King's Lynn rink hockey players maintain top spot in English Premier League
Manchester RHC 2
King’s Lynn RHC 5
Lynn maintained their position at the top of the table in the English Premier League by defeating Manchester on their travels.
The visitors began the game sharply, setting a tone that largely persisted throughout this routine victory for the four-time champions.
With just five minutes played, Matthew Baker opened the scoring with a searching flick that found a home in the corner of the net.
Bar a few lapses of concentration, all of which were confidently saved by Tom Allander in goal, Manchester had little to challenge Lynn’s defence, or stifle their attack.
Baker doubled Lynn’s lead with ten minutes played, latching on to a pinpoint pass to tap in at the far post, while Jamie Griffin, just moments after coming on, set Baker up for his third, sprinting down the left flank before delivering a cross-rink sitter.
Manchester did force a penalty toward the end of the first half, after an infraction by Joshua Horn, but they were unable to convert, Allander stopping the floor-bound effort before diving low to his left to extinguish any extant threat.
Lynn, meanwhile, continued to pepper the yellow and black net, and were soon after awarded a direct free hit for Manchester’s 10th team foul, with Jack Tucker stepping up to bamboozle the Manchester keeper with a dexterous lift dribble the likes of which are rarely observed in the English Premier League.
After a Manchester hook brought down Horn, this time on the receiving end of foul play, Tucker found himself once again standing over the free hit spot.
This time his lift dribble, taken from left to right, missed the target, but Lynn, with their man advantage, comfortably saw their 0-4 lead into half-time.
Lynn burst out of the gates in the second half, Baker finding space in the box to flick his fourth goal of the game high into the back of the net.
With Lynn cruising atop their five-goal advantage, a lackadaisical tackle from Jamie Griffin offered Manchester an opportunity to open their account from the direct spot, which they duly converted with an accurate long-range flick.
Midway through the second period, Josh Roberts, deputising between the posts for Allander, was adjudged to have tripped a home player, whose resulting penalty found the back of the net to give the Bees some hope of getting something from the champions.
Thanks to A10 Auto for their sponsorship.
Vancouver Man-of-the-Match: Matt Baker.
Lynn next face Peterborough away in the Premier League tomorrow at the Bushfield Leisure Centre (5.30pm start).
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More by this authorGreg Plummer