King's Lynn 2, Gateshead 0
Paddy Davitt Lynn sunk title-chasing Gateshead today at The Walks to end their Blue Square North winless drought. Gateshead centre back Matt Hocking glanced past his own keeper on 56 minutes before Linnets' on loan defender Luke Graham sealed the club's first league victory since November 8.
Lynn sunk title-chasing Gateshead today at The Walks to end their Blue Square North winless drought.
Gateshead centre back Matt Hocking glanced past his own keeper on 56 minutes before Linnets' on loan defender Luke Graham sealed the club's first league victory since November 8.
Lynn matched the second-placed visitors in every department with Gateshead's Huddersfield-bound striker Lee Novak a peripheral figure. Mark Peters was a commanding presence in Keith Webb's backline on his first start since hobbling out of Lynn's home defeat to Farsley Celtic in October.
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Peters replaced Greg Crane in the only change to Lynn's starting line up from the midweek defeat at leaders Tamworth - Crane omitted from the match day squad ahead of his four game ban for a rash sending off against Blyth.
Graeme Armstrong tried a speculative long range sighter that floated over Rob Murray's bar in a bright start from the promotion-chasers. Michael Frew's hanging cross sailed behind with Jack Defty lurking after Julian Joachim had fended off Gateshead skipper Kris Gate to fashion a chance.
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Peters used all his nous to block dangerman Novak's angled strike on 13 minutes after the Blue Square North top gun raced onto Jamie Harwood's ball.
Joachim lashed over from Scott Mitchell's intelligent pass in an instant riposte. Mark Camm's first time shot clipped Gate before Armstrong's rising header flew wide at the opposite end.
Joachim burst onto Defty's lob but James Curtis' last ditch stretch foiled the former Coventry striker with Paul Musselwhite racing from his line. Defty muscled his way into the Gateshead six yard box but Hocking hacked behind before the big frontman's glancing header flew just over under intense pressure. Mitchell appeared to dive under Frew's low cross with Musselwhite grasping the ball at the second attempt.
t Half-time: King's Lynn 0, Gateshead 0
Defty's strike on the turn flew straight at the grounded Musselwhite on the restart before the striker was flagged offside after cutely slipping past the Gateshead stopper.
Hocking inexplicably headed Camm's inswinger past Musselwhite to rouse the home faithful into life on 56 minutes. Defty's swinging shot slid into the Hospital End after Johnson powered past Jamie Harwood. Frew's 25-yard free kick flew inches wide with Musselwhite a helpless spectator behind his four man wall.
Novak picked out strike partner Armstrong but his heavy first touch allowed Murray to gather before poking past the youngster's left hand upright seconds later. Defty and Bradley Thomas outfoxed each other in an attempt to latch onto Mitchell's inviting near post cross.
Defty skewed wide on the stretch after Joachim had arrowed a sublime ball towards the back post on 80 minutes - Linnets' boss Webb throwing his hands to his hand in frustration.
Musslewhite parried Peters' point blank header on 83 minutes from Frew's corner before Graham eased soothed frayed home nerves - reacting first inside the six yard box to divert Frew's inswinging free kick.
t Result: King's Lynn 2, Gateshead 0
t King's Lynn: Murray, Graham, Chapman, Peters, Thomas, Camm, Frew, Johnson, Defty, Joachim, Mitchell. Subs (not used): Hurren, Smith, Francis, Fisk, Howie.
Goals: Hocking og (56), Graham (84)
t Gateshead: Musselwhite, Baxter, Smith, Gate, Curtis, Hocking (Holloway 60), Harwood (Francis 76), P Turnbull, Armstrong, Novak, Phillips (S Turnbull 60). Subs (not used): Brackstone, Norton.
Added on time: 1 min / 3 mins
t Referee: N Guest (Grimsby)
t Attendance: 966