Holbeach United 1 King's Lynn 3
1st January 1998
KING'S Lynn Town avoided an FA Vase hangover but were far from their best at Carters Park on Wednesday night. A second half equaliser from Holbeach's Omar Joof threatened to heap more midweek league misery on Lynn before late goals from Jack Defty and Steve Spriggs sealed a crucial victory.
The Linnets now trail league leaders St Neots, who they still have to play twice, by seven points at the top of the table with a game in hand.
Linnets boss Gary Setchell said: "It wasn't a spectacular performance from us but at this stage of the season it's all about getting the three points.
"We've had three hard games on difficult pitches and the players have had to dig deep to get the result after Holbeach equalised.
"With playing so many games we've had to mix and match and I think it's no coincidence that Steve Spriggs, who was rested on Saturday, was our best player tonight." Spriggs was one of three changes to the starting lineup from Saturday's cup win on Teesside.
Danny White returned to the centre of midfield alongside Kieran Doherty, with Martin McNeil partnering Ross Watson at centre half. Chris Bacon came in for weekend matchwinner Robbie Harris alongside Defty. Linnets fans were expecting a goal avalanche when Spriggs was the first to react to Defty's knockdown and sidefoot past Richard Lovelace in the third minute, but it never materialised.
After an early spell of Lynn pressure, with Pat Bexfield and Spriggs prominent in most of Lynn's good work going forward, a spirited Holbeach outfit gave as good as they got.
Holbeach loan signing Simon Mowbray found the side netting in the first alarm for Lynn and Street gratefully clutched Joof's free-kick as the hosts began to grow in confidence.
Street was forced to back-pedal to claw out Luke Kennedy's hanging lob from fully 30 yards and was also on hand to save Jonathan Allen's shot with his legs as the hosts finished the first half on top.
The Linnets went in search of a second after the restart but the lively Spriggs drilled one effort wide and another towards the main road, while Lovelace denied Defty from a few yards.
Sixteen minutes from time a sloppy Town defence were punished when they failed to clear a free-kick and Joof pounced to score.
The Holbeach equaliser stunned the Linnets into action and The Walks outfit, boosted by the introductions of both Harris and Luke Thurlbourne, stepped up a gear in the final 15 minutes. In the 82nd minute Spriggs hit the base of Lovelace's post but Defty slammed the ball home when the home goalkeeper failed to deal with Jamie Alsop's centre from the left.
A minute later, Harris cut the ball back for Spriggs to net his second and Town's third.
: Lovelace, Thompson, Courtley, Kennedy, Baker, Warfield, Allen, Joof, Smith (Keeble 84), Mowbray, Newton (Gordon 69). Subs (not used): Elston, Slater, Mason.
Bookings: Joof, Kennedy. Goal: Joof (74).
King's Lynn Town
: Street, Bexfield, Al- sop, McNeil (Buhlemann 64), Doherty (L. Thurlbourne 70), Watson, Spriggs, White, Defty, Bacon (Harris 62), J. Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Moriera, Fryatt.
Bookings: Doherty, Watson. Goals: Spriggs (3, 83), Defty (82). Referee: S. Gray.
: 350. MoM
: Steve Spriggs.