Seventh draw for Linnets
Paddy Davitt Stafford 0, King's Lynn 0: Lynn dug out a battling point last night to preserve their remarkable unbeaten Blue Square North run. Keith Webb's men pocketed a seventh consecutive league draw this season at Marston Road after weathering a late storm from Steve Bull's home side.
Stafford 0, King's Lynn 0
Lynn dug out a battling point last night to preserve their remarkable unbeaten Blue Square North run.
Keith Webb's men pocketed a seventh consecutive league draw this season at Marston Road after weathering a late storm from Steve Bull's home side.
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Webb handed new recruit from Rushden & Diamonds Scott Mitchell a debut in centre midfield. Adam Smith was given his first start since his move from Peterborough while Michael Frew was deployed as Jack Defty's chief attacking support.
Julian Joachim started on the substitute's bench for the third consecutive game along with midfield duo Ben Sedgemore and David Bridgwater who featured in the weekend draw at Stalybridge.
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New-boy Mitchell headed wide after patient build up play down the right from Frew. David McNiven tested Stalybridge hero Scott Howie with a long-range sighter. Tom Thorley skipped down the left to pick out Andre Francis but Defty bailed out his defence before McNiven blazed the follow up over as Stafford pressed.
Ben Chapman out-muscled David MacPherson to spring a visiting counter but Joe Francis's strike was pushed away by the diving Danny Alcock - Stafford's keeper immediately clutching his shoulder after a heavy landing.
The home keeper received lengthy treatment before being stretchered out of the action with a suspected dislocated shoulder - teenager back up Danny Allen was introduced for his league debut.
Smith's drilled free-kick sailed well over, then Frew's cut back was ushered behind as Lynn finished the half stronger.
Frew's ambitious strike was charged down on the restart with Defty probing for an early counter.
Howie pouched McNiven's attempted lob after Greg Crane misjudged Nic Amos' through ball. Allen miscued under pressure from Defty at the other end but Stafford cleared the danger.
MacPherson's snap shot flew into the home support stationed behind Howie's goal on 62 minutes.
The Rangers front man then badly miscued after Simon Weaver's weak clearance dropped invitingly for the home striker.
Joachim replaced new recruit Mitchell on 68 minutes as Lynn reverted to two up top.
MacPherson curled over from the edge of the box before Stuart Pierpoint's powerful near post header flew just wide after a well timed leap from the raiding Stafford defender.
Palmer tried his luck from long range - Howie berating his outfield players for failing to close down the strike.
Stafford skipper Wayne Daniel went full length to head clear with Joachim poised to latch onto Weaver's cross.
Pierpoint hauled back Francis right on the edge of the Stafford box on 76 minutes - Lynn's wide man lofting the free kick over.
Joachim's cute reverse ball on half way freed the overlapping Smith but Andre Francis tracked back to thwart the ex Norwich youngster.
Howie flew off his line to win a leg race with McNiven but the ball squirted to MacPherson whose lofted shot flew wide of the gaping goal.
Lynn's Scottish stopper produced his best save of the night to push behind Andre Francis's goal-bound strike on 81 minutes.
Sedgemore and Danny Bloomfield entered the fray in the closing stages but Stafford were inches from breaking the deadlock when Palmer poked wide from six yards. Captain Crane threw himself in the way of McNiven's shot in stoppage time before Palmer's fizzing effort flew over with Stafford pushing for the decisive blow.
Stafford: Alcock (Allen 35), Loukes, Thorley, Daniel, Amos, Palmer, Wilson (Ingram 67), MacPherson, McNiven, Francis. Subs not used: McMahon, Spalding, Morris. Bookings: Wilson, Pierpoint, Francis
King Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Peters, Crane, Camm, Frew (Bloomfield 87), Mitchell (Joachim 68), Defty, Smith (Sedgemore 87), Francis.
Subs not used: Turner, Murray. Bookings: Chapman, Crane.
Referee: G Etchells (Crewe)