King's Lynn 5, Matlock 1
Lynn closed in on the Unibond Premier Division top spot with their biggest win of the season today at The Walks. Ross Hannah had nudged the visitors ahead but Carl Heggs' men powered back to win at a canter.
By PADDY DAVITT
Lynn closed in on Unibond Premier Division top spot with their biggest win of the season today at The Walks.
Ross Hannah had nudged the visitors ahead but Carl Heggs' men powered back to win at a canter to move upto third - two points behind pace setters Ashton. Top scorer Anthony Robinson marked his return from suspension to level from the spot then Owen Story unleashed a thunderbolt to fire the hosts in front before the break.
Heggs used all his nous from a decade spent as a striker in the Football League to poke Lynn further ahead shortly after the restart before debutant Curtis Shaw opened his account and Kwesi Appiah completed the rout in stoppage time.
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Heggs made two changes to his starting line up from the midweek draw at Frickley. Robinson returned from suspension to partner the player/manager with Peterborough loanee Appiah dropping to the bench.
Ex-Mansfield midfielder Shaw started alongside Carl Palmer in the engine room with Joe Magunda switching to his more familiar right back role as Bobby Aisien made way.
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Hannah broke down the right for the visitors in the opening stages but Danny Gay anticipated his near post cut back to grasp in the beautiful autumnal sunshine.
Shaw tried to pick out fellow wide man Ben Muirhead with an intelligent cross field ball that just rolled behind.
Hannah fired Matlock in front on six minutes with a superb turn that left Andy Boyce trailing before drilling a low right footer past Gay from 20 yards.
Robinson drew Lynn level from the penalty spot within five minutes after Heggs tumbled under Mark Harran's rash challenge attempting to latch onto Robinson's initial flick.
Matlock stopper Adam Sollitt was booked for his protests but Robinson coolly sent the keeper the wrong way.
Shaw picked out Heggs in space again but Lynn's player/boss was crowded out by Harran and his defensive pals.
Heggs went down again after exchanging one twos with Robinson on the edge but referee Murphy waved play on - Heggs continuing the debate with the near side assistant as the game restarted.
Boyce's excellent anticipation foiled Steve Warne at Gay's near post after Matlock had again profited down the right.
Harran was booked for a crude hack on the free running Story - Heggs also booked in the aftermath for carrying on his verbal reaction to the challenge.
Warne's long range strike hit Boyce with Matlock's playmaker looking to latch onto second balls at every opportunity.
Danny Spencer stabbed wide 12 yards out from Magunda's deep free kick on 25 minutes as both sides looked to gain the upper hand.
Harran sneaked in completely unmarked on Magunda's blindside but headed Scott Brough's free kick over with only Gay to beat in a major let off for the hosts.
The all action Harran then escaped further punishment for wiping out the overlapping Muirhead down the hosts' left - Lynn's support drawing the official's attention to his earlier caution.
Story's instinctive half volley hit James Lukic and flew behind with Heggs a constant aerial menace.
Sollitt punched bravely under pressure from Boyce before Heggs' far post header struck Simon Stury from Muirhead's corner as Lynn upped the ante.
Story's screamer fired Lynn in front on 31 minutes - the wide man following up his initial blocked strike to rifle into the roof of Sollitt's net from 12 yards.
Gay was called into action twice in the space of seconds in the closing stages of the half to punch Lukic's header away, then arch backwards to grab Nathan Benger's looping header.
Muirhead was crowded out on the restart after quick feet from the former Man United trainee fashioned a half chance.
The wily Heggs sidefooted Lynn further in front on 48 minutes - flicking out a right foot to divert Spencer's back post slice home after Robinson's first close range hit had squirmed to Spencer.
Liam King's speculative curler flew wide of Gay's right hand post from the edge of his box.
Magunda then had to bail out Lathanial Rowe-Turner after the Leicester loanee was turned by Benger.
Robinson's breakout led to another half chance for Heggs from Story's driven cross but Lukic closed down the space.
King tried again from long range with the same outcome. Heggs used all his experience to cushion Rowe-Turner's punt on half way before freeing the overlapping Robinson but Brough raced back to foil Story.
Heggs departed on the hour mark to a rousing reception from the home crowd - Appiah introduced for the final 30 minutes.
Sollit denied Robinson with a smart double stop after Shaw's cute reverse ball left Lynn's top scorer one-on-one.
Matlock's keeper arguably earned his slice of good fortune from Muirhead's resulting corner when the marauding Robinson's ferocious back post strike hit the grounded Sollitt.
Appiah latched onto Story's glancing flick but his wayward intended cross for Robinson almost embarrassed Sollitt as it dipped just over.
Danny Wood cut inside Magunda but struck Story with Matlock pinning Lynn back inside there own penalty box for the first and only time in the contest.
Harran rose highest but headed Stury's corner over then defensive partner Lukic's flick rolled behind from Stury's free kick as Matlock strived to set up a tense finish for the hosts.
Lukic manhandled Robinson dangerously close to the edge of his own penalty box at the opposite end - Muirhead's clipped free kick struck the four man wall.
Shaw capped his impressive debut with a simple slot from eight yards on 77 minutes after Boyce's towering knockdown dropped to the unmarked midfielder.
Adam Yates' last ditch tackle prevented a certain fifth after Appiah picked out Robinson on another rapier home counter.
Appiah then joined the turkey shoot following Muirhead's slaloming run down the left but his half volley clipped Gareth Davies.
Bu the Peterborough man finally got his rewards in stoppage time after Story's attempted lob was parried by Sollitt into his path.
A Matlock streaker dressed in a head-to-toe blue lycra body suit and pink tutu added a surreal finish to this one-sided contest right on the final whistle.
t King's Lynn: Gay, Magunda, Spencer, Palmer (Webb 74), Boyce, Rowe-Turner, Story, Shaw, Heggs (Appiah 60), Robinson (Smith 85), Muirhead. Subs: Aisien, Beswick, McAnally.
t Booking: Heggs
t Goals: Robinson (11), Story (31), Heggs (48), Shaw (77), Appiah (90)
t Matlock: Sollitt, Brough, Yates, King, Harran, Lukic, Wood, Warne (Davies 78), Benger (Cartwright 66), Hannah (Cropper 57), Stury. Subs: Algar, Buxton.
t Bookings: Sollitt, Harran
t Goal: Hannah (6)
t Stoppage time: 1 min / 3 mins
t Referee: N Murphy (Notts)
t Attendance: 897