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King's Lynn 3 Banbury United 1
9th February 2008
THE Linnets showed their battling credentials as they came from behind to record a vital victory in their Southern League promotion push.
Goals from Danny Bloomfield, Jack Defty and Joe Francis - Lynn's three leading scorers this season – cancelled out an early penalty from the visitors.
Linnets boss Keith Webb said: "I thought we played very well in the first half and were good value for the lead.
"I thought the penalty decision against us was a bit harsh, but the players responded in the right way.
"Once we got our noses in front I couldn't see Banbury getting back into it because of the system they played.
"The performance after the break wasn't the best, but we did the hard work in the first half and the most important thing was getting the three points.
"It keeps us top going into probably the three most important games of our season."
The Walks outfit were given an almighty scare as early as the fifth minute when Banbury took the lead from the penalty spot.
Referee Mr O'Sullivan had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after Ben Sedgemore's trailing leg appeared to clip Stuart Bridges and Ady Fuller made no mistake from the penalty award.
The woodwork denied a powerful header from Defty and Frew watched his header hit the back of Greg Crane as Lynn surged forward in search of an equaliser.
It eventually came in the 27th minute when Defty volleyed home his fourth goal in five games from a Frew centre on the right.
Less than a minute later Lynn took the lead when, in their next attack, Sedgemore threaded the ball through to Bloomfield to end his 450-minute drought in front of the target.
Banbury had no answer to Lynn's attacking prowess and only a block from Wayne Blossom denied Defty a certain second.
Lynn's third goal arrived in the 40th minute when West and Frew combined to deliver a cross, which eventually found its way to Francis, whose weak effort trickled over the line.
Banbury thought they had reduced the arrears in first-half stoppage time, but Blossom's header was quite rightly ruled out for offside.
An entertaining first period was let down by an awful second half and Lynn will be well aware that they'll need to be switched on for the whole 90 minutes in the promotion battles ahead.
Efforts on goal were few and far between, with the visitors just about shading the second period on chances created.
Lynn's best opportunity fell the way of Bloomfield, who benefitted from Defty's strength to turn and fire a shot wide.
At the other end, Crane denied Matty Gooderick with a header, while Stuart Bridges was wasteful following an Ady Fuller free-kick.
Crane was on hand to block from Puritans substitute Tom Bryan, while Sedgemore was equally as brave to deny Ollie Stanbridge in a late spell of Banbury pressure.
Lynn: Howie, West, Chapman, Warren, Crane, Camm (Fisk 84), Frew (Turner 82), Sedgemore, J. Defty, Bloomfield (Nolan 70), Francis. Subs (not used): Murray, C. Defty.
Banbury: Wheeler, Feely (Bryan 81), Kinch, Essex, Baird, Fuller, Bridges, Blossom (Murphy 55), Bridge (Gooderick 45), Gordon, Stanbridge.
Ref: B. O’Sullivan. Att: 1,174. MoM: Jack Defty.
Stats, Lynn first: shots on target 5, 5; off target 9, 2; corners 5, 4; offside 2, 5; free-kicks 15, 16
Report by permission of the Lynn News