King's Lynn Town 5, Irchester Utd 2

Mark Hearle SLIDESHOW: King's Lynn Town got their home United Counties league campaign underway with victory over a gallant Irchester Town at the Walks on Saturday. With all of their other league rivals detained on FA cup business the Linnets took the opportunity to put another three points in their locker in front of a bumper home crowd of over 800 who more than enjoyed the club's first official home game since November 2009.

Mark Hearle

King's Lynn Town got their home United Counties league campaign underway with victory over a gallant Irchester Town at the Walks on Saturday.

With all of their other league rivals detained on FA cup business the Linnets took the opportunity to put another three points in their locker in front of a bumper home crowd of over 800 who more than enjoyed the club's first official home game since November 2009.

The hosts raced into a three-goal lead inside the first 35 minutes of the game with goals from the Thurlbourne brothers, Jamie and Luke, which sandwiched a Martin McNeil effort.

Paul Caswell pulled one back just before the break for the Romans with Lynn having to wait until an injury time strike from substitute Scott Cubberley to be completely sure of maximum points.

Even then there was still time for Caswell to complete a brace before another substitute Robbie Harris put a more realistic look to the final score with the final kick of the match.

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Afterwards Town manager Gary Setchell confessed to being pleased about the result but concerned at some of his team's defending. "Of course I'm delighted that we have won the game today but at times some of our defensive play has not been the best. We have done well to get ourselves into a comfortable position on two occasions and then go and shoot ourselves in the foot in conceding a goal moments later. Being a defender myself I think its fair to say had I been out there today and that sort of thing had been happening I would have been tearing my hair out - some of it was criminal.

"Having said that some of the goals we have scored today have been top drawer and that is pleasing. We know that Long Buckby has long gone but we asked for a reaction to that game and we have seen at Boston last Tuesday and again here today that we have battled well, dug in and have ended up getting what we deserved."

Setchell also paid respect to Irchester who played their part in the afternoon's proceeding's. "I thought they came here to give it a good go and they certainly achieved that. Obviously we got the three goals early doors so that meant that any thoughts of parking the bus were forgotten but they tried to play and kept going so great credit to them for that."

Setchell made just one change to the eleven who secured the Linnets three points on Tuesday as Pat Bexfield replaced Dan Buhleman at full back. There was also relief ahead of kick-off with Jack Defty passing a late fitness test following a kick received in the week.

Defty headed over early on as the Linnets looked for an breakthrough and he missed an even better chance minutes later when he failed to test keeper Nigel Maarman from only six yards.

Defty though did have a hand in the games opener which arrived on 19 minutes as he caused confusion in the Romans' defence allowing Jamie Thurlbourne to drill the ball past Maarman on his near post.

The celebrations had barely finished before the Linnets went 2-0 up courtesy of a McNeil bundled effort close in following Jamie Thurlbourne's corner.

The Romans had chances of their own though with Paul Caswell curling a shot wide and Jamie Gilsenan forcing Alex Street to tip over his own bar.

Despite this pressure the Linnets increased their lead via Luke Thurlbourne's left boot from 16 yards following more hesitation in the visitors' defence.

Paul Caswell pulled one back for Irchester just before the interval as the Romans continued their game battle.

Despite seeing a lot of the ball in the early stages of the second spell Lynn created very little in the way of clear chances and with Paul Caswell being deployed to a more offensive position for Irchester the visitors kept their hosts honest.

The busy Billy Smith was introduced for Kieron Doherty and the move nearly paid early dividends as a curling shot ended just wide of Maarman's right post.

Any lingering nerves of dropped points were finally put to rest in stoppage time with Cubberley scoring a fine individual goal from close in after a run which had taken him past three Romans defenders.

Paul Caswell scored another but the Linnets were to have the final say of an entertaining afternoon as Harris got his name amongst the scorers with a tap in.

t King's Lynn Town: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, Luke Thurlbourne, McNeil, Stone, Doherty (Smith, 77), White (Kelly, 69), Defty (Cubberley, 61), Harris, Jamie Thurlbourne.

Unused subs: Buhleman, Plumb.

Bookings: None.

t Irchester United: Maarman, Hackett, Glass, White,Julian, Paul Caswell, Forbes (Cottingham, 69), Goodall (Duroe, 61), Chris Caswell (Maude, 17) Campbell, Gilsenan.

Unused subs: Hamblin, Mills.

Bookings: Forbes.

t Referee: Mr G Winwright (Woodhall Spa)

t Att: 825