Fringe players impress for free-scoring Lynn

Paddy Davitt Spalding 2, King's Lynn Town 6: Lynn's dismantling of higher level non league opposition was not the most impressive feature of this pre-season stroll.

Paddy Davitt

Spalding 2, King's Lynn Town 6

Lynn's dismantling of higher level non league opposition was not the most impressive feature of this pre-season stroll.

Spalding owe their continued membership of the Unibond First Division South to the misfortune of others after finishing second from bottom last season.

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The Tulips were big and strong. But limited. Of far greater significance for Town's pending non league bow was the absence of three first choice midfielders who had started the previous two friendlies.

The Linnets finished with four teenage debutants on the park and Jack Defty's rare scoreless outing more than offset by strike partners Scott Cubberley and Robbie Harris opening their accounts.

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Centre back Martin McNeil slotted from close range before Cubberley's brace. David de Oliviera and Bill Oliver's bullet header threatened to make a contest of it until Ross Kelly, Luke Thurlbourne's piledriver and Harris put Lynn out of sight. Another worthwhile exercise.

“We're absolutely delighted because all the ones who came in put their hands up and said they want to be part of it as well,” said joint boss Gary Setchell. “Obviously we made five or six changes with lads away on holiday and the need for us to have a look at one or two other things but when the other lads return they have to get back in the side. Yes, we know all about their quality but it gives others an opportunity.

“The lads went 3-0 up in no time whatsoever and then we conceded a couple of sloppy goals but the way we reacted to the goals pleased me - because for five minutes or so we panicked a bit.

“We will learn a little from that experience and I was pleased we started to play football again and got our foot back on the pedal and regained our shape.”

Joint boss Kevin Boon is confident Cubberley can stay amongst the goals after getting off the mark following his Wisbech summer switch.

“The biggest plus for me was Cubbs to get on the scoresheet given how hard he has worked in these opening games,” said Boon.

“He got a couple of goals here which will do him the power of good and he deserves those for his workrate in training and on the pitch.

“Like Setch said it was encouraging to see the youngsters go on and for me Kyle Plumb in particular stood out because he went on at a difficult time in the game but showed a lot of composure.

“The beauty of this game is that people inside and outside can now see there is real competition for places.”

Setchell believes Lynn's potential firepower should command respect in non league circles this season.

“Some of the goals were quality and Luke Thurlbourne's strike from distance was out of this world,” he said. “That would grace any football ground at the top level, let alone Spalding on a Saturday afternoon in pre-season.

“It's all coming together. The lads are working hard, the passing and the movement is there and the big bonus is we managed to give four really raw youngsters a chance to go on and none of them disgraced themselves. We're proud to be managers of this team at the minute.”

The Linnets' joint boss did issue a word of warning after Town's defence was breached for the first time.

“I actually felt their first goal was a foul on Bully (Dan Buhlemann) and he has almost scuffed it but the second one was a decent ball across and a good header,” he said. “It wasn't the goals but the way we reacted for five or ten minutes afterwards. We did lose our shape a little and started to give the ball away and I said to the lads after the game, 'we are going to concede goals this season. That is a fact, but we have to keep our composure,' and I felt after the goals we did - but that is really nit picking.”

t Spalding (starting XI): Margarson, Forbes, Freeney, Farden, Pawson, Richards-Everton, Parr, Whiteman, Anelka, de Oliviera, Yearwood. Subs: Bellairs, Westwood, Smith, Webb, Oliver, Scott, Penney.

Goals: de Oliviera (26), Oliver (56)

t King's Lynn: Street, Buhlemann, Newton (Alsop 62), Thurlbourne, McNeil (Fryatt 82), Stone (Plumb 71), Kelly (Biles 78), Doherty (Livotti 62), J Defty (Barnes 82), Cubberley (Harris 60), Smith (C Defty 60). Goals: McNeil (8), Cubberley (21,25), Kelly (67), Thurlbourne (76), Harris (77).

t Referee: A Wilson (Lincs)

t Attendance: 161

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