Southern League Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 0 Leamington 1
- Credit: Ian Burt
The Linnets failed to claim another notable scalp as the league-leaders became the first side to win at The Walks in eight matches.
Hopes were high of an upset given Lynn's excellent home wins over high-flying Poole and Chippenham during an excellent recent form on their home turf. However, their wastefulness in front of goal came back to haunt them once more during their latest Southern League Premier Division fixture.
Gary Setchell's men carved out a host of golden opportunities and dominanted Leamington for large periods. Yet it wasn't enough as Ben Mackey's predatory finish on the stroke of half-time consigned Town to a rare defeat in front of their own fans and ensured their inconsistent set of results this term continued.
Setchell restored fit-again defenders Sam Gaughran and Jordan Yong to Lynn's starting XI while Sam Mulready and Conor Marshall missed out through injury. Jacek Zielonka also came into the side in the place of suspended Toby Hilliard.
While the hosts' form has been indifferent so far, the Brakes went into the game as the favourites having tasted just two league defeats so far.
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They looked far from a side who had enjoyed an eight-game unbeaten Step Three run in the early stages with Lynn gradually taking control of proceddings.
Zielonka headed Lee Stevenson's excellent centre wide and then drilled straight into Tony Breeden's midriff after capitalising on referee Sam Lewis' excellent advantage. Ryan Fryatt's flick on the opposite flank created an opening for Liam Hurst yet his shot was blocked and Lee Smith blazed the loose ball horribly over.
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David Bridges almost started and finished an excellent move but his burst lacked the end product it deserved and he screwed wide when in a great position after actually rounding drawing out the away side's keeper and rounding him.
Leamington offered little offensively until Rob Ogleby showed the rapid Yong a clean pair of heels. Opting to shoot, rather than square, didn't pay off as Alex Street blocked at his near post.
That chance sparked some improvement from the travelling Brakes as Lee Moore tricked past Fryatt and stood a ball up at the far post. A back-pedalling Gaughran fell over but Mackey couldn't benefit with Street saving excellently with his feet.
Lynn's keeper was almost rewarded inside a minute when Stevenson raced clear. Yet only he will know why he didn't shoot and perhaps nobody will ever know how Hurst failed to turn the cut back past the visitors' keeper as he grabbed the ball despite being seemingly beaten.
It looked like the deadlock would remain as the game entered its 45th minute but the hosts switched off and were punished. Moore's corner was headed back towards goal by James Mace and there was Mackey to do the rest.
The men from Norfolk showed no less endeavour after the interval with Smith pulling wide Stevenson's flick-on. Hurst saw a cross-come-shot pushed into Stevenson – which somehow bounced off the Linnet and swerved away from the target. Bridges went even closer only to see Breeden's outstretched leg deny him as he searched for the bottom corner.
As the chances, and frustration, continued to tot up Fryatt headed over when well placed.
With the elusive goal not arriving Setchell went for broke and made a double change with attacking youngsters Jack Friend and Dylan Edge coming on for Bridges and Zielonka.
It failed to inspire an equaliser though as the Brakes slowed play down intelligently. They would have added another had Joe Magunda not fluffed his lines on a rare foray forward.
Only a late Hurst drive from distance and looped Fryatt effort caused any real away alarm – until Ben George was extremely lucky not to be penalised for the ball hitting his raised arm in the penalty area in injury time – but the excellent Breeden would not be beaten.
Lynn (4-1-4-1): Street, R Fryatt, Miller, Gaughran, Yong, Bridges (Edge, 67), Clunan, Hurst, Stevenson, Zielonka (Friend, 67), Smith. Subs not used: Simpson, Castellan, L Fryatt. Booked: Miller. Goal: None.
Leamington (4-2-3-1): Breeden, George, Hood, Mace, Taundry, Magunda, Edwards, Ogleby (Oulton, 76), Chilron, Moore, Mackey (Green, 84). Subs not used: Fry, Tank, Caviezel-Cox. Booked: Magunda, Ogleby, Green. Goal: Mackey (45)
Referee: S Lewis