Southern League Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 2 Cirencester Town 0
- Credit: Archant
Lynn recorded back-to-back Walks clean sheets for only the second time this season as they extended their perfect record against the Centurions.
Some resolute defending helped the reformed Linnets, in both guises, make it 10 wins from as many matches against Cirencester.
Lee Smith's header just before the half hour had looked like proving to be the difference when he connected beautifully with Lee Stevenson's cross to nod the play-off chasing hosts in front.
While the visitors huffed and puffed thereafter, they never really looked like drawing level with the boys from Norfolk – who wrapped up the victory in injury time when substitute Toby Hilliard completed a slick counter.
Gary Setchell made one change from the Lynn team that drew at Poole with Smith replacing the ill David Bridges. Suspension-free Hilliard, who had been set for an afternoon with the reserves, rejoined the squad but had to make do with a place on the subs' bench.
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The hosts pressed from the word go and carved open a great chance within two minutes. Unfortunately the quality of Stevenson's pick out could not be matched by Sam Mulready's finish as he shinned his half-volley wide.
The Centurions responded by delivering a couple of testing balls into the box, one of which saw home keeper Alex Street clear his lines while under serious pressure from Mark Pritchett and Charlie Griffin.
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Linnets winger Jacek Zielonka produced the game's second bit of real class when he dropped a shoulder and executed a step-over to bamboozle Shayne Anson and fashion a yard of space. The wideman's driven effort was comfortably saved by Jack Stephens while opposite number Street was less troubled by James Mortimer-Jones' wild attempt soon after.
The deadlock of what had become a fairly dour affair was broken in the 29th minute when Liam Hurst's overhit crossed was rescued by Stevenson and Smith rose majestically to finish off the playmaker's returned centre.
A Street save from Zak Kotwica aside, little else happened for the rest of the period with Kern Miller and his centre-back compatriot Matty Castellan especially taking control of matters.
It was Mulready, again, who had the first sighter of another period – namely the second – when he connected with Michael Clunan's early corner. However, the man who had netted in his side's last two games could only manage to head over.
Miller then got Hurst in goal-side with a raking ball but the former Cambridge United man screwed wide. The midfielder's searching delivery minutes later was clawed away by Stephens as Stevenson prepared to pounce.
Cirencester – who lost the reverse encounter 1-0 in August and are yet to ever beat King's Lynn or the reformed King's Lynn Town – continued to offer little going forward. The unmarked Anson failed to make the most of being found from a set piece as the visitors spruned a rare foray forward.
Miller's dominance continued to grow as Lynn edged nearer and nearer to an important triumph.
Jordan Yong tried to double his side's advantage from distance, after being teed up by Hilliard, but the full-back's scuffed effort did little to raise dwindling interest levels.
Matt Liddiard certainly raised a few eyebrows when he let fly from 30 yards. However, Street watched it over as the hopes of an away equaliser, along with the ball, drifted out of view.
Home sub Dylan Edge had a chance to make it two but was denied from close range by the Centurions' shot-stopper. Hilliard still had time to make sure of the win though and he did just that by finishing off Hurst's excellent burst at the death.
Lynn (4-2-3-1): Street, R Fryatt, Castellan, Miller, Yong, Smith, Clunan, Hurst, Stevenson (L Fryatt, 88), Zielonka (Hilliard, 54), Mulready (Edge, 70). Subs not used: Gaughran, Friend. Booked: Hurst. Goals: Smith (29), Hilliard (90+3)
Cirencester (4-3-3): Stephens, Anson, Bennett, Pritchett, Liddiard, Henry, Hooper (Connolly, 85), Mortimer-Jones, Griffin, Kotwica (Reid, 80), Knight (Langworthy, 56). Booked: Henry. Goal: None.
Referee: D Appleby