Joachim goal secures Lynn win

A Julian Joachim strike secured all three points for King's Lynn against first-time visitors Stalybridge Celtic, the side with the league's best away record.

A Julian Joachim strike secured all three points for King's Lynn against first-time visitors Stalybridge Celtic, the side with the league's best away record.

This afternoon's game was the middle game of a trio of matches against Cheshire opposition which will culminate in the visit to Droylsden on Monday.

Lynn lost the toss on a bitterly cold and windy afternoon. The first goal threat came from Stalybridge when Lee Ellington hit a free-kick, took a deflection and from which Scott Howie made a fine save in the Lynn goal. When a long ball from defence saw Jack Defty nod the ball onto Renton he was closing in on goal but was halted by an offside flag.

For Celtic, a break on the right saw Steve Torpey put in a dangerous cross, cleared by Camm.

Celtic had the ball in the net when Ellington played in with a through ball from midfield found Newbold, but it was offside.

A spell of Celtic pressure was eventually relieved by Johnson, the Lynn captain. A free-kick for Celtic, taken by Torpey, was laid square into the path of Hardicre who shot low through a crowd of players. Howie got down to save but could not hold it and a defender cleared. Lynn now forced the first corner which was taken by Mitchell, but the wind played havoc with the ball and blew it away from the goal with no threat.

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A ball in from Stalybridge's right saw Briggs, the visitors' skipper, fire in a low shot which Graham turned away for a corner. Torpey's corner found Ellington, but the ref blew up for a foul on the Lynn keeper. A long ball out of defence from Stalybridge saw Ellington and Thomas in a chase for the ball, which was won by the Lynn centre half who was able to turn the ball back to Howie.

Stalybridge now forced their second corner from which Bowler got in a header on target but it was easy caught. From a Celtic free-kick taken by Torpey, the wall was cleared by Camm but only as far as the Celtic winger who reached the byline but put his cross on the top of the Lynn net.

At the other end Jack Defty tried a speculative shot for Lynn but his effort went a couple of yards wide. Two close offside decisions pulled up Lynn in promising positions. Torpey, who was proving a constant threat, put another ball into the box which Ellington just failed to connect with, under pressure from Graham.

For Lynn, Renton tried a cross from the right, the ball holding up in the swirling wind which, under pressure, keeper Phillips did well to catch. When Lynn again got the ball into the box it fell to Adam Smith who blazed his effort over.

Torpey's trickery on the right flank allowed him to cross for Bowler to fire a volley just over the Lynn bar. Lynn forced a corner, which taken by Smith hit the foot of the post. The rebound went to Graham but it was saved.

Half-time: Lynn 0, Celtic 0

Celtic's Ellington fired a shot over the angle of bar and post. When a ball won by Jack Defty who found Mark Camm who played in a long diagonal ball which Johnson just failed by inches to turn in. Celtic skipper Briggs made a run but when he reached the by-line was unable to pull the ball back which went over the bar. Stalybridge forced their third corner taken by Hardicre who found Torpey but Lynn full-back Graham blocked for a corner which was played in for Briggs to head inches past the post.

Next Thomas was cautioned for a foul and from the free-kick he headed away for a further corner to Stalybridge taken by Torpey and when the ball came back to him he cut in but his shot was blocked by Smith. Another ball across the face of the Lynn goal from Ellington who did well to work the opportunity saw Torpey blaze high over an open goal, a miss Celtic had cause to rue later.

On the hour Lynn made a substitution, taking off Renton to be replaced by Joachim. When Defty tried to play him through goalkeeper Phillips was quick off his line to smother the danger. Lynn now forced their third corner taken by Smith which was headed away by Briggs for Mitchell to play back in, the ball being headed out for yet another corner from which Joachim's header hit the top of the bar, but ruled offside.

On 62 minutes JOACHIM put the Linnets ahead when after an awful miss by centre-half Bowler he raced through to chip the ball over the advancing Phillips.

Stalybridge's Newbold then found his way into ref George's notebook following a foul on Thomas. When Mitchell was brought down by Hardicre, Smith curled his free-kick straight at keeper Phillips. For Stalybridge a three man move combined well on the right-flank but ended with a poor finish from Briggs.

Ellington did well for the visitors to again work a cross when under heavy pressure but once again Torpey was guilty of a bad miss. Lynn then played the ball well across the middle of the park to Johnson to cross from the right touch line, a ball which was just too high for the diving Jack Defty.

An error from Hardicre allowed Joachim to again break clear but this time he was denied by a great diving save at his feet by keeper Phillips. When Ellington received the ball for Stalybridge he made a great turn and fired in a fierce drive, which brought a brilliant save from keeper Howie.

Peters made a good tackle when Ellington made a dangerous-looking break for the visitors. In stoppage time Celtic were awarded a centrally-placed free-kick, the shot taken by Torpey beat the diving Howie but struck a post.

Lynn were awarded a penalty in the last minute of stoppage time which Jack Defty, trying an audacious chip, put over the bar.

Final score: Lynn 1, Celtic 0

King's Lynn: Howie, Graham, Smith, Peters, Thomas, Camm, Fisk, Johnson, J Defty, Renton, Mitchell. Subs: Joachim, Dwyer, Kelly, Crane, Murray.

Stalybridge Celtic: Phillips, Woolliscroft, Meynell, Keeling, Bowler, Hardicre, Torpey, Briggs, Ellington, Newbold, Meechan. Subs: Barwick, Wilkinson, Sykes, Barlow, Jennings. Ref: Mr M George, North Walsham. Att: 962.