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King's Lynn 4 Banbury United 1
7th February 2004
MIDFIELDER Carl Holmes bagged a brace as the Linnets stormed to the top of the Eastern Division in emphatic style.
The Linnets were far from their fluent best, but still had enough in the tank to see off a poor Banbury outfit at The Walks.
News that title rivals Tonbridge and Histon both lost, while Salisbury dropped two points at home to struggling Rothwell, soon filtered through on the final whistle to cap a memorable few days at the club.
On a disappointing note, only 763 spectators, less than a quarter of Lynn's FA Trophy gate three days earlier, turned up to see the Linnets stretch their unbeaten league run to nine matches.
The game never promised to be a classic, with Lynn, keen to bounce back after their Trophy exit, forced to make three changes due to suspensions and injuries. Loan-signing Louis Evans showed some nice touches playing alongside Robbie Harris, while David Chick, a new work experience signing from Norwich City on Saturday morning, displayed some promise after coming off the bench for the final 15 minutes.
Some trickery from Evans nearly forced an opening goal in the third minute when his cross was met by Banbury defender Wayne Blossom, who forced keeper Simon Tricker to turn the ball over his bar.
Lynn eventually grabbed the lead in the 16th minute when a delicate chip from Evans found Holmes, who made no mistake with the sweetest of volleys.
Banbury threatened to equalise seconds later when Wilson, who was once again far from composed between the posts, failed to deal with a free-kick and Liam O'Neill headed wide.
Lynn doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark when Gary Setchell's pinpoint cross was met by the head of the unmarked Jack Defty.
Linnets penalty claims were waved away by referee Mr Wade five minutes later after Evans had been clearly clipped on route to goal.
Four minutes before the break, Lynn conceded another soft goal from a set-piece when Ollie Stanbridges's nod-down was turned in by George Redknap for his seventh strike in as many games.
On the stroke of half-time David Staff's in-swinging corner from the left avoided everyone in the box and found a way into the Banbury net.
The game was pretty much a non-event for long periods of the second half, but Lynn still added a fourth midway through the half when Holmes nodded home a Staff corner.
Lynn introduced Chick, nephew of former Norwich United manager Paul, and young midfielder James McManus for the final few minutes and neither of them looked out of place.
Chick twice came close to adding a fifth, only to be foiled by Tricker both times, while McManus belied his years with an assured few minutes after replacing Defty.
Lynn: Wilson, Jones, Setchell, Burrows, Fuff, Woodrow, J. Defty (J. McManus 84), Holmes, Staff, Evans (Chick 72), Harris (Bacon 56). Subs not used: C. Defty and Nobes. Goals: Holmes 17, 69, Defty 30, Staff 44.
Banbury: S. Tricker, W. Blossom (A. Stidder 80), A. Fuller, K. Sullivan, J. Allen, L. Robinson (L. O'Neill 16), O. Stanbridge, D. Billington (C. Jackson 56), C. Potter, G. Redknap, J. Lee. Not used: K. Brock. Goal: Redknapp 41.
Referee: Mr Wade (Boston).
Attendance: 763.
MoM: Gary Setchell.
FACTfileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn News Man of the Match - Gary Setchell
Report by permission of the Lynn News