United Counties Premier Division: Northampton Spencer 1, King’s Lynn Town 2
16:58 10 March 2012
King’s Lynn Town edged a vital victory as they got their title hopes back on track, despite the best attempts of Spencer keeper Quincy Shorunmu.
Goals from Danny Beaumont and Stuart Wall helped the Linnets pick up an important win but it could have been an easier afternoon had it not been for the Spencer keeper’s excellent display.
He made a string of fine saves to deny rampant Lynn who deserved to win at a canter but made hard work of the three points. A late reply from Adam Hancock frayed a few nerves but the Linnets held out for a deserved win - that they nearly didn’t get thanks to Shorunmu’s heroics.
Gary Setchell was forced to replace injured defensive duo Jordan Yong and Ross Watson who both picked up knocks during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Boston Town.
Wall returned to the heart of Lynn’s defence alongside youngster Ryan Fryatt who gave an assured display at Tattershall Road. Wing-wizard Jamie Thurlbourne dropped to left-back to replace Yong while striker Beaumont, who scored the Linnets’ equaliser at Boston, was given a starting berth on the left-hand side of midfield.
Lynn started well and dominated the opening exchanges with Beaumont drifting in dangerously from the left. Captain for the day Jack Defty had a decent header blocked just in front of Spencer keeper Shorunmu as the Linnets searched for an early opener.
And they got the goal their bright start deserved in the sixth minute when neat interplay saw Beaumont’s shot saved - only for the ex-Dereham Town starlet to slot home the rebound.
Beaumont continued his impressive opening to the game when he charged down a clearance and crossed for Defty but Lynn’s big number nine was just beaten to the ball by the home side’s number one Shorunmu.
Spencer’s keeper made decent saves from Jamie Thurlbourne, Danny White and Luke Thurlbourne before the hosts nearly grabbed a fortuitous way back into the game. Darren Frost’s shot on the turn hit his strike partner Paul Pickering but the deflection didn’t catch Alex Street out who made a comfortable save.
Setchell’s title-chasing outfit continued to impress as they stroked the ball around using Defty and Jason Turner as focal points of their attacking play. Time and time again the ball was passed into Lynn’s front pair who held the ball up and moved it on intelligently.
It almost became too easy for the Linnets, who took their foot off the gas towards the end of the first half. But with Fryatt and the excellent Wall snuffing out any danger Lynn’s half-time lead never looked in doubt.
Turner almost doubled his team’s lead with minutes left of the first half but his well-connected volley from substitute Steve Spriggs’ cross flew straight at Shorunmu. Anywhere else and it would have been 2-0 and few people could have argued with that scoreline at the interval.
The hosts began the second half considerably quicker than they had the first but it was Setchell’s side who created the first real opening. Turner worked his way into a dangerous position out wide and his superb centre was crashed against the bar by Defty from close range.
And moments later Shorunmu made another great save, this time from Turner, before Spriggs’ follow-up was blocked by Joe Merrill. And as the missed chances started to tot up you had to wonder if the Linnets would rue their wasted opportunities.
Shorunmu somehow saved Wall’s point-blank header and seconds later his fine work was nearly rewarded when George Hurt raced through for his side’s best chance of the game. However, Spencer’s number 11 lofted his effort over an on-rushing Street and harmlessly wide.
The tempo to Lynn’s play was considerably higher than it had been at the end of the first period and you could sense a second was coming - even though the men in white started to grow desperate with White trying a superlative effort from long distance with his weaker left foot.
It was White who created rampant Lynn’s next chance with a fine tackle followed by a through ball but excellent shot-stopper Shorunmu was on hand to turn Spriggs’ well-hit effort from the edge of the area wide.
But Lynn eventually grabbed a second their dominance deserved and the host’s keeper - who had been excellent all day - should have done better. He palmed Wall’s header into the net much to the relief of Setchell and his players who must have wondered what they had to do to beat the inspired shot-stopper.
Defty spurned another great opportunity when he headed over from close range as Lynn went in search of a third to put the gloss on an attacking display. But substitute Hancock gave his side hope when he headed home Lyval De Costa’s centre seconds after coming on to keep the game alive.
Turner, Dan Buhlemann, Ashley Deeney and Fryatt nearly restored Lynn’s two-goal cushion on the closing stages but had Street to thank for ensuring they secured all three points when he made a fine point-blank save from Hurt with just minutes left.
• Lynn: Street, Deeney, Wall, Fryatt, J.Thurlbourne, White, Hughes (Spriggs, 25), L.Thurlbourne (Buhlemann, 68), Beaumont, Defty (Harris, 74) and Turner
Subs not used: Hails and Watson
• Booked: L.Thurlbourne
• Goal: Beaumont (6) and Wall (66)
• Northampton Spencer: Shorunmu, Nash, Hopkins, Smith (Stevenson, 86), Allcock, Sharpe (De Costa, 70), Smith, Merrill, Pickering (Hancock, 79), Frost and Hurt
• Booked: Merrill
• Goal: Hancock (80)
• Referee: K.Yezek
• Attendance: 198