King’s Lynn 5, Bashley 0

PUBLISHED: 09:30 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:31 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

Lynn blew Bashley away to close in on Southern League title glory at The Walks last night.

Joe Francis' 23rd goal of the campaign and Ben Sedgemore's long range missile rocked the play-off chasing visitors inside the first six minutes.

Lynn blew Bashley away to close in on Southern League title glory at The Walks last night.

Joe Francis' 23rd goal of the campaign and Ben Sedgemore's long range missile rocked the play-off chasing visitors inside the first six minutes.

Bashley defender Paul Gazzard's near-post slice flew past David Elm early in the second half to ease home fears of another nervy finish after Saturday's jittery 2-1 Brackley win.

And second half arrivals Danny Bloomfield and Kieran Deane sealed the emphatic win to delight a 1,300 home crowd.

Lynn's romp saw them edge two points clear of second-placed Team Bath with Halesowen two further points adrift ahead of Saturday's penultimate trip to Gloucester.

Michael Frew replaced John Turner in the one change to Webb's starting line-up - Turner having failed to shake off his back problem.

Bashley's 42-year-old player boss Steve Riley was pressed into an emergency shift for the depleted visitors.

Scott Howie dropped on Bash top scorer Richard Gillespie's angled strike inside the opening seconds.

Francis settled any early nerves when he notched his third goal in four days with a low fizzing free-kick that squirmed underneath Elm on the greasy turf.

Sedgemore's howitzer doubled Lynn's lead - the cultured midfielder advancing on to Francis' inviting ball to smash past the flailing Elm from 25 yards.

Francis shinned straight at Elm following Dean West's adventurous burst down the right as the confident Linnets poured forward at will.

Gillespie's scuffed effort dribbled past Howie's left hand post in a sporadic attacking foray for the visitors, but West needed to react sharply to block the dangerman seconds later - and it took Sedgemore's perfectly executed sliding tackle to halt Justin Keeler's counter as heavy rain lashed across the ground.

Rikki Bains out-witted Ryan Moss after the Bash striker latched on to Danny Smith's intelligent pass.

Elm clawed Jack Defty's glancing goal bound header away with a brilliant point-blank reaction stop as Lynn went for the jugular before the break. Chris Knowles hauled Francis back in stoppage time, but Lynn's top scorer failed to repeat his earlier goal scoring heroics from the free- kick in the final act of the half.

Bains hacked clear inside his own six yard box on the restart after Moss looked to cash in when Crane slipped on the sodden surface.

The luckless Gazzard sliced into his own net on 56 minutes after Frew had again caused havoc down the right.

Lynn's talisman Francis needed treatment to his ankle after a heavy collision with Chris Ferrett. Webb replaced the youngster seconds later ahead of Saturday's crucial West Country trip in a double change with Defty.

Steve Melton marked his arrival with a glancing header smuggled behind by the tiring visitors.

Bashley's unmarked substitute Dave Town headed wide from eight yards on 71 minutes. Bloomfield's scuffed effort was kicked clear after Frew raced from his own half in the closing stages.

Master poacher Bloomfield made no mistake on 87 minutes when Elm failed to grasp Frew's angled strike. Deane completed the rout with a tidy sidefoot finish deep in stoppage time.

Lynn's players left the pitch to chants of 'we are top of the league' following a deserved lap of honour after completing their home programme in style.

t King's Lynn: Howie, West, Bains, Crane, Chapman, Frew, Fisk, Sedgemore, Francis (Melton 66), J Defty (Bloomfield 66), Nolan (Deane 82). Subs not used: C Defty, Murray. Goals: Francis (2), Sedgemore (6) Gazzard (56), Bloomfield (87), Deane (90)

t Bashley: Elm, Gazzard, Ferrett, Riley, Knowles, Smith, Wakefield, Davis (Sainsbury 62), Moss (Brock 82), Gillespie (Town 33), Keeler. Subs not used: Hollock, Burch. Booking: Knowles

t Referee: S Ross (Boston)

t Attendance: 1,302

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