Blyth Spartans 2, King's Lynn 4

Martin Davis The Linnets crossed north of the Tyne into Northumberland for the first time for a football game when they visited Croft Park, Blyth for the first-ever encounter between the two sides for today's Blue Square North game.

Martin Davis

The Linnets crossed north of the Tyne into Northumberland for the first time for a football game when they visited Croft Park, Blyth for the first-ever encounter between the two sides for today's Blue Square North game.

The Linnets returned to league action following the previous week's exploits in the FA Cup - and they will visit Wrexham in the next round next week.

Blyth themselves had been in cup action in midweek, winning a home replay with Whitby Town by 5-2.


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With Camm and Chapman making steady recoveries from their respective injuries, manager Keith Webb relied on the squad who had beaten Worksop. The only change in the starting line-up saw Michael Frew return instead of John Turner who reverted to the bench.

Today's game was Keith Webb's 100th match in charge of the Linnets since taking over from caretaker managers Dean West and Shaun Carey, his first match being against Maidenhead at the Walks in December 2006.

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Blyth kicked off at wet and windy Croft Park. Although the heavy pre-match rain had eased, the biting north wind was in their faces.

A long ball down field by Charlie Defty found Joachim but his attempt to lay the ball off to Smith went awry with a good chance beckoning.

A determined 60-yard run by Blyth centre-forward Dale was chased all the way by Peters. The Blyth leader was able to make his cross but Crane got across well to block. Blyth forced the first corner taken by Wright, with the ball almost creeping in before Howie got down to save.

However, a minute later the same player floated in a ball to the back post which McCabe nodded in at the back post to give Spartans a 13th- minute lead.

For Spartans, Hulme passed to Dalton whose cross was cut out by Crane under pressure from Dale.

Another corner for Blyth taken by Wright saw Brown power a header just wide.

In the 19th minute Spartans went further ahead when following a foul by Weaver, home captain Williams fired in a shot which was deflected past Howie by Wright.

Howie next had to be alert in conjunction with Crane to deny another lively home attack. Lynn forced their first corner in the 22nd minute but it was headed clear by Powell. A second corner to the Linnets was won by Frew, who crossed for Jack Defty, to give goalkeeper Powell an easy catch.

Williams had to be alert to stop a Smith Joachim move as the Linnets duo broke from midfield.

Francis was able to make ground and cross from the left from which Jack Defty hit the home side's bar with a header.

Lynn reduced the arrears in the 29th minute when from a free kick taken by Francis, Mark Peters headed in at the back post for his first goal for the club.

As Lynn fought their way back into the game Joachim drove a ball against goalkeeper Powell.

Crane then almost let in the home side but made a good recovery tackle to clear from the dangerous right.

On 33 minutes Lynn levelled when a cross-field ball from the left found Frew on the right for Lynn. He made ground to fire in a 20-yard pile-driver which goalkeeper Powell just got his fingertips to but was unable to save.

Blyth retaliated with Wright playing the ball to Williams who put in a vicious low drive which was deflected by Frew but Howie got down to save at the post.

Smith then robbed McCabe and laid the ball the Francis who carried it forward with a good shooting opportunity that put his effort past a post. For Spartans Dale set off on a good run but was halted by a good tackle from Peters.

For Lynn, Joachim forced a corner off the goalkeeper which was cleared with difficulty.

Todd, of Spartans, made a good run from deep into the Lynn box where he appeared to be brought down by Charlie Defty, but referee Sharp awarded no penalty. However the Lynn left-back then found his way into referee Sharp's notebook following a foul on McCabe, Williams driving the free-kick inches wide. Then a long cross from Francis almost turned into his own goal by Todd, the ball rolling agonisingly wide.

t Half-time: Blyth Spartans 2, King's Lynn 2

The first action of the second half saw Blyth's number five Pell cautioned following a foul on Charlie Defty. Minutes later Blyth centre forward Dale was guilty of a bad miss when put through by the ever dangerous Wright.

Hume also broke through for Spartans but was denied by a good stop from Howie, the ball breaking to Dale who shot at the empty net with Crane getting back to head off the line for a corner. Charlie Defty conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area as Blyth attempted to break through the centre but Williams' kick was blocked by the wall.

Howie then left his charge to leave an open net but Blyth wasted a great opportunity to regain the lead. Charlie Defty played a cushioned header to Smith who in turn found Frew but after a good run the winger's cross was blocked.

Lynn made a substitution on the hour with Turner replacing Joachim and when Francis picked up a diagonal ball from the right he crossed hard and low for TURNER to score from close range with his first touch.

Blyth forced a corner as they retaliated but the ball was cleared to Francis who broke from deep but his attempted chip was well held by goalkeeper Powell.

Blyth then worked a chance but Howie, in turn, easily held the final ball from Hume. Dale, for Spartans, found Dalton with a good pass who was brought down on the edge of the box by Francis who was cautioned for the foul.

After the kick had been ordered to be retaken Mitchell also went into referee Sharp's notebook this time for dissent again the kick was poor with Charlie Defty blocking the effort.

A long ball from the right was chased down by Jack Defty who carried the ball across the box looking for a shooting chance but, when denied, laid the ball back for SCOTT MITCHELL to fire in a 20-yard shot this in the 73rd minute.

A Blyth corner was cleared to allow Turner another great run to create danger in the home box as he laid the ball off to Frew whose effort was blocked Mitchell just unable to apply a finish.

Another good build-up from midfield allowed Francis a run at goal again the shot was blocked. Minutes later it appeared that Crane had been cautioned for a foul.

For Lynn Smith found Frew who this time broke down the left and crossed hard and low with Turner almost turning the ball in at the near post but home keeper Powell was able to scramble it clear.

Blyth returned to the attack and Dale won a corner taken by Pell which substitute Bell headed over the bar. Minutes later from a free- kick Bell sent another looping header just over the Lynn bar.

It was the final action of a pulsating match in which Lynn had made a great comeback from being 2-0 down to fully deserve their success as they gained their first away win in the Blue Square North League in manager Keith Webb's 100th game in charge.

Result: Blyth Spartans 2, King's Lynn 4

t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver, C Defty, Peters, Crane, Mitchell, Frew, Smith, J Defty, Joachim, Francis. Subs: Bloomfield, Turner, Fisk, Sedgemore, Murray.

t Blyth Spartans: Powell, Brown, Royle, Todd, Pell, Williams, Dalton, McCabe, Dale, Hume, Wright. Subs: Leeson, Gildea, Bell, Poole, Fenton.

t Ref: Mr NJ Sharp, Hartlepool.

t Att: 433.

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