King's Lynn 2 Hemel Hempstead 1
24th March 2007
THE Linnets bounced back from their disappointment at Corby thanks to a second half goal from Michael Frew.
Frew – rested for the midweek game by manager Keith Webb – responded in the best possible fashion by creating the first goal and sinking Lynn's play-off rivals with a winner in the 66th minute.
This wasn't a classic performance from Lynn, who had goalkeeper Shaun Marshall and the woodwork to thank for keeping them in the game.
Relieved Linnets boss Keith Webb said: "You have to give credit to Hemel as they were one of the better sides we've played all season.
"They made life extremely difficult for us, but we hung in there and showed a lot of character to come back from a goal down.
"The pitch helped us with it being a bit wet and we worked very hard defensively."
On goalscorer Frew, Webb said: "I've always said that Michael is a class act.
"He is capable of doing that, but he needs to apply himself for the whole 90 minutes."
In-form Hemel were quick out of the blocks and Marshall was called upon to make a smart save in the opening 60 seconds from Gary Sippetts.
Hemel came close to gifting their hosts an early advantage when a mix-up between Chris Wild and his goalkeeper Steve Smith nearly allowed the waiting Bloomfield to pounce.
Frew fired over from 25 yards in the 11th minute before The Tudors took the lead in the 28th minute when Sippetts slid home Steve Sinclair's through ball.
Lynn were back on level terms four minutes later though when Frew's deep cross from the right was headed back across the face of the goal by Matty Nolan and Bloomfield converted with ease.
Wild then saw his header graze the Lynn post and on the stroke of half-time Marshall pulled off one of the saves of the season when he somehow kept out Anthony Thomas' stinging drive.
Hemel dominated the early stages of the second half and Mark Edgeworth hit the top of the bar 15 minutes after the restart.
A few minutes later, a free header for Sippetts was gratefully saved by Marshall when the frontman should have done better.
Lynn took the lead almost midway through the second period when Marshall's long punt was picked up by Frew, whose ghosting run was ended by a crisp left-footed finish.
Frew was quick to dispose of his shirt during the celebrations and was promptly booked.
Hemel replaced the injured Sinclair with 20 minutes to go and any hopes of hauling themselves back into the game ended following his departure.
It was Lynn who created the better of the openings late on with substitute Sam Gaughran and Bloomfield going close.
: Marshall, West, G. Crane, Warren, Blois, Frew, Fisk, Camm, Nolan, Bloomfield, (Gaughran 71), O'Halloran (Defty 55). Subs not Used: D. Crane, Norman, Harvey.
Bookings: Nolan, Frew.
Goals: Bloomfield (33), Frew (66).
: Smith, Bowden-Haase, Wild, Byrne, Yeboah, Brennan, Sinclair (Yoki 70, Valenti 79), Herron, Sippetts, Thomas, Edgeworth. Subs (not used): Lawford, Gould, Mapes.
Bookings: Sippetts, Wild, Bowden-Haas, Thomas, Yeboah.
Goal: Sippetts (29).
: 793. Referee
: M. George (Norfolk). MoM
: Shaun Marshall.