Webb delight as Linnets take top spot

Lynn scaled the Southern League, Premier Division summit with a demolition job on sorry Merthyr. Linnets' boss Keith Webb revealed he had laid down the gauntlet to his improving team prior to kick off.

King's Lynn 5, Merthyr Tydfil 1: Lynn scaled the Southern League, Premier Division summit with a demolition job on sorry Merthyr.

Sharp shooter Danny Bloomfield notched a quick fire early brace before skipper Mark Warren's exocet from the penalty spot killed off the outclassed Welshmen in first half stoppage time.

Craig Steins scrambled a messy consolation but Joe Francis' late twin salvo put the gloss on a polished home display.

Lynn leapfrogged title rivals Chippenham and Team Bath at the top of the standings following their 1-1 stalemate. Linnets' boss Keith Webb revealed he had laid down the gauntlet to his improving team prior to kick off.

“I challenged them and I was delighted with the response,” he said. “I knew we'd face a side who would come, sit back, and try to make it difficult. These were the type of games last season that cost us sometimes. We needed to score and we got two goals in a minute or so, but that scoreline can easily go either way. Getting the third was important because you know then we have to concede four to lose the game.

“I stressed to the boys at half time I wanted us to be professional and they took it on board. If I was being hyper critical our passing could've been better but there is a buzz around the place at the minute. The crowd were excellent again and everyone is playing their part.”

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Webb named an unchanged starting line up for the third consecutive match but hailed the impact of his second half arrivals.

“To look around at the bench and not even have to call on Phil Mulryne shows what we have in the club,” he said. “Danny (Buhlemann) has come in and done another good job and you saw the benefit of having two attacking players like JT and Matt Nolan. Matty does things sometimes that make you think how did he do that - perhaps that's where a little frustration comes in because undoubtedly when he's like that he is one of the best players in the league - no argument.”

Mulyrne was drafted into the squad after missing the previous five matches with a groin problem. Greg Lake again deputised at left back in the absence of Ben Chapman (back).

Gareth Wharton hacked Jack Defty's point blank flick away after Michael Frew had sneaked in behind the dozing Martyrs' backline from a quick throw. Defty retrieved Francis' lost case but Mark Camm clipped his cut back well wide.

Master poacher Bloomfield nudged Lynn ahead from Francis' exquisite lob - swerving around Tydfil stopper Ryan Griffiths to slot first time with his left peg from an acute angle.

Bloomfield notched his 11th goal of the campaign seconds later when he raced onto Defty's pass to calmly finish past the exposed Griffiths from 16 yards.

Scott Howie was belatedly pressed into action when Matthew Harris latched onto Camm's misplaced pass before Bloomfield was inches from applying a decisive touch for his hat-trick from Francis' rapier counter.

Greg Crane's fizzing right footer flew past Griffiths' far post as Lynn broke out after a period of containment.

Dean Clarke smuggled away Warren's looping goal bound header but the skipper's follow up strike smacked Matthew Glassy's outstretched arm to earn the hosts a spot kick.

Warren crashed an unstoppable penalty past Griffiths in an echo of his Eastbourne FA Trophy success the previous week.

Clarke was yellow carded on the restart for a clear tug back as Francis broke from his own half.

Bloomfield's attempted flick clipped the advancing Griffiths from Defty's defence-splitting pass.

The over worked Griffiths reacted smartly to deny Buhlemann from long range. Andrew Fisk's close range shot struck the cross bar after Turner sprung a sublime counter - his raking cross field ball freeing the overlapping Francis whose drilled centre was dummied by Bloomfield.

Griffiths dived bravely at Francis' feet from Greg Lake's cute inside pass as Lynn poured forward.

Bloomfield exited to a rapturous reception with a minor leg strain - Nolan entering the fray for the final quarter.

Warren diverted Steins' curler with Howie committed before the Martyrs' hitman's scuffed effort bobbled past Lake stationed on the goal line.

Francis restored Lynn's three-goal cushion with an instant riposte - lashing Turner's cut back into the roof of the net after Nolan had pierced the tiring Merthyr rearguard.

Nolan served up an encore when his tidy pivot and first time pass on half way released Francis to out pace Wharton and lift over the grounded Griffiths.

King's Lynn: Howie, West, Lake, Warren, Crane, Camm, Frew (Buhlemann 45), Fisk, Defty (Turner 65), Bloomfield (Nolan 70), Francis. Subs (not used): Murray, Mulryne.

Goals: Bloomfield (18, 19), Warren (45), Francis (74, 76)

Merthyr: R Griffiths, Williams, Glassy, D Griffiths, Wharton, Rewsbury (Porter 77), Khalil (Jones 55), Thomas, Harris (Cushen 55), Steins, Clarke. Subs (not used): Watkins, Martin.

Bookings: Steins, Clarke

Goal: Steins (71)

Referee: C Evans (Lincs)

Attendance: 995