EvoStik Premier Division
Matlock Town 3
King’s Lynn Town 1
King’s Lynn Town’s miserable run of form continued as they slumped to their lowest league position of the season on Saturday, writes Greg Plummer.
Lynn began the day still not certain of their Premier Division status with one game to go, having a one point advantage over Matlock, who repeated the scoreline from the corresponding fixture at The Walks.
Julian Banton sliced a couple of clearances and Lynn forced two early corners, Henry Eze heading wide from the second one.
In the 11th minute, Ted Cribley, highly-influential throughout, floated in a free-kick and Banton flung himself at the ball to power a tremendous header beyond Linnets goalkeeper Alex Street.
There was nearly more trouble for the Norfolk side soon afterwards as Niall McManus broke down the left and Street did well to cut out the cross bound for Danny Holland.
Then Jamie McDonagh latched on to a fine Cribley pass but fired wide.
Lynn equalised on 21 minutes with Matlock only having themselves to blame in allowing an unmarked Lee Stevenson too much space from a corner and the loanee from Alfreton Town drove home.
But Matlock’s response was swift and positive.
A brittle Lynn defence was opened up quite brilliantly as Matlock regained their lead with a deliciously-worked goal on 33 minutes.
Cribley was again the instigator, finding McDonagh with a peach of a pass down the right.
McDonagh kept his head to clinically find Holland, whose flick goalwards was helped over the line by a defender, but the Town skipper would be claiming his 103rd Matlock goal.
Adam Yates headed wide from a corner as Matlock maintained the pressure and McDonagh broke through down the inside right channel as the interval approached but fired over as Street came out to meet him.
Eager to get the job done, the Gladiators were out for the second half a good three minutes before the visitors and within eight minutes, the destination of the points was virtually decided.
Again it came from a break down the right and this time it was Micky Harcourt crossing with pin point accuracy for McDonagh to net with a glancing header into the bottom left-hand corner.
Banton and Holland could have added to Lynn’s misery, the defender heading wide from a corner and Holland shooting powerfully inches past the post after a neat, controlled build up, again from the right.
Then McDonagh was mysteriously flagged offside as he burst through the heart of the defence in a solo run.
There was, though, a potential lifeline for the Linnets when Conor Marshall was brought down by the trailing leg of Yates but Stevenson’s 78th minute penalty was simply awful.
It was still rising as it rebounded off the stand behind the Town End goal.
Had the spot kick been converted, it might have led to a nervous ending for Matlock but any fight Lynn still might have had visibly drained from them and it was the hosts looking for further goals before the final whistle.
Matlock: Kennedy, Harcourt, Radford, Needham, Yates, Banton, Cribley, Travis, McDonagh, Holland, (Sabo 75) McManus. Subs not used: Maxfield, Black, Meade and Gaughan.
Scorers: Banton 11, Holland 33, McDonagh 53.
Lynn: Street, Watson, Yong, Fryatt, Eze (Ramm 46), Marshall, Bell, Quigley (Frew 80), Mulready (Zielonka 63), Stevenson, Jones. Subs not used: Spriggs and Stocker.
Scorer: Stevenson 21.
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
King’s Lynn 45 14 10 21 52
Witton Alb 44 14 7 23 49
Frickley 44 12 12 20 48
Stamford 45 12 11 22 47
Marine 45 10 16 19 46
Trafford 43 5 15 23 30
Belper Town 45 5 14 26 29
There was better fortune for King’s Lynn Town Reserves, who won 2-0 at Stowmarket in Thurlow Nunn Division One, thanks to a first-half brace from Jack Frohawk.