King’s Lynn Town 2 Tiverton 0: First-half goals do the trick for Linnets
First-half goals from Craig Parker and Ryan Hawkins provided the perfect tonic for King’s Lynn Town as they saw off league leaders Tiverton.
The Linnets were coming off the back of their first defeat of the season, in the league at Royston, followed by an FA Cup exit at Nuneaton a week ago.
But they were back to their old ways at The Walks, where their first-half performance was enough to wrap up the points and move them up to third spot.
The Linnets earned their first corner of the game within a minute – a sign of what was to come – when Ryan Jarvis’ shot was deflected.
Then began Leon Mettam’s ultimately fruitless quest for a goal, as he smashed an effort against the left post, with Hawkins’ follow-up shot going wide.
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It was all Lynn in the early stages as their good intricate passing and speed of thought kept them buzzing around the visitors’ penalty area
They should have been rewarded on seven minutes when Parker’s header from Michael Clunan’s free-kick was straight at the keeper.
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Hawkins then did well in the area but keeper Martin Rice saved with his legs keeper.
The breakthrough came on 16 minutes, thanks to quick reactions from Parker, who headed home Michael Gash’s deflected shot.
It stung the visitors into action and within two minutes their skipper, Jamie Price, headed a corner against the underside of the bar, although the lively Mettam’s volley that was just over moments later was a reminder of Lynn’s dominance
That was exemplified just before the half-hour mark when Jarvis’ round-the-corner ball out of defence was picked up by Hawkins, who made his way into the area but was denied by the keeper, who turned his effort away for a corner.
Hawkins was becoming a growing influence on the game, frightening a Tiverton defence that stood off him far too much.
Mettam was denied again with a header, from distance and then at the near post, but on 38 minutes it was finally 2-0, and it was Hawkins who, to the surprise of no one, who got it.
The youngster will need to thank Parker, who turned provider by drawing two defenders on the edge of the area and then slipped a perfect through pass for Hawkins, who slid it past Rice.
Mettam had the ball in the net but was adjudged offside, as Lynn went in 2-0 up – although it should have been more.
As has been the case this season, it was a different game after the break: Tiverton desperately needed to do something while Lynn had to manage the game properly: the visitors threatened on only rare occasions, but Lynn managed it well.
Cameron Norman ended a period of scrappy play when he forced his way into the area and slid a teasing ball across the face of goal but could only watch as it evaded a team-mate.
Frazer Blake-Tracy, who had an outstanding second half, produced a goal-saving tackle on the edge of his own area to half a Tiverton break, but the visitors’ afternoon was summed up in the closing moments when sub Tom Bath skied an effort from six yards.
Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Fryatt, Ward, Jarvis, Clunan, Parker (McQuaid 80), Mettam (Siddons 74), Gash (Gillies 74), Hawkins. Subs not used: Gaughran, Hilliard.
Goals: Parker 16, Hawkins 38.
Tiverton: Rice, Hurst, Gregory, Price, Mammola, Gardner (Bath 75), Short (S Rogers 75), Knowles, Howe (J Rogers 64), L Landricombe, M Landricombe. Subs not used: Horton, G Rogers. Booked: L Landricombe, Howe, S Rogers