Linnets left waiting to end winless run

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 2, Gainsborough 2: New Year - but a familiar Blue Square North script. Lynn looked set to ring in 2009 by ending a winless league run stretching back to early November after goals from Luke Graham and Joe Francis capped a vibrant opening stanza.

Paddy Davitt

New Year - but a familiar Blue Square North script.

Lynn looked set to ring in 2009 by ending a winless league run stretching back to early November after goals from Luke Graham and Joe Francis capped a vibrant opening stanza. But Trinty struck twice in the second half to keep Keith Webb's men waiting a little longer.

It was all going so well in the opening half. Frontmen Michael Frew and Julian Joachim had sparkled in the absence of Jack Defty (chest infection). Lynn's young backline had marshalled Trinity's Boxing Day destroyer Luke Beckett.


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Linnets' keeper Scott Howie was largely redundant behind his resolute defence while stand-in skipper Adam Smith was orchestrating the midfield skirmishes and Francis was again Lynn's tormentor-in-chief after carrying the fight in a losing effort at Gainsborough six days earlier.

Joachim freed the overlapping wide player for the first of a series of penetrating forays inside the opening quarter.

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Francis' measured cut-back rolled a yard behind the on rushing Andrew Fisk. Graham glanced home Francis' inswinging free-kick to nudge Lynn in front. The omens looked promising - a carbon copy of the Kettering loanee's late winner at Hucknall the last time Lynn bagged all three league points.

Francis scampered away again only for Scott Mitchell to be out-muscled at the near post. Gareth Davies' cynical waist high trip felled Francis. A signal of Trinity's growing irritation.

Frew was inches from connecting with Joachim's impudent flick before Mitchell drilled over.

Ryan Mallon belatedly pressed Howie into action with a rasping strike. The effervescent Frew galloped on to Fisk's first time volley but dragged a cross shot wide with Joachim racing up in support.

Francis doubled Lynn's lead on 31 minutes - latching on to Joachim's glancing header to coolly roll underneath Adam Sollitt from 16 yards.

Lynn reined in the attacking verve on the restart. Trinity huffed and puffed but needed Howie's intervention to breach the home defences.

Colin Marrison bundled the ball over the Linnets' goal line after Ian Ross' floated centre squirmed through Howie's grasp.

Joachim's 25-yard screamer flew wide. Francis miscued horribly on his swinger ten yards out. Lynn's collective early confidence visibly seeping away. The prolific Beckett was denied by the assistant's flag on 79 minutes when Lewis McMahon's cut back was adjudged to have crossed the byline.

Greg Crane's last-ditch touch foiled McMahon with Howie the exposed last line. The Scot's athletic point blank reaction stop denied Beckett from the corner but McMahon poked home through a forest of bodies.

Trinity's pocket of travelling supporters erupted in celebration at the Tennyson Road end as McMahon was mobbed by his team mates.

Relief laced the euphoria at completing an improbable comeback. Crane headed over from point blank range as Webb's men launched a late counter surge.

Sollitt dived bravely at Joachim's feet with the ex-Coventry man moving through the gears to try and gather Mitchell's slide rule through ball.

t King's Lynn: Howie, Graham, Chapman, Thomas, Crane, Smith, Fisk, Mitchell, Frew (Turner 76), Joachim, Francis. Subs not used: Camm, Weaver, Peters, Murray. Booking: Smith. Goals: Graham (9), Francis (31).

t Gainsborough Trinity: Sollitt, Davies, Drury, Wilson, Ellis, Anson, Mallon (Marrison 56), Ross, Beckett, McMahon, Hall (Bird 68). Subs not used: Austin, Spafford, Cullingworth. Booking: Davies. Goals: Marrison (61), McMahon (83).

t Referee: G Law (Leicester)

t Attendance: 1,051.

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