Win marred by Warren injury

Mark Warren's late groin injury soured Lynn's FA Cup first round qualifying cruise at Lincoln United.


Lincoln United 0, King's Lynn 3

Mark Warren's late groin injury soured Lynn's FA Cup first round qualifying cruise at Lincoln United.

The Linnets' skipper hobbled out of the action at Ashby Avenue in the closing stages clutching the top of his right leg. Matt Nolan's brace and Warren's stooping near post header had earlier killed the one-sided contest long before the break.

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Keith Webb's side comfortably progressed into today's draw for the next round at FA headquarters but Lynn's boss admitted Warren's long term fitness was his main priority.

"The fact we might've lost Wazza for a period takes the shine of this win," he said. "It's a slight tear in one of his abductor muscles so we'll have a look at training this week, assess the situation, and see where we go. How many games he misses depends on what sort of healer he is. We'll look after him right and he's been a professional so he knows what's needed to manage these type of situations."

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Ex-Norwich defender Craig Fleming is expected to again train with the club tomorrow ahead of a potential Walks switch.

Meanwhile, Warren's central defensive partner Greg Crane featured in the reserves' Ridgeons Premier draw at Felixstowe after missing the last month with an ankle problem.

The luckless Steve Melton picked up a dead leg against United on his return from injury but Webb dispelled fears over the continued absence of striker John Turner. The former Grays' recruit has missed Lynn's last three matches with a niggling hamstring injury.

"There's no worries with JT - I'm just holding him back," said Webb. "He was close for this game but we didn't want to risk the player. I'll be looking to start him against Gloucester in the next one."

Lynn had more than enough firepower to despatch the Unibond Premier outfit after toying with their hosts for long spells.

"For the first 20 minutes we had to grind it out until we scored," said Webb. "Then we started to play some good stuff and I was a little disappointed not to score more. If we're being brutally honest we should have done, but three goals, a clean sheet and we're in the next round.

"At half time we stressed to the boys not to let them back in. If they did manage to score we knew they'd get a head of steam up and it could become a battle."

Nolan and Danny Bloomfield renewed their strike partnership in Turner's absence. Scott Howie returned in goal. Melton was restored to central midfield with Joe Francis paired down the left alongside Ben Chapman. Greg Lake (hip) and Adam Smith (ineligible) sat out the tie.

Home captain Ben Scott palmed away Michael Frew's back post header in a positive start for the visitors. Whites' defender Chris Peet glanced wide at the other end before gifting Lynn the lead from the penalty spot - handling Francis' inswinging set piece. Nolan smashed the spot kick underneath Scott's diving body.

Francis led a swift counter down the left to burst clear of Scott Huckerby but Nolan was inches from connecting with his inviting centre before Peet hacked clear under intense pressure.

Scott acrobatically foiled Frew from point blank range with a flying one headed tip over. Warren doubled the lead from the resulting corner with a brave near post header.

Nolan sealed Lynn's passage into the next round on 38 minutes when he slammed a first time volley past the exposed Scott.

Howie punched clear in an aerial duel with Mark Nangle before United's second half arrival Lee Mellon struck Francis with a piledriver free kick. Nolan was a coat of paint from claiming the match ball when his cute turn and strike clipped Scott's far post.

Howie grasped Alex Rodman's first time effort as United probed for an unlikely lifeline. Francis screwed wide from a tight angle after Frew and Nolan combined to shred the Whites down the right. Steve Spriggs fired over seconds after his introduction. Warren powered a close range header into Lynn's away support after rising unmarked to connect with the excellent Francis' centre.

Lynn's all action skipper exited the stage moments later but the ten-men pressed on. Scott's athleticism denied Nolan again in the closing stages from Jack Defty's driven cross. Jon Douglas spurned a consolation in stoppage time when he hammered against Howie with only the keeper to beat after shrugging off Dean West.

Lincoln United: Scott, Huckerby, Butler (Mellon 45), Peet, Glarvey, Brown, White, Rodman (Norris 69), Jenkins, Nangle (Douglas 62), Wallace. Subs (not used): Mallinson, Alldred.

Bookings: Butler, Peet

King's Lynn: Howie, West, Chapman, Warren, C Defty, Camm, Frew (Spriggs 68), Melton (Fisk 56), Nolan, Bloomfield (J Defty 77), Francis. Sub (not used): Murray.

Goals: Nolan (13, 38), Warren (35)

Referee: I Dudley (Notts)

Attendance: 271

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