King's Lynn 2, Stafford Rangers 2
Paddy Davitt Lynn were denied a rip roaring Blue Square North comeback win today at The Walks after Stafford notched a late penalty.
Lynn were denied a rip roaring Blue Square North comeback win today at The Walks after Stafford notched a late penalty.
Rangers' sub David McNiven netted after the Stafford sub had tumbled under Ben Chapman's challenge. Lynn mauled Steve Bull's side for most of the second period following Jimmy Phillips' cute opener before the break.
Simon Weaver scrambled home Jack Defty's towering header on 48 minutes to signal a Lynn onslaught. Michael Frew's flashing header from Joe Francis' cross on 76 minutes looked to have secured all three points under the assistant flagged furiously to hand Rangers a late lifeline.
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Lynn boss Keith Webb had named an unchanged starting line up after the club's FA Trophy win over Rangers.
Defty settled for a place on the bench on his return from a three-game ban with Frew and Julian Joachim handed another chance to impress. Adam Smith and Joe Francis also returned after recent knocks to stiffen a bench missing the departed Danny Bloomfield.
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Danny Alcock confidently pouched Frew's testing free kick in the opening skirmishes before Andre Francis curled wide after Luke Graham's miskick.
Mark Camm's weak effort hit Rangers' imposing skipper Wayne Daniel as Webb's men continued to probe. Jake Moult's flashing half volley from long range briefly had Scott Howie scrambling across his six yard box.
Phillips fired Stafford in front with a sublime curling volley from 20 yards over the motionless Howie. Lynn captain Ben Sedgemore almost replied in kind with a pure half volley a back pedalling Alcock just tipped away.
Luke Graham's last ditch goal line clearance prevented Lynn falling further behind on 28 minutes - Moult latching onto Ben Chapman's weak back pass to nudge past the grounded Howie.
Pierpoint was yellow carded in the aftermath for leading a posse of Stafford players adamant Graham had deflected Moult's angled sidefooter away with arm not chest.
Howie went full length again on 41 minutes but Andre Francis' fizzing effort slid a yard wide. Joachim was inches from connecting with John Turner's drilled cross in the closing stages of a half dominated by Bull's men.
t Half-time: King's Lynn 0, Stafford Rangers 1
Webb made a double switch at the break with Defty and Smith introduced in a bid to pep up a lacklustre Linnets. Camm was re-deployed at right back to accommodate Smith with Weaver switched inside to partner Graham.
Stafford's shoot on sight policy continued with David MacPherson's wild piledriver. Weaver bundled home a Lynn equaliser on 48 minutes after Defty monstered Daniel in a back post aerial duel to tee up the sliding defender.
Defty volleyed wide after Frew burst down the left to conjure a deep cross for the returning striker with the contest lurching from end-to-end. Pierpoint's sliding tackle cut out Defty's vicious angled drive after the big targetman had freed the overlapping Joachim.
Bobby Wilson scuffed wide from the edge of the box with Stafford still a menace on the counter. Defty skewed a header over six yards out under intense pressure from the frantically retreating Alcock after Daniel's miscued clearance skied into the air.
Andre Francis hacked the corner of his own line with Defty and Weaver again prominent at a back post crowd scene. Sedgemore's point blank side footed effort struck Daniel with Alcock beaten from Joe Francis' intelligent cut back as Lynn rampaged at will. Scott Mitchell's rasping strike hammered into Pierpoint in a frantic bout of pinball inside the overworked Stafford backline. Sedgemore hooked a sharp volley over with Defty again wrecking havoc from Chapman's drilled deep free kick.
Frew deservedly nudged Lynn in front with a powerful header from Joe Francis' accurate cross on 76 minutes - Lynn's provider mobbed by his delighted team mates as Frew wheeled away to the home bench.
McNiven dragged Stafford level from the penalty spot on 84 minutes - tumbling under Ben Chapman's challenge after leading a Rangers' break out.
Joe Francis tested Alcock with a tight angled strike in the dying seconds as Lynn pushed forward again.
t Result: King's Lynn 2, Stafford Rangers 2
t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Graham, Thomas (Defty 45), Camm, Turner (Smith 45), Mitchell, Frew, Joachim (Francis 59), Sedgemore. Subs (not used): Fisk, Murray.
Goals: Weaver (48), Frew (76)
t Stafford: Alcock, Francis (Cullingworth 66), Moult, Pierpoint, Daniel, Wilson, Palmer, MacPherson, Briscoe (Proffitt 80), Magee (McNiven 80), Phillips. Subs (not used): Ingram, Allen.
Bookings: Pierpoint, MacPherson, Wilson, Moult
Goals: Phillips (19), McNiven (84)
t Time added on: 2 mins / 2 mins
t Referee: L Betts (Norwich)
t Attendance: 924