King's Lynn 6, Cirencester Town 2
Martin Davis The Linnets bounced back in style after Tuesday night's disappointing result at Hitchin with an emphatic 6-2 win over Cirencester at the Walks - a team against whom they boast a 100 per cent record.
The Linnets bounced back in style after Tuesday night's disappointing result at Hitchin with an emphatic 6-2 win over Cirencester at the Walks - a team against whom they boast a 100 per cent record.
Also in Lynn's favour was the fact that Cirencester have won only once on their travels this season and are in deep relegation trouble at the foot of the league table.
It was to be hoped, however, that the atrocious weather conditions wouldn't level the playing field.
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With the renewal of Ricky Bains' loan the only change saw Mark Camm, who failed a pre-match fitness test having picked up a knock against Hitchin, replaced by Andrew Fisk in an otherwise unchanged Lynn line-up from Tuesday.
King's Lynn won the toss and elected to attack the Tennyson Road end. Cirencester kicked-off on a pitch made treacherous by pre-match snow and hail.
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Lynn broke down their right wing, with Turner playing the ball across to Francis, who laid the ball off to Fisk, but as he attempted to break into the visitors' penalty area a defender made a timely interception.
Cirencester took a shock lead after just three minutes when Etheridge played a fine ball over Lynn's Gavin Hoyte to find Matty Williams, who calmly despatched his shot past the despairing Howie.
On seven minutes, Crane found Turner, who sent a great cross into the box for Jack Defy to rise to power a header goalwards, only for centre-half Molyneux to make a brilliant goal-line clearance.
For Lynn, Chapman then played a diagonal ball across to Turner, who tried to play a one-two with Bains, but at the crucial moment the Lynn winger tripped when well placed.
Considering the poor underfoot conditions, both sides were playing some good, attractive football in these early stages.
Jack Defty, picking up a loose ball, tried to play in Matt Nolan, but once again centre-half Molyneux made a good interception to deny the Lynn forward his chance.
It was still Lynn, with Jack Defy this time breaking away as the defenders appealed for offside. The goalkeeper was by now well out of his ground, with Defty going round him to lay the ball off to Francis, who missed from point-blank range.
However, the Lynn left-winger redeemed himself some two minutes later when, after Jackson had been alleged to have fouled Jack Defty on the edge of the box, FRANCIS scored with a crisp shot, giving goalkeeper Bulman no chance. This after 18 minutes.
It was still Lynn to the fore as Sedgemore played a fine ball to Fisk, who pulled the ball back to Francis, who could not find a good finish. Cirencester produced a good move after 22 minutes involving several players, but the Lynn defenders finally prevented them getting a clear shot at goal.
On the Lynn right, Bains then found Nolan and he forced a corner from which two goal-bound efforts from Turner and Defty were cleared off the line by Chris Weedon, before the ball broke out to FRANCIS, lurking on the right, who then curled a shot into the far corner giving Bulman no chanceto put Lynn ahead on 25 minutes.
Cirencester attempted to retaliate and Williams had the chance of a shot, but Hoyte got across to make a good block. Chapman then had to head clear from the visitors' free-kick before Crane also had to clear when under pressure and concede a corner.
Crane took a free-kick after Bains had been fouled on the touchline, Jack Defty laid the ball across goal for NOLAN to tap in to put Lynn further ahead after 33 minutes.
Jackson of Cirencester then found his way into the referee's notebook following a foul on Fisk. A clever step-over by Nolan let in Francis, who, however, was brought down by a Cirencester defender, who was cautioned for his efforts.
Francis chipped the kick inches over the bar as heavy snow showers drifted across the ground. Turner then burst past a defender and cut into the area, but his shot-cum-cross drifted wide of the far post, with keeper Bulman stranded. Final action of the half saw Fisk find Francis, who hit a low cross, which a defender just cut out, with Nolan poised to strike.
Lynn added a fourth goal early in the second half when following good build up play NOLAN slid the ball home to maintain his good run of form.
Lynn now replaced Sedgemore with Melton who was soon into the action playing a one-two with Turner before Stevens came across to make a good tackle.
A minute later a superb four-man move involving Turner, Fisk, Nolan and FRANCIS saw the latter peg the ball on and slide it past Bulman for an excellent goal as the keeper came out in an attempt to narrow the angle.
The next action saw Stevens go into the referee's notebook following a foul on Turner. Lynn now made a further substitution with Frew replacing Francis and ironically the ground was now blazed in glorious sunshine with Lynn totally in command and threatening to score with every attack.
However a rare Cirencester attack saw them reduce the arrears with a well worked goal involving Taylor and centre forward Robertson which the substitute placed beyond the largely unemployed Howie.
From a free-kick awarded to Lynn skipper Crane threatened one of his pile-drivers but elected to play a one two with Fisk but then put the return ball over the bar. Turner played a cross which went across the face of the goal out to Frew who beat a defender on the by line before his shot was cleared off the line by centre half Molyneaux the ball breaking to Turner who drove his shot wide of the target.
Lynn now made their final substitution with Bloomfield replacing Nolan. Cirencester now came close after a free-kick with Taylor and Williams skilfully combining before Chapman moved quickly across to snuff out the danger.
On 80 minutes Frew nutmeged a defender and then beat two others but was eventually crowded out just as he was about to shoot. A poor kick out by Howie following a back pass from Bains went straight to centre forward Robertson but he shot over the empty goal from 20 yards. Molyneaux then forced Howie to a good diving save as the visitors gamely tried to reduce the arrears.
With two minutes remaining Lynn broke away and were awarded a penalty kick following a foul just inside the box, BLOOMFIELD easily beat Bulman from the spot.
Just as the game drew to its close a confrontation between Etheridge and Crane saw the Lynn captain booked for the foul and from the free kick Shaxton lifted his effort over the bar.
It was the final action of an entertaining game played in very difficult conditions and left Lynn still well placed in their promotion challenge.
t King's Lynn: Howie, Bains, Chapman, Hoyte, Crane, Fisk, Turner, Sedgemore, Jack Defty, Nolan, Francis. Substitutes: Bloomfield, Frew, Melton, West, Murray.
t Cirencester: Bulman, Weedon, Stevens, Haisley, Molyneux, Jackson, Bailey, Etheridge, Robertson, Williams, Shaxton. Substitutes: Taylor, Stanley, Hunt
Referee: S Feerick (Peterborough).
t Attendance: 921.