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King's Lynn 3 Salisbury City 1
5th April 2003
THE Linnets are clinging on to promotion hopes by their fingertips after this thoroughly deserved win over the second-place side.
In an entertaining game between two passing sides, the outstanding Lee Stevenson full of flair and good touches scored on his home debut, and pacy Mark Paul also impressed on his return to The Walks.
If they won at St Leonards last night Lynn were six points off the second promotion place with Salisbury still having a possible three-point deduction hanging over their heads.
The Walks outfit got the perfect start in the fourth minute following a great move.
Paul, who showed Lynn fans why he is the club's record sell, crossed from the left, Chris Bacon nodded the ball down and David Staff lurking on the left of the box hit the ball first time into the opposite top corner of the net.
The Linnets continued to dominate the early exchanges, with Stevenson at the hub, and had a number of near-misses.
From his pass Paul just failed to control when in a good position to score.
Paul returned the favour, but Stevenson was denied by a great low save from keeper Kevin Sawyer.
Paul Raynor found Paul with a 40-yard pass, but Scott Bartlett denied him with a last-ditch tackle.
Lynn were punished for not gaining a two-goal advantage when the Lilywhites scored with their first decent chance of the game on 23 minutes.
A corner was half-cleared, Gary Funnell put it back into the Lynn box, and South African striker Stuart Brown chested the ball down and struck home at the near post.
Lynn still threatened. Jack Defty fed Stevenson for a brilliant one-two with Bacon, but this time a defender's legs thwarted him. The persistent Bacon saw a volley just drift over the post and bar.
However, a minute before half-time Paul found Stevenson, who got his reward from close-range at the second attempt after another good Sawyer save.
Stevenson wasn't finished, and his great effort from the touchline Sawyer needed to tip over the bar five minutes after the break. Bacon went close and Sawyer saved at Defty's feet.
But Bacon made the game as good as safe on the hour, volleying into the top of the net after Stevenson had hit the bar with a header.
Salisbury boss Nick Holmes (an FA Cup-winner with Southampton) threw on all three substitutes to no avail, so well did Lynn play.
The visitors were reduced to sub Adam Wallace having two chances which keeper Steve Wilson dealt with.
Lynn had two late efforts cleared off the line, Paul and Stevenson engineering a mix-up between Sawyer and Bartlett which required Nathan Perkins to hack away.
Sub Richard Woodrow was unlucky when John Purches cleared from under the bar.
Lynn: Wilson, Holyoak, Blois, Burrows, Fuff, Defty (Woodrow 78), Stevenson, Raynor, Bacon (Holmes 78), Staff, Paul. Subs not used: Weston, Jones, Nobes.
Salisbury: Sawyer, Strong, Perkins (Witt 76), Purches, Emms, Davies, Bartlett, Funnell (King 63), Phillips, Brown (Wallace 62), Bowers. Subs not used: Killick, Burt
Referee: M. Blackledge (Peterborough)
Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Salisbury405112 Bowers (34, dissent)
Lynn News Man of the Match - Lee Stevenson
Report by permission of the Lynn News