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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Saturday, September 1, 2012
King’s Lynn Town’s 100pc start to the season came to an end as they slipped to defeat at Sheffield FC this afternoon.
A first-half header from Charlie Weir and a second-half penalty from Steve Woolley consigned Lynn to their first loss in four matches - and their first in the league this season - in a game where they struck the woodwork three times.
The Linnets went into the game having enjoyed a 100pc start to their campaign by picking up two wins in Evo-Stik Division One South and one in the FA Cup.
Four players made way from the side that won at Wellingborough in the cup with Dan Buhlemann, Robert Hughes, Jason Turner and Danny Beaumont making way for Ryan Fryatt, Richard Bunting, Jamie Thurlbourne and Jamie Forshaw.
Sheffield, the world’s oldest football club, have started the season less brightly but did make the play-offs last term and are known as one of the stronger sides at Step Four of the non-league ladder.
Both sides stroked the ball about deliciously at times in the Yorkshire sunshine in an end-to-end first half which saw the woodwork rattled three times.
Lynn’s Ross Watson, after a fine one-two with Russell Dunkley, crashed an effort against the upright before the Club’s lively striker Jared Stephens hit the upright with a sensationally acrobatic effort of his own. Curtis Woodhouse’s number 10 then spurned the best chance of the game when he fired over unmarked at the back post.
Linnets centre-back Fryatt powered a header against the bar as the visitors pushed for a goal of their own with Watson also forcing a fine save from home keeper Nicky Draper.
However, it was Sheffield who took the lead when an unmarked Weir headed home just after the half hour. And with little to separate the two attack-minded sides it stayed that way until the break.
Lynn were coming to have to come from behind to preserve their 100pc, or at least unbeaten record, and Forshaw saw his long-range effort go just wide inside a minute of the re-start.
Vill Powell nearly extended Sheffield’s lead but his close-range effort was stopped by the legs of Alex Street as the chances continued to tot up.
Dunkley, an ever-present thorn in the host’s side, forced Draper to tip his powerful header over as the match continued at breakneck speed.
Some scintillating displays of attacking talent continued to light up a thrilling game with Sheffield’s Mat Roney causing Jordan Yong plenty of trouble.
And with his side staring at their first defeat of the season, Setchell opted to go 4-4-2 by replacing Steve Spriggs and Bunting with Hughes and Turner. The latter joined Dunkley up top.
However, it was the former Long Buckby frontman who went closest to equalising when he headed Forshaw’s fine centre just wide on the stretch.
Yet it was Woodhouse’s men, not Gary Setchell’s Lynn, who found the net to score what proved to be a crucial second. Powell’s trickery drew a foul from Fryatt and Woolley calmly slotted home from the spot.
With less than 15 minutes left, Lynn looked set to go home empty handed, despite a fine display. And there was still time for their back luck to continue as Turner struck the woodwork - the third time a Lynn player had done so in the match.
• Sheffield: Draper, Turner, Weir (Gregory, 72), Knowles, Hadfield, Burrell, Roney, Foster, Powell (Wall, 86), Stephens (Williams, 56), Woolley
• Subs not used: Cardwell, Martin
• Goal: Weir (34), Woolley (pen, 77)
• King’s Lynn: Street, Watson, Gulliver, Fryatt, Yong, Spriggs (Turner, 62), Bunting (Hughes, 62), Quigley, Thurlbourne, Forshaw, Dunkley (Beaumont, 76)
• Sub not used: Buhlemann
• Referee: N. Hopton
• Attendance: 329