Linnets on fire

King's Lynn maintained their focus and their impressive league form with a thoroughly professional win over Cirencester, despite the hullabaloo which has surrounded the club since last week's momentous Cup victory.

King's Lynn 2, Cirencester 0

King's Lynn maintained their focus and their impressive league form with a thoroughly professional win over Cirencester, despite the hullabaloo which has surrounded the club since last week's momentous Cup victory.

The Linnets returned to home Southern League action for the first time in six weeks with the visit of the in-form Cirencester Town who, since the Linnets beat them 6-1, have gone a run that has seen them win three games and draw three games in the last seven.

King's Lynn club officials spent a busy morning selling tickets for the FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic, which has seen queues snaking around the Walks stadium since midday.

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The Linnets started on a positive note with Melton finding Defty as early as the first minute which saw visiting keeper Sawyer in action for the first time of the afternoon.

Frew then produced a mazey run which ended with a tame shot which rolled wide of its intended target. McMahon then joined the Linnets' attack as he saw a speculative first time effort clear Sawyer's bar. Cirencester were well and truly on the back foot.

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However, home defender West had to be alert as Richards closed in on a cross which was eventually cleared from danger. The Linnets were awarded a hand-ball with 10 minutes on the clock. Cowe was adjudged to have handled the ball by referee McCaul and Frew stepped up to take the spot-kick which saw Sawyer produce a comfortable save to keep the scores level.

On 14 minutes, Griffin had a fine shot palmed away by Marshall and shortly afterwards West cleared from the line as Richards' shot from two yards seemed destined for the net. The impressive Melton again found Frew who shot over the bar and shortly afterwards the same player cleared the bar again when possibly a cross to the marauding Cooper would have presented his side with a better chance.

Cirencester still felt they had a chance in the game and a long range Smith effort brought the best out of home stopper Marshall.

Then, following a succession of pressure, the Linnets finally took the lead on 34 minutes.

A loose ball was collected just inside the 18-yard box by FREW who unleashed an unstoppable pile-driver which hit the back of the net with Sawyer still diving.

Melton, again in the thick of the action, put a delightful low cross into the area which saw Frew scuff the shot wide.

Shortly afterwards Frew teased his marker before delivering the perfect centre for O'Halloran who somehow missed the target from two yards. Smith again for Cirencester just before the break cleared Lynn's bar as he searched for his side's equaliser.

Half time: King's Lynn 1, Cirencester 0.

The Linnets began the second half again attacking Cirencester at will as the impressive Melton saw his header smothered by Sawyer. Defty then joined in the action as he saw a curling shot go just wide of its intended target.

The home side deservedly doubled their lead on 55 minutes as Melton smashed the ball home after Defty's initial header had only been parried away by Sawyer.

Cirencester were then stirred into action as Symons beat Warren but the Centurion's front man shot glanced across Marshall's area. The action switched to the other end with a through run and shot which ended in Sawyer's grateful arms and O'Halloran running at the overworked visiting defence but again his shot ended wide of its intended target.

A delightful passing movement involving Nolan and Melton created a superb chance for O'Halloran to get his name on the scoresheet, however the wide man's shot was disappointing. Lynn continued to attack at will with substitute Nolan finding acres of space on the left as he picked out O'Halloran again who blazed wildly over the bar.

Melton again popped up in the Cirencester area only to see his header from close range saved by Sawyer at the second attempt.

Cirencester substitute Etheridge saw an effort gathered by Marshall but the game ended with the home side well on top with centre backs Cooper and Warren both seeing headed efforts cleared to safety by a grateful Town defence.

t King's Lynn: Marshall, West, Smith, Warren, Cooper, Camm, J Defty, McMahon, Frew, Melton, O'Halloran. Subs: Notman, Crane, Norris, Nolan, Higgs.

t Cirencester: Sawyer, Smith, Regis, Leigh, Holder, Molyneaux, Richards, Jackson, Symons, Griffin, Cowe. Subs: Hall, Etheridge, Munroe, Rogers.

t Referee: Mr P McCaul (Hunts FA)

t Attendance: 1,471

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