Southern League Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 4 Chippenham Town 0
Lee Stevenson's worrying knee injury took the shine off patched-up Lynn inflincting the Bluebirds' first away league defeat of the season.
Kurtis Revan capped an encouraging debut by opening the scoring with a 25-yard belter midway through the opening period. And it was party time when three goals in nine second-half minutes saw Lynn – missing five players – cruise to victory.
Yet those goals from Sam Gaughran, Jacek Zielonka and Michael Clunan were not celebrated for long when in the build-up to the latter's neat finish, 32-year-old Stevenson seemed to hurt the same knee he had rebuilt earlier in his career.
The look of concern on boss Gary Setchell's face as the former Sheffield Wednesday man left the field on a stretcher said it all. It looked a bad one and it more than overshadowed an outstanding win which also saw Lynn record back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this term.
Lynn were without Gary Mills, Leon Mettam (both suspended), Ryan Fryatt, Toby Hilliard and Shaun McWilliams (all injured) as they welcomed the Southern League Premier Division's third-placed side.
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Setchell could include a new face though in the shape of yesterday's signing from Corby Town, 20-year-old wideman Revan.
He impressed from the get-go as the Linnets' winger played a lovely one-two with Stevenson and fired a teasing centre into the box. He continued to be involved early on as it was down the right that the hosts continued to get most of their joy.
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Yet there was no happiness for centre-back Gaughran when he was left bloodied by a clash of heads with Andy Sandell. The same player was stopped twice by an excellent interception, and then challenge, from Matty Castellan as the Bluebirds tried to get a foothold in proceedings.
Frontman Alan Griffin certainly made his mark on opposite number Castellan as he caught him with an elbow that looked hugely premeditated. Referee Richard Hart clearly thought differently with no punishment arriving, much to the dismay of the home faithful.
Zielonka and Clunan combined to set Revan free, again, but after skinning left-back Nuno Felix his delivery into the danger area was tipped over by backpedalling keeper Kent Kauppinen.
It wasn't long before the new boy was celebrating though after Danny Emmington's saved shot gave Stevenson another chance to send over a corner. The playmaker's delivery was only cleared as far as his new team-mate, who jinked by Will Richards and left the visitors' keeper rooted to the spot by firing into the bottom corner from distance.
Chippenham's only chance of replying, before the break, was a great one in the final minute of the opening period. With several Linnets appealing for handball during a goalmouth scramble, Richards slotted in Matt Smith for what looked to be a sitter. However, he got his
They didn't create another opportunity – despite some early pressure in the moments after the interval – until after they'd gone further behind.
Right-footed Stevenson's corner, on his weaker side, eventually made its way to Gaughran at the back post and he slotted home on the half volley between Kauppinen's legs.
Three minutes later he was beaten again and this time the shot-stopper only had himself to blame. After dallying on the ball out wide, Zielonka cut out his attempted pass, waltzed by him and stroked the ball home to wrap up the victory with about half-an-hour to play.
The floodgates stayed open long enough for Clunan to make it four. Dylan Edge made a mess of his chance to be the Linnets' next goalscorer but at least kept his composure long enough to tee up his colleague who found the bottom corner.
Stevenson had set Edge free with a delicious through ball but played no further part as executing the pass left him writhing in agony deep in his own half.
His departure seriously dampened the mood and even though Alex Street's absolutely incredible save to claw out Ryan Campbell's close-range header raised noise levels again – as did Smith missing a great chance to bag a consolation – all thoughts come the final whistle were with the stricken Stevenson.
Lynn (4-1-4-1): Street, Emmington, Gaughran, Castellan, Yong, Quigley, M Clunan (McQuaid, 78), Stevenson (L Fryatt, 71), Revan (A Clunan, 84), Zielonka, Edge. Subs not used: Congreve, McLeish. Booked: Revan, Quigley. Goals: Revan (29), Gaughran (58), Zielonka (61), M Clunan (66).
Chippenham (4-4-2): Kauppinen, Preece (Guthrie, 63), Felix, Allen, Tindle, Richards, Ferguson (Horgan, 68), Smith, Griffin, Sandell (Campbell, 83), Jones. Subs not used: Beeden, Jenkinson. Booked: Allen, Tindle
Referee: Richard Hart