frew, 71), Watson, Fryatt, Yong, Bell, Quigley, Bridges, Jones (Spriggs, 46+1), Thomson, Smith (Mulready, 71). Subs not used: Eze, Stocker. Booked: Fryatt, Ramm, Smith, Frew. Goal: Bridges (90)
FC United (4-1-3-2): Carnell, Brownhill, Daniels (Brown, 71), Stott, Lacy, Ashworth, Wolfenden, Fox, Greaves (Walwyn, 85), Wright, Lindfield (Van Gils, 80). Subs not used: Byrne, Lynch. Booked: Carnell, Brownhill. Goals: Greaves (45+6), Lacy (69)
Referee: M. Buonassisi