King's Lynn 1, Tamworth 2

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn slipped to a battling Blue Square North defeat tonight against leaders Tamworth at The Walks. Keith Webb's men struggled to cope with the visitors' attacking pace and power before the interval but John Turner's second half strike was the minimum the hosts deserved for a committed fightback.

Paddy Davitt

Lynn slipped to a battling Blue Square North defeat tonight against leaders Tamworth at The Walks.

Keith Webb's men struggled to cope with the visitors' attacking pace and power before the interval but John Turner's second half strike was the minimum the hosts deserved for a committed fightback.

Chris Smith stabbed home a messy opener on 18 minutes for the impressive Lambs. Alex Rodman's exquisite strike on 34 minutes capped a flowing midfield move.

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Turner raced clear to slot in the midst of a home purple patch but Lynn ended the game with ten men after Andrew Fisk earned a straight red in stoppage time for a lunge on ex-Notts Forest defender Des Lyttle that sparked a minor melee in front of the dugouts.

Webb made four changes to his starting line up after Saturday's heavy home defeat against Farsley Celtic.

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Kettering loan recruit Luke Graham was introduced for his debut alongside Greg Crane in central defence after signing on an initial one month loan from the Blue Square Premier pacesetters. Tough-tackling defender Ben Chapman was also recalled after missing Lynn's previous seven matches with a shoulder injury.

Simon Weaver (head) and Mark Peters (knee) missed out after picking up injuries at the weekend.

Midfielder Ben Sedgemore returned along with Turner as Webb unveiled a five man midfield - Jack Defty pushed further forward in a lone attacking role from the kick off.

Danny Bloomfield and reigning Southern League player-of-the-year Joe Francis started on the substitutes' bench.

Michael Frew's scuffed effort in the opening seconds dribbled through to David Bevan from Turner's cut back in a positive early sign of intent.

Bradley Pritchard pounced to lob over Scott Howie's crossbar on five minutes with Lynn again slow to sense danger after shipping four against Farsley Celtic.

Scott Mitchell shrugged off Michael Wylde to burst clear but Bevan palmed away his low angled strike.

Wylde tried his luck at the opposite end with a long range free kick that skidded past Howie's right hand upright.

Graham shepherded behind with Pritchard lurking at the near post. Howie went full length again on 12 minutes but Lyttle's right footer rolled wide.

Adam Smith raced back to dispossess Nick Wright with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle after Charlie Defty's weak free kick sprung a Tamworth counter.

Lambs' midfielder Tom Shaw forced Howie to tip around his near post but Chris Smith nudged the leaders ahead with a scrappy close range strike after Lynn failed to clear the follow up corner.

Mitchell's first time volley flew over from Jack Defty's lay off with Lynn probing for an instant reply.

Wylde's glancing header skimmed behind inside Howie's six yard box on 23 minutes with Shaw - the ex-Mansfield midfielder Webb held talks with recently prior to Tamworth switch - again the chief instigator.

The raiding Lyttle then scuffed two yards wide having arrived late in the Linnets' penalty area with the hosts' brittle defence creaking in the face of Tamworth's attacking armoury.

Turner outmuscled Dominic Langdon tight to the byline but the alert Smith hacked away with Frew sensing a half chance.

Rodman rifled home Tamworth's second on 34 minutes after a flowing midfield move sliced Lynn apart before the pacy striker cut inside to lash past Howie from 16 yards.

Wylde shadowed Jack Defty at the back post with the big striker poised to snap up Frew's deep cross.

Lynn's top scorer headed at Bevan under intense pressure with Frew again the supply line as the Linnets' pushed for a pre-interval lifeline.

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

Frew skipped away from Lyttle on the restart but his high cross evaded Turner. Crane's last ditch tackle foiled Pritchard with Lynn again stretched as Tamworth's young attacking unit moved through the gears.

Adam Smith's sublime through ball teed up Turner but Langdon snapped back as the wideman powered into the box before Graham was inches from a debut goal when Bevan flapped at Adam Smith's inswinging corner.

Tamworth striker Gareth Sheldon lifted over Howie's bar after a cute piece of skill to outwit Graham on the Linnets' penalty spot.

Jack Defty's towering knockdown dropped invitingly for Mitchell but the Rushden loan recruit dragged at Bevan on 58 minutes.

The Lambs' stopper then kicked away Jack Defty's hit from the edge of the area after linking with brother Charlie in Lynn's best spell of the contest.

Crane's miscued header slipped wide from Adam Smith's inswinging free kick as Lynn continued to pin the visitors' back.

Turner hammered underneath Bevan on 64 minutes from 16 yards after galloping clear to fend off Chris Smith.

Adam Smith's rasping long range crack flew into the Hospital End as the home supporters finally found their collective voice with Tamworth now struggling to break out of their own half.

Sheldon's ambitious first time volley rolled through to Howie in an increasingly sporadic raid from the previously dominant leaders.

Webb introduced Julian Joachim and Joe Francis in a bid to set up a grandstand finish with Frew and Jack Defty making way - Turner moving central with Joachim slotting wide right.

The former Coventry and Aston Villa striker had Bevan scrambling with his first touch - a slashing right footer that brushed the side netting from the edge of the box.

Francis weaved around Lyttle but Wylde punted clear before the flyer picked out a falling Joachim who could only hook into the ground from six yards.

Referee Dexter wave away home penalty appeals after Graham's strike hit Chris Smith before the Kettering defender launched himself above a crowd scene to plant his header over from the follow up corner.

Lynn were reduced to ten men in the first of four stoppage time minutes when Fisk was red carded for a lunge on Lyttle that sparked a furious reaction from the ex-league player.

t King's Lynn: Howie, C Defty, Chapman, Graham, Crane, Sedgemore, Turner, Mitchell (Fisk 65), J Defty (Joachim 79), Smith, Frew (Francis 80) Subs (not used): Bloomfield, Murray.

Sending off: Fisk.

Goal: Turner (64)

t Tamworth: Bevan, Lyttle, Langdon, Smith, Wylde, Foster, Wright (Sheridan 45), Shaw (Birley 69), Sheldon, Rodman, Pritchard. Subs (not used): Lea, Burgess, McAughtrie.

Goals: Smith (18), Rodman (34)

t Referee: C Dexter (Leicester)

t Attendance: 742

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