Linnets narrow gap at top to one point

PUBLISHED: 09:15 07 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:15 14 September 2010

King's Lynn 2, Chesham 0: This was straight to video rather than big screen blockbuster - not that Lynn cared one jot after capitalising on another Southern League Premier Division stumble by their closest title rivals.

King's Lynn 2, Chesham 0

This was straight to video rather than big screen blockbuster - not that Lynn cared one jot after capitalising on another Southern League Premier Division stumble by their closest title rivals.

Tommy Taylor's side were poor, Chesham worse, on a glue-pot of a pitch, with an over-fussy referee who fluffed his biggest decision of the match.

Chesham's uncompromising centre-back, Ed Chemlal, escaped with a lecture for a wild first half hack on Jack Defty, after being yellow-carded for an identical misdemeanour on the same player minutes earlier.

Sam McMahon's point-lank header seconds before the interval edged Lynn in front, before Matt O'Halloran tucked away a second in the closing stages.

The final whistle brought blessed relief and confirmation of a third straight away defeat for leaders Chippenham, while long-time good things Salisbury continue to haemorrhage home points. Halesowen's 1-0 win in Wiltshire means the Whites have taken just one point from their last nine.

Second-placed Lynn now trail Chippenham by a point, with dark horses Bath City and Salisbury in the Linnets' slipstream - not a bad day's work after all.

“We weren't at the races,” said Taylor. “The result was the main thing, because I knew it was going to be a massive scrap and the other results make it even better.

“It's twice as tight at the top now. I know we can win every game, but it's down to us. I'm looking no further than next week's trip to Rugby.

“Chesham were always going to come and contest everything - there's no way we expected them just to lie down. I thought we looked sluggish. We defended quite well,but going forward the timing of the runs and the passing was not right.

“The pitch didn't help. The strip in front of the main stand was rock hard and it was bobbling all over the place. We definitely needed that first goal on the stroke of half-time. If they had gone in at 0-0 it would have lifted them. I wasn't worried, I just know we can pass it better.

“I felt they were lucky not to have a man sent off - the boy at the back should have gone for those challenges on Jack. One thing is for certain, I don't think he would have got away with another bad tackle.”

Adam Smith returned in place of Stephen Harvey in the only change to the starting line that pummelled Chippenham into submission eleven days earlier.

Luther Blissett's strugglers flew from the traps in a fire and brimstone opening designed to upset their hosts. Arron Benstead produced a tidy double stop to deny John Bacon and Alexis Charalambous after Chris Sullivan had escaped down the left.

Chemlal's crude lunge left Defty crumpled in a heap on the half way line but the defender was back for afters minutes later as the lumbering stopper was again unsettled by Defty's quick feet.

Lynn weathered the early physical onslaught and started to probe, Cedric Anselin scuffing a close range effort after Shaun Carey had released the overlapping Dean West.

Matt Nolan's sure touch deserted him as he prepared to pull the trigger but McMahon's bone crunching tackle freed the big striker who fended off Nathan Bowden-Haase before unleashing a stinging angled drive beaten away by Paul McCarthy.

The Chesham stopper hobbled off shortly afterwards with what was later diagnosed as suspected internal bleeding after landing awkwardly on his right ankle.

Grant Cooper's clearing header skimmed his own crossbar from Sean Ridgway's inswinging free kick on a sporadic raid for the visitors.

Lynn broke through with the last move of the half. Defty's flick from O'Halloran's low cross was scrambled away by stand in keeper Andy Brown but the alert West squeezed the ball back into play for McMahon to apply the simplest of goal line finishes.

Taylor's side arguably deserved the lead for their greater adventure but a second proved frustratingly elusive. Defty was crowded out on the restart before Anselin's inviting corner rolled agonisingly behind West. McMahon's right-footed free kick flew wide with Defty again singled out for further punishment.

Chesham lacked the quality or cutting edge to seriously threaten an equaliser, but Lynn's second ended faint hopes of late drama.

Defty pounced on McGowen's misplaced clearance to roll in the unmarked O'Halloran who slotted past the advancing Brown from 12 yards.

King's Lynn: Benstead, West, Smith, McMahon, Cooper, Camm, Defty, Anselin (Peters 82), Nolan (Charles 71), Carey, O'Halloran. Subs (not used): Harvey, Hammond, Higgs.

Goals: McMahon (45), O'Halloran (86)

Booking: McMahon

Chesham: McCarthy (Brown 42), Chapman, McGowen, Bowden-Haase, Chelmal, Charalambous, Glasgow (Gray 71), Ridgway, Harvey, Bacon, Sullivan (Hall 64). Subs (not used): Miller, Goodhram.

Bookings: Chemlal, Charalambous, Glasgow, Harvey.

Referee: A Sannerude (Suffolk)

Attendance: 871

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