Linnets march to eighth win in row

Mangotsfield 1, King's Lynn 3: King's Lynn kept up their Southern League Premier Division title chase with their eighth successive win - this time at the expense of magotsfield.

Mangotsfield 1, King's Lynn 3

King's Lynn kept up their Southern League Premier Division title chase with their eighth successive win - this time at the expense of magotsfield.

Grant Cooper, Matt Nolan and Sam McMahon were the Linnets' scorers before the hosts pulled back a late goal through Casey.

Lynn made their final long journey of the season down to the South West yesterday for today's Southern League Premier Division fixture against Mangotsfield, near Bristol.

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The Linnets were defending a tremendous run of seven consecutive wins and were unbeaten in 11 games, from which has seen them jump right into the championship race.

Five home fixtures plus an away game at Grantham will bring the 2005-06 season to what it is hoped will be a hugely successful season for the club.

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Lynn were immediately on the attack and forced two quick corners.

From the second, after three minutes, a West shot was blocked on the line, but Cooper forced the ball home.

Mangotsfield began to get into the game and, after nine minutes, Benstead fumbled a cross and then dropped the follow-up effort before falling on the ball and clearing the danger.

McMahon then fired narrowly wide before Willmott shot over for the home side.

Two minutes later, Claridge headed wide from a good position as Lynn appeared to be having difficulty with the flight of the ball in the strong crosswind.

After 19 minutes, Paul did well to chase a long ball and fire a shot against the outside of Benstead's back post - a let-off for the Linnets.

Minutes later, another long ball was missed by everyone in the Lynn goalmouth before running out of play.

A free-kick by Willmott was woefully wide as Lynn continued to struggle to clear their lines.

Another Willmott kick flew past the post as the home side continued to push forward using route one tactics at every opportunity.

As half-time approached, Lynn began to put a few passes together with both Defty and O'Holloran almost getting through, but the whistle came with no further addition to the score.

The second period started in a hail and rain downpour with the wind gusting to gale force.

It was the home side's turn to cope against the elements and after 48 minutes they went two down following a long ball into their half, which top scorer Nolan pounced on to lob into the net.

Charles replaced Defty for Lynn and they increased their lead after 50 minutes when home keeper Greaves made a real hash of attempting to keep clear. He completely missed the ball and McMahon raced through to clip the ball into the home net to give Lynn a 3-0 lead.

With Tuesday's game against Salisbury in mind, Nolan was then replaced by Hammond and Harvey came on for Cooper.

Greaves in the home goal was then injured and was replaced by full-back Summers with Anyinsah coming on at full-back.

With the game seemingly won, Lynn allowed the home side back into it for a while, but Benstead remained untroubled in the visitors' goal.

Charles was put clear on 76 minutes, but fired his shot too close to Summers and the substitute keeper managed to clear his lines.

Five minutes later, O'Holloran was through but dragged his shot wide - chances that could be vital in the closing stages of the league programme.

Mangotsfield pulled one goal back from a rare attack when Casey, unmarked in front of the Lynn goal, sidefooted home.

Lynn supporters, apparently hearing news of a Banbury equaliser against Salisbury started to celebrate but their euphoria was short-lived when it emerged that Salisbury had won the game 2-1 with the last kick of the match.

It makes Salisbury visit to The Walks on Tuesday a mouth-watering encounter.

t Mangotsfield: Greeves, Summers, Lock, Cousins, Warren G, Casey, Wilmott, Warren T, Claridge, Paul, Lane. Subs: Seal, Anyinsah, Howlett.

t King's Lynn: Benstead, West, Smith, MacMahon, Cooper, Camm, Defty, Anselim, Nolan, Carey, O'Halloran. Subs: Peters, Harvey, Hammond, Charles, Higgs.

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