King's Lynn 3 Stamford 1
26th December 2003
THE Linnets stretched their unbeaten run to four games by completing their second double of the season against local rivals Stamford yesterday.
A bumper Boxing Day crowd saw third place Lynn ease to victory with first-half goals from Adam Jones - his first of the campaign - and a trademark header from Jack Defty, before a late third for Dale Watkins on his Lynn debut.
Stamford netted a late consolation, but by then the game was over as a contest.
Robbie Harris, who has had ankle problems, was unable to make the side. So experienced loan signing Watkins came in up front with David Staff. This was the only change from last Saturday's starting XI against Fleet.
Lining up for the Daniels were former Linnets strikers Mark Paul and Malcolm Ndekwe, both on the bench.
The Linnets were given an early scare when a back-pass from Jamie March left Steve Wilson short in the fifth minute, and the keeper was nearly robbed by Gareth Pritchard.
Lynn responded by Carl Holmes heading a Paul Raynor corner wide, and four minutes later Luke McShane was at full stretch to his left to foil Staff after a delightful pass from Watkins.
A mazy run from the rejuvenated Staff caused havoc in the away defence before the ball was scrambled clear for a corner, from which the hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
stabbed home from seven yards.
Lynn maintained their early momentum, and Mark Burrows came close with a glancing header from a whipped-in centre from the busy Raynor.
A quick Stamford break on 28 minutes almost resulted in an equaliser, but Ryan Nash's low drive whistled past the left post.
The Linnets doubled their advantage 13 minutes before the break when Defty
majestically climbed above the visiting defence to head home Raynor's cross.
Two minutes later Wilson ensured The Walks outfit held a two-goal half-time cushion with a point-blank save to deny Nick Ashby.
Staff made mincemeat of the rearguard again to feed Holmes in the 39th minute, but Watkins failed to fire home the midfielder's cutback from an acute angle.
After a quiet start to the second half, Watkins showed his control to bring the ball down for Holmes, who shot straight at McShane.
Holmes then found space to unleash a low drive past the post, but the second period was failing to live up to the excitement of the first.
Ashby was the first to be booked, on 62 minutes following a crude lunge on Staff.
Twenty minutes from the end saw Watkins' clever lob plucked out of the air by McShane, and seconds later Staff blasted into the midriff of the overworked Daniels keeper.
Seven minutes from time Watkins
deservedly got on the scoresheet after dispatching a Staff centre, before Byrne set up sub Kevin Ainslie
in the 86th minute to give the score some respectability.
Ndekwe made little impact on proceedings after coming on at the start of the second half as Lynn set up a
mouth-watering New Year's Day encounter at Histon.
: Wilson, Jones, March, Burrows, Fuff, Raynor, J. Defty, Holmes, Staff (Bacon 87), Watkins, Camm. Subs not used: Woodrow, C. Defty, McManus, Nobes.
: McShane, Donald (Ndekwe 45), Peaks, Ashby, Rhule, Maddix (Ainslie 50), Nash, Steadman (Paul 74), Byrne, Pritchard, Blowers. Not used: Green. Booked: Ashby 62, Rhule 81.
: P. McCaul (Needingworth, Hunts). Att
: 983. MoM
: David Staff.