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King's Lynn 2 Banbury United 0
15th April 2006
The Linnets got their quest for second place back on track with an improved display, starting with a stunning strike from Jack Defty.
Lynn, who have lost in the away fixture and in the FA Cup to the Puritans this season, were always in control of the game, which saw a spectacular return to form by Defty.
Manager Tommy Taylor was delighted with the win after Lynn's recent two home blips against Salisbury and Merthyr Tydfil.
Taylor said: "We played very well. We passed it better and created a lot of chances for our forwards. Our delivery at corners was also very good.
"That was probably the best we've hit our strikers for a number of weeks. Matt (O'Halloran) stayed wide, while Adam (Smith) over-lapped.
"Both Shaun Carey and Sam McMahon were magnificent for me, and Matty O'Halloran looked sharper."
Banbury had the first chance in the opening minute, a sighter from Wayne Blossom gathered by John Higgs, who started in goal for the first time since Banbury away in January.
The Puritans then rarely featured in the first half. A quick Sam McMahon free-kick found Defty, whose shot was saved for a corner. From that corner, taken by Adam Smith, came the opening goal.
Banbury had two or three chances to clear, but the ball dropped to the back post and Defty pulled off a spectacular overhead bicycle kick to score. The visitors hit back with Blossom narrowly failing to connect with an Andy Baird cross midway through the half and Blossom firing over following a bout of penalty area ping-pong.
Matt O'Halloran replied with a snap-shot which went wide and another tame effort just before half-time, while Dean West was just off-target with a decent attempt.
Despite a continuing dry, bobbly Walks pitch, Lynn were back to passing to feet, and the second half was one-way traffic.
Two minutes after the interval Matt Nolan took the ball over a defender and fired over between the angle of bar and post.
Defty and O'Halloran set each other up for shots, the latter's dipping attempt inches over the bar. Defty had a long-range shot and 20 minutes from the end a Cedric Anselin corner was met by West at the back post, but Tommy Kinch headed off the line.
Nolan had a one-on-one situation, but keeper Alan Foster denied him. Centre-back Grant Cooper lasted nearly 70 minutes after passing a fitness test.
Lynn made the game safe on 76 minutes. Another Anselin corner found the onrushing Defty, who claimed his double with a crisp header from eight yards.
United threatened a couple of times late on, but Smith almost had the final word when, following a long run, he beat three players, cut inside and fired just over the bar.
Lynn: Higgs, West, Smith, McMahon, Cooper (Hammond 69), Camm, Defty (Charles 81), Anselin, Nolan (Hyde 85), Carey, O'Halloran. Subs not used: Peters, Harvey. Goals: Defty 19mins, 76.
Banbury: Foster, Pond, Kinch, Sullivan, Saulsbury, Fuller, Stanbridge (Bridges 74), Lamb, Blossom (Redknap 63), Baird (Gooderick 45), Lazarus. Not used: Tricker.
Referee: P. McCaul (Hunts). Attendance: 841. MoM: Jack Defty.
Report by permission of the Lynn News