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King's Lynn 3 Hitchin Town 0
31st December 2005
THE Linnets went up to third to end 2005 on a sweet note following Saturday's comfortable victory, as Matt Nolan scored on his first start for the club.
Nolan, a recent signing from Cambridge United, ensured that Lynn completed the double over the Canaries and also avenged a double by Hitchin last season.
The forward notched the third goal after first half strikes from Danny Bloomfield and Jack Defty.
Manager Tommy Taylor said: "Matt has done well. His feet are good, and he's just got to play more games to get himself fit. He hasn't played for a month.
"He likes the ball played into his feet. He will score goals, he takes his time in the box, has got great touches there and can see other people.
"Not many centre-forwards see things like that, they're more selfish."
Taylor was not impressed by the performance, adding: "We were poor, didn't look too bright by what we usually are like, but perhaps the players were watching themselves a bit for Monday's game.
"We looked tired and I changed it to 4-4-2 at half-time.
"But we scored three goals and got the three points.
"We'll always create chances, we've just got to keep it tight at the back.
"The first goal, I just looked at the linesman straight away and he put his flag up. Hitchin didn't complain much, so it must have been a goal."
The only change to the side was Nolan coming in for Danny Hammond to renew a striking partnership with Bloomfield formed during their Cambridge City days.
Lynn got a dream start in the third minute with the first attack of the match.
A fine move involving Defty and Matt O'Halloran ended with Sam McMahon's shot being saved and Bloomfield – who has now scored in his last ten home games – forced home from an acute angle for his 16th of the season.
A despairing defender tried to clear, but the referee's assistant ruled that the ball had gone over the line.
Also injured was the referee, Mr Sannerude, who had to replaced by Mr Farrow, one of his assistants.
Local ref Jim Turner, who carried out the morning pitch inspection, thus ran the line.
A two-goal cushion was acheived in the 23rd minute.
Another superb build-up started by Defty saw Adam Smith cross from the left, O'Halloran at the back post volley it across goal, and Defty had an absolute meat-and-drink header at the far post to notch his seventh goal of the season.
This was his second in two games following a two-month drought.
Lynn should have got a third which their crisp play deserved. Defty tested keeper Richard Wilmot from 22 yards, and from the resulting corner Grant Cooper volleyed inches wide.
Lynn lost to injury Cedric Anselin (groin) and Cooper (a cut caused by a clash of heads with Stuart Hammonds, who is also a reporter for the Non-League Paper).
Hitchin had a few efforts, Parys Okai shooting straight at John Higgs and Gavin Jaggard scuffing over seconds before half-time.
The visitors then had much of the ball in the second period, but had little to offer in the final third.
Lynn defended well when they needed to, Cooper's replacement Hammond putting in some lusty tackles, and Higgs' goal was rarely threatened.
The Walks outfit's fourth win in a row was sealed in the 79th minute when Nolan made a goal for himself.
He latched onto a long clearing ball from O'Halloran, outmuscled a defender, rounded Wilmot, and even held off another challenge before rolling the ball home.
Five minutes before the end Smith's through ball was just a little too much ahead of Bloomfield, who could not get enough contact on it.
Then Higgs, whose back seemed to be troubling him, had his first shot to deal with in ages, saving comfortably from sub Wayne Mills.
Comfortable was the word for Lynn, who never had to be at their best to win. But so confident are they at the moment, they're rolling out results almost with their eyes shut.
Lynn: Higgs, West, Smith, McMahon, Cooper (Hammond 45), Camm, J. Defty (Fell 65), Anselin (Carey 29), Nolan, Bloomfield, O'Halloran. Subs not used: Harvey, Heath-Preston. Booked: McMahon 52, O'Halloran 89.
Hitchin: Wilmot, Pugh, Ducket (Hayles h-t), Hammonds, Folds, Hicks, Cavill (W. Mills 61), Jaggard, French, Sozzo, Okai. Not used: Baldry, Lochhead, Jenner. Booked: Jaggard 53.
Att: 928.
Referee: Mr A. Sannerude (Carlton Colville, Suffolk).
FACTfileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn 83 70 7
Hitchin 24 40 14
Lynn News Man of the Match - Adam Smith
Report by permission of the Lynn News