Joachim marks his return with a bang

Paddy Davitt Lynn boss Keith Webb is challenging his men to dent Droylsden's promotion push tonight after fit-again striker Julian Joachim derailed their play-off rivals at The Walks.

Paddy Davitt

Lynn boss Keith Webb is challenging his men to dent Droylsden's promotion push tonight after fit-again striker Julian Joachim derailed their play-off rivals at The Walks.

Joachim latched on to Adam Smith's perfect pass to calmly lift over Celtic stopper Paul Phillips for a classy match-winning goal that would surely have impressed watching ex-Norwich forward Chris Sutton.

Lynn again endured stoppage time jitters when Celtic dangerman Steve Torpey clipped the outside of Scott Howie's post before Jack Defty's cheeky chipped penalty lobbed embarrassingly over.

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Webb's men now head north for a re-arranged league game on the back of one defeat in ten and a healthy top ten finish in sight.

"It's going to be a tough match," said Webb. "Droylsden have a big squad so they can dip players in and out and they are really going for it. We know what a good football side they are so it should be the type of game that gives us a chance. We've certainly got the confidence and belief.

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"We're on 45 points now but we want to keep pushing. It's really up to the players. I've always had that feeling we have a squad here capable of getting into the top ten. We're in a situation where we'll play teams over these next few weeks all with something to play for. They have to win games and that might help us even more - they'll be positive and so will we."

Webb's inspired second half substitution paid instant dividends with only the crossbar and Phillips' brave late block denying Joachim the match ball on his return from a groin injury.

"He showed that touch of class that we know he has," said Webb. "I thought for the goal he might've done too much and the ball was going over the bar but he has that ability. We just need to get his fitness levels up and tickle him along. It might be a situation again where we bring him on against Droylsden.

"I wanted big Jack on the pitch because he has that presence but playing alongside Kris (Renton) we knew the threat wouldn't be there over the top. The plan was to introduce the quicker lads late on when the game opened up. Dominic (Dwyer) would have got a run as well but as the game developed we were under a bit of pressure and it wasn't the right stage."

Celtic bossed the opening period with their patient passing. Howie was only seriously called into action once, to grasp Ashley Woolliscroft's early free-kick, though visiting skipper Keith Briggs' towering header grazed the outside of a post.

Joachim's arrival tilted the balance of power as he crashed a point blank header against the crossbar from Defty's knockdown before racing clear to notch his eighth of the season.

Howie acrobatically parried Lee Ellington's 25-yarder but Lynn looked to have repelled the visitors until Torpey's stoppage time free-kick cannoned off his left-hand post.

Defty's mini keep-ball session in the final seconds enticed a crude challenge from Rhys Meynell but Lynn's top scorer lifted the spot kick over before the full-time whistle spared his blushes.

King's Lynn: Howie, Graham, Smith, Peters, Thomas, Camm, Fisk, Johnson, J Defty, Renton (Joachim 58), Mitchell. Subs (not used): Dwyer, Kelly, Crane, Murray. Booking: Thomas. Goal: Joachim (62).

Stalybridge: Phillips, Woolliscroft (Barwick 75), Meynell, Keeling, Bowler, Hardicre, Torpey, Briggs, Ellington, Newbold (Barlow 75), Meechan (Sykes 83). Subs (not used): Wilkinson, Jennings. Booking: Newbold.

Referee: M George (Norfolk)

Attendance: 962

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