Hastings United 0 King's Lynn 2
24th February 2004
JOINT boss Darren Bloodworth was full of praise for his depleted troops after seeing them regain top spot in the Eastern Division table.
Midfielder Lee Stevenson, with his third goal in as many games, and Jack Defty's 12th goal of the campaign were enough to give Lynn victory in a professional display.
Bloodworth said: "Tonight's game was always going to be a sticky one for us in the circumstances, especially with the changes we had to make.
' But in the end it was a good performance. We defended well when we had to."
Bloodworth added: "I thought Daniel Hammond was our man-of-the-match against Hastings and that's why I brought him to the club."
"He was unlucky not to make it in the league game and he has played himself into the team. He still has a couple of aspects to work on in his game, but he is a tremendous prospect for us.
"I was also pleased with Charlie Defty's attitude after coming on, in fact I was delighted with how all of our substitutes performed."
An early injury to Adam Jones saw Charlie Defty join his brother Jack on the pitch the first time Lynn had fielded two brothers in the same game since Julian and Mark Howard in 1993.
The Walks outfit handed young central defender Daniel Hammond his full debut alongside Glen Fuff, while Stevenson came in for Mark Camm on the right side of midfield and Robbie Harris linked up with David Staff up front.
A scrappy start saw both sides take time to find their rhythm on a rain-sodden surface.
Joint leading-scorer Carl Holmes conjured up Lynn's first attempt of the night in the eighth minute, but his long-range pot was wide of the target.
But the Linnets and their large band of travelling supporters, who were in good voice throughout the night, didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal when, in the 11th minute, Defty's unstoppable 25-yard drive flew into the top corner of the Hastings net.
Hastings dangerman Carl Rook, who had bagged four goals in the Arrows previous game, created the home side's first opening when he headed wide from a Ryan Peters freekick.
Lynn continued to look the more sharper of the two sides, but it was Hastings who came within inches of redressing the balance in the 20th minute when Mark Goodwin fired wide after racing clear of Gary Setchell.
Moments later, Staff wasted a golden opportunity to double Lynn's advantage, before Hastings broke upfield, only for the in-form Steve Wilson to foil Goodwin with a brilliant save.
Jones was then forced off with a recurrence of the ankle injury sustained against Sittingbourne on Saturday, but Charlie Defty belied his young years with a competent showing at right-back.
But Lynn's immediate worries were soon eased when, six minutes before the break, Stevenson continued his scoring comeback with a fine right-foot finish.
The second period panned out nicely for the Linnets with Hastings lacking ideas on how to break Lynn down
Fuff, who was ably assisted throughout the 90 minutes by Hammond, reacted sharply to deflect Goodwin's close range effort over the bar, but that proved to be Hastings' only clear opportunity of the half.
Jack Defty was denied a second goal by a tremendous point-blank stop from Nessling before substitute Richard Woodrow went close with an audacious chip from just inside the home side's half.
Hastings: Nessling, Elford, EIdridge, Henham, Green, Peter, Spiller (Stickney 83), Ringwood, Sherwood (Ellis 78), Rook, Goodwin. Subs not used: Taylor and Startup.
Lynn: Wilson, Jones (C. Defty 33), Setchell, Hammond, Fuff, Fishlock, J. Defty, Holmes, Staff, Harris (Bacon 61), Stevenson (Woodrow 65). Subs not used: Higgs.
Goals: Defty 11, Stevenson 39.
Referee: Mr Valentino (Bexleyheath). Attendance: 204. Man-of-the-match: Daniel Hammond
Report by permission of the Lynn News