Burscough 1, King's Lynn 1

Martin Davis For their first venture into the Conference Blue Square North League following their promotion from the Southern League the Linnets visited their counterpart Linnets, Burscough in Lancashire which was fully living up to its reputation for rain which was falling heavily as we arrived at their pleasantly appointed ground.

Martin Davis

For their first venture into the Conference Blue Square North League following their promotion from the Southern League the Linnets visited their counterpart Linnets, Burscough in Lancashire which was fully living up to its reputation for rain which was falling heavily as we arrived at their pleasantly appointed ground.

The team news with a full squad from which to choose apart from the honeymooning John Turner manager Keith Webb opted to go with Mark Camm in the number ten shirt to the exclusion of Julian Joachim who was on the bench, otherwise the team was as expected with Michael Frew taking the number seven shirt. Joining Joachim on the bench were Danny Bloomfield, Charlie Defty and Andrew Fisk with Rob Murray completing the line up.

The teams entered the field to take part in the soon to be familiar Respect campaign handshake. This was followed by a one minute silence for ex Grays Athletic player Ernie Cooksey who recently passed away and was impeccably observed by the Burscough crowd.

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In the first minute Burscough had an early shot when Smart drove in a loose ball which Howie spilled on the greasy surface but recovered well.

Four minutes later Evans caused Howie another problem with a shot taken on the turn which the goalkeeper again had to scramble away. For Lynn Bridgwater almost put Joe Francis in but a defender got back to cover well. A high ball then caused the Lynn defence problems ending with Burscough's number 11 Robinson just failing to connect with the cross. On 10 minutes Bridgwater found Defty who in turn passed to Michael Frew who powered a shot just over the crossbar from the edge of the area. A cross from Frew was charged down by a defender after the Lynn midfield had set him up.

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When Weaver conceded a free kick which was taken by home captain Moogan his dangerous ball was headed away for a corner by Crane. This again taken by Moogan was eventually cleared by Frew.

Lynn then had a promising move involving Sedgemore, Frew and Camm wasted when Francis drifted offside. On 20 minutes a cross from Francis looked promising for Lynn but Jack Defty was just beaten to the ball by Bowes. From a dubious free kick conceded by Frew Peter's glancing header caused Howie to have to dive to cover the loose ball. On 25 minutes Jack Defty had to be replaced by Lynn substitute Joe Joachim after the big centre-forward had clashed with Burscough keeper Hibbert, Frew moving into the centre and Joachim going out to wide on the right. The move immediately brought a goal for Lynn in the 26th minute when from a corner won by Frew who took the kick himself Crane headed goalwards where Weaver was on hand to apply a close range back heeled final touch for Lynn's first ever Conference goal.

On the half hour Chapman was penalised after an uncompromising tackle and from the free kick fired in with pace Burscough's number 9 Evans was just unable to connect as the ball was played back across the box.

Howie next made a superb catch from a teasing cross from Parry to again deny the lively Evans. With the rain making for a quick surface the game was flowing from end to end at a fast pace.

When Burscough were awarded a free kick from 30 yards it was again skipper Moogan whose fierce drive was superbly tipped over by the flying Howie. From the corner Crane had to head away for a second with this time Armstrong heading well wide for the home side.

Burscough ended the half pressing for an equaliser with the Lynn defence at full stretch and from a last-minute corner taken by Olsen Grogan headed just wide.

t Half-time: Burscough 0, King's Lynn 1

The Lancashire rain had eased as the teams took the field for the second half with neither side making any substitutions at the interval. Frew won an early free kick for Lynn but Bridgwater's effort was easily cleared. When Bridgwater passed to Frew his back heel almost reached Francis who was just unable to reach the ball. A free kick awarded for a hand ball against Parry, Francis' kick was just too high for Mark Peters at the back post.

When Burscough's Smart outjumped Crane his header to Evans saw the centre forward lift his effort just over Howie's crossbar.

The first caution of the afternoon saw Olsen go into the referee Newell's notebook after he brought down Lynn's David Bridgwater. This on the hour mark. From the free kick Francis' shot bounced back off the wall who shot wide from the rebound.

Another dangerous movement for Lynn was then halted by an offside decision. On 63 minutes Burscough brought on Roberts for fullback Bowen. A bout of passing from Lynn saw Sedgemore fire in a deep cross only for goalkeeper Hibbert to make a good catch under pressure. Burscough replied forcing a corner from which a shot was blocked and from the half cleared effort Robinson hit the underside of the bar only for the ball to come out and Francis hack clear.

This after 65 minutes.

From another Burscough corner taken by Moogan Camm was knocked out when making a brave relieving header and had to receive treatment from physio Paul Brown. Lynn now made their second substitution with Fisk replacing David Bridgwater.

Burscough made a substitution at the same time bringing on Cass for Parry.

The home side's continued pressure finally reaped its reward in the 73rd minute when Robinson won a ball in midfield passing to Smart whose low cross was tapped in from close range by centre forward Evans to give Howie no chance.

Two minutes later Weaver went into the referee's notebook following a foul on Robinson. Lynn cleared the kick only for the ball to come back off Crane for a corner which was then headed away by Peters. In the 80th minute Lynn made their final substitution with Bloomfield replacing the ineffective Francis. For Lynn Andrew Fisk played a fine pass to Frew but Grogan got across well to make a good tackle to stop the winger's run.

Fisk was again in the action when he almost reached a cross from the right but home keeper Hibbert was alert to scramble the ball away.

After Lynn won a corner taken by Sedgemore the ball was half cleared to Frew who played it back in this time the move ending with a half hit shot by Joachim which was easily held by Hibbert. Lynn had a good attacking move involving Frew. Fisk who almost got Joachim in but once again Hibbert was quick off his line to clear the danger. On 88 minutes Burscough made their final throw of the dice bringing on Brooks for Smart.

A minute later Burscough centre forward Evans was cautioned after Crane had gone down and had to receive lengthy treatment from Lynn physio Paul Brown. In the last action of the match Fisk set up Bloomfield but Hibbert saved the striker's close range effort with his legs.

t Result: Burscough 1, King's Lynn 1

t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Peters, Crane, Bridgwater, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty, Camm, Francis.

Subs: Joachim, Bloomfield, C Defty, Fisk, Murray.

t Burscough: Hibbert, Moogan, Bowen, Armstrong, Grogan, Parry, Olsen, Evans, Smart, Robinson.

Subs: Cass, Roberts, Brookes, Roscoe, McCulloch.

t Ref: Mr A Newell, Thornton Cleaverley.

t Attendance 389

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