King's Lynn 0, Team Bath 0
Martin Davis King's Lynn v Team Bath: The immovable object of the league's best defence (Team Bath) came up against the irresistible force of the league's best attack (King's Lynn) in the vital top-of-the-table clash at The Walks.
Kings Lynn 0, Team Bath 0: The immovable object of the league's best defence (Team Bath) came up against the irresistible force of the Southern League Premier league's best attack (King's Lynn) in the vital top-of-the-table clash at The Walks this afternoon.
Manager Keith Webb had some tricky selection problems before finalising the starting line up.
Several players were suffering knocks, Ben Chapman (ribs), Mat Nolan (ankle), had more morning fitness tests, while Joe Francis had not trained all week and was very doubtful. Charlie Defty was suffering from a virus, and also out was Gavin Hoyte (hamstring), while goal keeper Scott Howie served his one match ban for his sending off at Hitchin, Robert Murrey deputises in goal.
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In the event, Keith Webb made three changes from last week's line up from Chesham, the afore-mentioned change in goal but Chapman passed his test and returned instead of Charlie Defty. However Francis failed his, leaving Stephen Melton to move from the bench to take the number 11 shirt. A surprise substitute for Kings Lynn was the inclusion for a bench place of Kieran Deane who returned from his trials with numerous league clubs.
Kings Lynn kicked off facing a stiff swirling breeze in their top of the table with Team Bath. An early ball into the box from Sean Canham saw Danny Wring twice have early efforts blocked, before centre forward Arnold shot high over the bar.
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Wring was again to the fore as he found Mark Canham who's cross was cut out by a good relieving header by Crane. Early play was tentative as the protagonists felt each other out.
Mark Canham found Sean Canham on the right flank cross came to nought. For Kings Lynn a free kick from Sedgemore saw a Team Bath defender miss kick the ball breaking to Nolan who in turn fed Melton but the winger shot was blocked.
After Camm had a shot blocked Kings Lynn were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, Sedgemore curling a kick over the bar. Kings Lynn forced a corner which was taken by Melton with Jack Defty rose well to put a powerful header into the goal keepers arms. A minute later, a flowing Team Bath move involving Wring, Sean Canham and Arnold ended with Murrey in the Lynn goal making a comfortable save.
On the clearance, Nolan under pressure however managed to get his shot away but is sailed over the bar. Mark Camm had to receive treatment after a clash with Abbott. For Kings Lynn, Crane did well to cut out a deep cross from Arnold with Sean Canham poised to strike.
A spell of Lynn pressure was finally relieved by a desperate clearance from Adams.
On the half hour a Team Bath corner was cleared up field but Chapman was eventually stopped by a defender close to the corner flag. Kings Lynn forced another flag kick again taken by Melton but Team Bath cleared after a scramble. Murrey then made a fine save after a threw ball from L El-Abd put Arnold through on goal but the keeper did well to make the block. The move ended with Sean Lamb firing high over the Lynn bar.
For Kings Lynn a good diagonal ball from Nolan to Turner saw the later make a good run deep into Team Bath territory to return the ball to Nolan who in turn found Jack Defty but the Lynn centre forward shot was blocked. A ball over the top saw Arnold break on the Team Bath left and get in the cross which Murrey handled confidently clearing up field for Defty to win a fruitless corner.
Just before the interval Sedgemore had a shot charged down by Abbott and Nolan from the rebound sending in a low shot which Meredith got down well to save. The midfield battle had been hard and unrelenting with the issue still in the balance.
Half-time: Kings Lynn 0, Team Bath 0.
Lynn had a good chance early in the second half but Sedgemore fired over though a corner was given for what appeared to be a slight deflection. When West brought down Arnold for a free-kick to the visitors, Murrary under pressure had to punch clear and then be helped out by his defence to complete the clearance. Camm set up Turner for Lynn who forced a corner which was taken by Milton, the ball coming out to Sedgemore who fired back but straight at goalkeeper Meredith. In the Lynn defence Crane did well to deny Sean Canham after the ball had been played in by the Bath right. Next action saw Team Bath's centre forward Arnold making his way into referee Miller's notebook for kicking the ball away. After Turner had a shot blocked for Lynn, Mark Camm fired the rebound high over the bar, this after 65 minutes. A minute later Lynn had a clear let-off when Takumi Ake, after receiving from Arnold, hit a shot against the Lynn crossbar with the keeper well beaten and then his follow-up shot went straight into the midriff of the Lynn keeper. Lynn returned to the other end and from yet another Melton corner, Crane got in a header which was dropped by Meredith but no Lynn forward was on hand to apply the vital touch. On 70 minutes, Jack Defty was the next to find his way into the referee's notebook following a foul. From the free-kick taken by Team Bath on the right, Arnold again missed a good shooting chance by firing high over the bar when well placed. Team Bath now replaced Arnold after 75 minutes bringing on Matt Coper. From the free-kick taken by Wring, the ball went straight through to be caught by keeper Murray. Melton now won a corner on the left, the ball when breaking to the right, where Defty was fouled earning fullback Barnes a caution. Bath now made a further substitution replacing Wring with Perrot. Lynn made their first change after 83 minutes with Melton being replaced by Michael Frew. Crane then had to make a good saving tackle at the expense of a corner after Team Bath had won an aerial ball as once again Sean Canham was poised to strike. The corner was cleared with difficulty as desperate defending kept the visitors at bay. Following a further corner Abbott tried a ground shot but Murray went down to save well. Just before the end, Mark Camm again had to have a lengthy period of treatment after receiving what appeared to be a neck injury. He was replaced for the final couple of minutes by Andrew Fisk. At the end of this hard-fought encounter, the honours were even with both sides rueing their missed opportunities. Following the injury received in the closing moments Mark Camm was taken to Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for check-ups.
Final Score: King's Lynn 0, Team Bath 0. Attn: 2,336
Kings Lynn: Murrey, West, Chapman, Baines, Crane, Camm, Turner, Sedgemore, Jack Defty, Nolan, Melton.
Subs: Bloomfield, Frew, Fisk, Deane, McAnally.
Team Bath: Meredith, Adams, Barnes, Abbott, Lamb, L. El-Abd, Ring, Marc Canham, Arnold, Sean Canham, Ake.
Subs: Dillon, Perrot, Green, Coper, Cooper.
Ref: C J Miller from Kettering.