Linnets must tighten up

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 4, Sleaford 1: Town joint boss Gary Setchell is confident the Linnets will tighten up defensively after another power packed UCL home display against Sleaford.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn 4, Sleaford 1

Town joint boss Gary Setchell is confident the Linnets will tighten up defensively after another power packed UCL home display against Sleaford.

Setchell was unhappy at gifting Sleaford an early lead when Gary Walters sidefooted the visitors in front before Jack Defty drew Lynn level to finish off a flowing counter.

Jamie Thurlbourne curled the hosts in front on 32 minutes with a left footer past Andrew Scott before an identical strike on the restart and Kieran Doherty's fourth in the closing minutes capped another comfortable home win in front of more than 700 fans.“Really, really again disappointed with the way we defended for the first 45 minutes,” said Setchell. “But, second half, from the first minute until the end of the game was as well as we've played all season and that includes pre-season. I thought we stroked the ball around well, we were tighter to people, got further up the pitch and that made a massive difference. We are not good enough to outscore every team we play. If you give the top teams a goal start like Long Buckby there is no coming back and we have to instil that mentality into the players. We are back in Thursday and we will be working on our shape, just to stop giving away sloppy goals.”

The hosts made three changes from the weekend stroll over Irchester with Kyle Plumb deputising for Martin McNeil (neck) alongside Brady Stone in central defence.

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Doherty made way for Ross Kelly with Scott Cubberley preferred to Robbie Harris as Defty's strike partner.

Defty's aerial prowess fashioned the first chance with a snap header from Pat Bexfield's deep cross that dropped wide. Walters stunned the hosts from close range but Defty swivelled onto Jamie Alsop's cut back to cap a polished move.

Shaun Popple volleyed into the Hospital End with Sleaford's bustling centre forward Greg Smith a constant menace to the home backline in the opening quarter.

Kelly's razor-sharp throughball set Cubberley free but the ex-Wisbech striker poked at the grounded Scott from 12 yards.

The excellent Thurlbourne rifled Lynn back in front just past the half hour mark with a stunning 25 yard free kick that arrowed around Sleaford's five man wall into the top corner.

Lynn keeper Alex Street was pressed into meaningful action on 38 minutes to grasp Adam Burrows' flick header at the second attempt with Lynn caught out by Walters' teasing delivery. Simon Bolland then tamely dragged at Street with Lynn again flat footed. Scott palmed Jamie Thurlbourne's piledriver onto his left hand post before Ryan Jones completed the clearance in a positive end to the half from both sides.

Burrows was alert to cover on the restart after the marauding Thurlbourne had skipped clear down the left. Thurlbourne punished Sleaford again on 48 minutes with a left footer that Scott could only push into his own net after Defty had been upended.

Thurlbourne embarrassed full back Jones for the umpteenth time as Lynn began to move through the gears but Defty's far post header dribbled wide under pressure from Burrows.

Defty then created a yard of space on the angle of the Sleaford penalty area only to drill behind. Cubberley struck Scott from inside the six yard box in the closing stages with Lynn now totally dominant.

Doherty's burst and slot past Scott was the least Lynn deserved for a dominant second period to end Sleaford unblemished start to their UCL campaign.

King's Lynn Town: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, Stone, Plumb, L Thurlbourne (Doherty 69), Kelly, White (B Smith 59), J Thurlbourne, Defty (Harris 79), Cubberley. Subs (not used): Buhlemann, Hails.

Goals: Defty (20), J Thurlbourne (32, 47), Doherty (85)

Sleaford: Scott, Jones (Shaw 56), Fenton, Sidney, Burrows, Popple, Kirton (Wilson 61), Sedlan, G Smith, Bolland (Weston 69), Walters. Subs (not used): Walters, Harrison.

Goal: Walters (17)

Referee: S Barry (Northants)

Attendance: 710