Southern League Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 2 Chippenham Town 0

Lynn's Sam Mulready. Picture: Ian Burt

Lynn's Sam Mulready. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Striker Sam Mulready kept up his hot streak at The Walks by bagging a brace to inspire Lynn to a deserved victory.

The 22-year-old made it five goals in as many matches on his own turf to ensure the Linnets bounced back from their crushing midweek loss at what was the Southern League Premier Division's bottom side.

His opener in the first half owed almost everything to the playmaking genius of Michael Clunan. The deep-lying midfielder turned on a sixpence and with the outside of his right boot split the Chippenham back four and set his forward free. Mulready still had plenty to do though as Kent Kauppinen rushed off his line. However, the frontman showed bravery to slide in and get to the ball first to force it home.

The Lynn lad's second with 20 minutes to go owed less to courage and much, much more to skill. After picking up a bouncing ball on the far left of the penalty area, the former Grimsby hitman deftly lobbed the visitors' keeper and wheeled away as the ball dropped into the opposite corner.

It was the highlight of a fantastic home display which showed, again, that Lynn – 18th going into the game – will surely start moving up the standings once they can produce similar performances against teams in the lower reaches of the Step Three set-up.

With Sam Gaughran and Jordan Yong still injured, Gary Setchell was only able to make one change from the team that crashed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Bedworth United on Tuesday. Out went reserve-team regular Tom McLeish and in came Kern Miller – himself struggling with fitness issues of late.

A defensive reshuffle saw Matty Castellan move out to right-back, Ryan Fryatt drift inside to partner Miller and Conor Marshall drop from midfield to slot in at left-back.

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The Bluebirds arrived, admittedly late, on a high sitting second. Yet they showed little in the opening stages to suggest they were worthy of their lofty early-season position.

The hosts tried to set the tempo and went incredibly close to taking the lead when Toby Hilliard's left-footed volley from Clunan's set piece crashed back off the upright. A couple of minutes later, the visitors had their first real sighter and should have gone in front when Andy Sandell raced onto Alex Ferguson's flicked header.

Chippenham's number 10, the league's second top goalscorer, streaked clear of Fryatt and burst into the box confidently. But with the goal at his mercy he bent his effort wide of not only keeper Alex Street, but also the post.

A piece of delightful midfield creativity from Clunan created the game's next best opportunity. And this time it was finished as Mulready benefitted from his team-mate's invention and held his nerve to steer the ball beyond the away team's shot-stopper and into the net.

Kauppinen was beaten again on the half-hour mark but the woodwork saved him once more to deny Lee Stevenson to keep it at 1-0. That's how the scoreline remained going into the break after an unmarked Ferguson missed a sitter from six yards after being granted the freedom of not only Lynn, but arguably Norfolk.

A bright spell after the restart saw Liam Hurst and Stevenson threaten to double the Linnets' advantage. Ferguson thought he had beaten Street at the other end, even though the keeper got his body to the famous name's shot, however Fryatt covered to clear in front of his own line.

Lynn's centre-back was quickly involved in the other area as his glancing header was saved comfortably by Kauppinen.

The home side's hopes of giving themselves some breathing space looked like arriving just past the hour mark when a sweeping move teed up the oncoming David Bridges. Liam Hurst's centre was flicked back to him by Hilliard yet the midfielder sidefooted his attempt straight into the grateful arms of the goalie.

It was Lynn who were making all the running in search of a second – rather than sitting back on their slender lead. Yet Chippenham still offered a threat with Matt Jones' centre just being yards away from the foot of the stretching Sandell.

However, any growing nerves were eased when Marshall looped a ball into the channel and Mulready raised the roof with his wonder finish.

Chippenham blew a great chance to get back into it when the unmarked Greg Tindle headed against the bar with about 10 minutes to go.

It was the last time they threatened as Lynn looked more likely to add a third in the closing stages with substitutes Jacek Zielonka, Jack Friend and Jack Frohawk trying their luck – all to no avail.

Lynn (4-1-3-2): Street, Castellan, R Fryatt, Miller, Marshall, Bridges, Clunan, Hurst (Zielonka, 84), Stevenson (Frohawk, 90), Mulready, Hilliard (Friend, 88). Subs not used: L Fryatt, McLeish. Booked: Bridges, Stevenson, Mulready. Goals: Mulready (17, 71).

Chippenham (4-1-3-2): Kauppinen, Ballinger, Beeden (Taylor, 59), Pook (Harvey, 78), Tindle, Preece, Ferguson, Smith, Jones, Sandell, Guthrie (Campbell, 78). Subs not used: Phillips, McCormack. Booked: Smith, Preece. Goal: None.

Referee: A Crysell

Attendance: 425