Harrogate Town 4, King's Lynn 0

Martin Davis The Linnets were facing a formidable task on their first ever visit to Weatherby Road to take on a Harrogate Town side fresh from an excellent away victory at Stalybridge Celtic which had taken the Hornets up to second place in the league table.

Martin Davis

The Linnets were facing a formidable task on their first ever visit to Weatherby Road to take on a Harrogate Town side fresh from an excellent away victory at Stalybridge Celtic which had taken the Hornets up to second place in the league table.

Jack Defty was ruled unfit so Michael Frew moved to number 9 with Julian Joachim taking the number 7 shirt.

Andrew Fisk was given a starting place while Charlie Defty continued at right back.


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On his return from suspension Greg Crane took a place on the bench along with Danny Bloomfield and John Turner, young Ross Kelly coming in to the squad in place of Jack Defty.

Mark Camm took over the captain's armband. Ben Chapman continues to make progress following his shoulder injury.

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Lynn lost the toss and were set to kick down the considerable slope at Wetherby Road on an afternoon more suitable for cricket than football.

Harrogate made a lively start and a diagonal ball from Peat found newcomer Dean who laid the ball back to Peat but the midfielder's shot was weak.

Harrogate forced the game's first corner which taken by Peat was punched away by Howie for Young at the back of the area to power a shot over the bar.

For Lynn Smith found Frew who laid the ball back to Fisk who in turn passed to Mitchell but the Lynn player's shot lacked power as it drifted wide. For Harrogate Holland seized on a half clearance from a free kick to find Young but the midfielder's shot hit the side netting.

Lynn forced their first corner which was taken by Francis and only half cleared allowing Joachim to play a reverse ball to Francis who forced a second corner but this time the defence cleared easily.

A long goal kick from Howie saw Joachim head the ball on to Fisk who laid it back to Mitchell but the midfielder's shot was too high. Harrogate returned to the attack and Peters had to be quickly across to avert danger at the expense of a corner after Weaver had been dispossessed by the power of Harrogate's number nine Dean from the corner taken by Peat Camm was fouled as he headed clear.

Harrogate took the lead on 13 minutes when a long clearance by Provett was picked up by DEAN who forced his way past Weaver and burst into the penalty box to beat Howie from 12 yards for a debut goal.

Harrogate's number seven Young played a good ball to Dean who forced his way to the by-line and from his hard, low cross Howie did well to claim the ball as the Harrogate forwards closed in.

On 22 minutes the home side increased their lead when after a move down their right flank the ball was played to Dean who laid the ball back to DUNNING who beat Howie all ends up with a pile driver from 25 yards. Harrogate were now well on top at this stage with newcomer Dean dominating the proceedings.

Next it was Weaver making a desperate clearance to cut out a ball to Dean after a misplaced header had found its way to the centre forward this at the expense of a corner from which Lynn had to concede a second and the ball being laid back to Dunning who beat the Lynn defence to find Young whose effort lacked power and a goal line clearance by Peters saved Lynn from going a third goal behind.

Lynn attacked with Francis and Frew combining to lay the ball back to Charlie Defty but the fullback's shot was blocked for the ball to be cleared down the Harrogate right where Smith set off on a long run and forced a corner from his cross which Howie punched clear only for the return overhead kick by Killock which lacked power and the ball was easily taken by the Lynn keeper.

Next it was Holland with a dangerous cross aimed at Dean but this time the Lynn defence were alert and cut it out in time. Still mainly Harrogate on the attack, a long ball from the goalkeeper set up a three man move involving Smith, Dean and Holland whose shot under pressure went wide.

For Lynn Mark Camm robbed Roddy to find Francis but the winger lifted his centre over the crossbar. Next it was the inevitable Dean picking up the ball near the halfway line to power in on goal but this time he drilled his shot wide with Smith much better placed.

Next Charlie Defty did well to block a cross after a quick throw had caught the Lynn defence on the left out of position. After a foul by Peters, who was spoken to but not cautioned by referee Clark, Young took the kick which Peters headed across the face of goal where the lively Dean nipped in to force a good save from Howie.

As the half drew to a conclusion little had been seen of Lynn as an attacking force.

t Half-time: Harrogate 2, King's Lynn 0

Lynn made a change at the start of the second half with Crane replacing Charlie Defty with Simon Weaver moving to right back.

Lynn forced an early corner which came to nothing. Holland for Harrogate played a diagonal ball to Dean who laid the ball back to Smith who put his shot high over from a good position. Mitchell for Lynn set up Frew who tried a delicate chip which was only inches over.

Frew then forced a corner taken by Francis but a corner break from defence saw Lynn under pressure and eventually clear the ball with Camm lying prone on the ground. The Lynn skipper had to be carried from the field on a stretcher to be replaced by John Turner just on the hour mark.

Crane and Peters had to work hard to deny Holland in another forceful home attack. Minutes later Harrogate increased their lead to three when Young raced on to a through ball to beat Howie on the edge of the area as the keeper came out to meet him. This was on 61 minutes.

Lynn now brought on Bloomfield for Joachim. When Lynn won a free kick for hand ball against Roddy, Frew took the kick but his low drive saw Provett in the home goal dive to save.

Frew then played the ball across the box to Turner whose effort Provett blocked at his near post.

A deep cross by Bloomfield found Turner in front of goal but a defender managed to head clear for a corner as the goalkeeper slipped.

A Crane effort from the resulting flag kick was just held with his fingertips by the Harrogate keeper.

Lynn were now having a better spell and forced another corner which however was cleared by the Harrogate defence for a quick break for a shot to be blocked and followed by a cross which Toulson headed well over.

Howie then had to make two good saves from sharp efforts from Dean and Harrogate substitute Marshall who was on for Holland.

Lynn returned to the attack and won a corner after Boomfield had found Francis whose cross was turned out by the goalkeeper with a Harrogate defender heading on to his own post before the ball was cleared.

Play returned to the other end where Howie was again alert to deny the ever-dangerous Dean who had a second chance moments later following a good cross from Smith. The centre-forward's header passing inches over the crossbar. Next Howie again had to be on the alert when a short back pass left him exposed to a challenge from Dean.

A late attack from Lynn saw Mitchell find Francis whose cross was headed over his won bar by Killock and from the flag kick taken by Francis Crane headed over the bar.

Crane was just able to deny a fourth goal for Harrogate with a last ditch tackle before Fisk became the only player to be cautioned, finding his way into referee Clark's notebook for descent.

In the final move of the game Harrogate completed their dominance with a fourth goal - a pinpoint cross from Young found Dunning on the edge of the area and his unstoppable drive gave Howie no chance.

Lynn's first league defeat was at the hands of a faster and better side on the day.

t Result: Harrogate Town 4, King's Lynn 0

t Attendance 548

t Harrogate: Provett, Toulson, Jamie Smith, Ingram, Killock, Peat, Young, Dunning, Dean, Holland, Roddy. Subs: Marshall, Lowe, Gray, Reay, Hedge

t King's Lynn: Howie, Charlie Defty, Smith, Peters, Weaver, Camm, Joachim, Fisk, Frew, Mitchell, Francis. Subs: Bloomfield, Crane, Turner, Kelly, Murray

t Ref Mr R Clark, Morpeth

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