King's Lynn begin 2022 with defeat at league leaders Chesterfield in the National League
Chesterfield 1 King's Lynn Town 0
King's Lynn Town started 2022 with defeat at league leaders Chesterfield despite a hard-working display in this afternoon's National League encounter at Derbyshire.
Liam Mandeville notched the only goal of the game six minutes into the second half as the Spireites – unbeaten on home turf this season – extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches without defeat.
Injuries again dictated manager Tommy Widdrington's hand with club captain Michael Clunan missing the game after testing positive for Covid with Pierce Bird, Arthur Iontton and Kyle Callan-McFadden joining him on the sidelines.
Defenders Luis Fernandez and Aaron Jones – handed the captain's armband in Clunan's absence – both returned to the Lynn starting line-up while there were debuts for both Theo Widdrington and Olly Scott.
There was a few minutes delay to the kick-off after a change in referee due to sicknes with fourth official Jack Hall replacing Thomas Parsons in the middle.
As expected, the Spireites dominated possession in the opening quarter, but their only sniff of goal arrived after a long goal-kick from Scott Loach was flicked on by Saidou Khan for Kabongo Tshimanga who wasn't able to get a telling touch inside the penalty area.
Lynn's first opportunity came courtesy of Josh Barrett who raced onto a through ball on the right before trying his luck with an effort which flashed wide of the target.
Manny Oyeleke then played in Chesterfield's top scorer Tshimanga, who was denied by a brilliant tackle by Lynn's Dan Bowry and the ball went behind for a corner.
Bowry's name went into the book for taking an age over a throw-in but Lynn came through the first 45 minutes unscathed after a gritty display.
The deadlock was broken six minutes after the restart as Mandeville was given too much time on the edge of the Linnets box before squeezing his shot Paul Jones.
Eight minutes after going behind, a surging run from Ross Barrows ended with the Linnets defender firing narrowly wide from long range.
Jones made a great double save to thwart Tshimanga, who had registered seven goals from the three times in the dying minutes as Chesterfield threatened to double their advantage.
Chesterfield: Loach, Miller, Whittle, Gunning (Grimes 64), King, Oyeleke (Kellerman 66), Weston, Mandeville, Khan, Tshimanga (Asante 90+2). Subs not used: Kerr, Payne.
Scorer: Mandeville 51.
King's Lynn Town: P. Jones, Fernandez (Kurran-Brown 84), Bowry, Coleman, Omotayo, Widdrington (McGavin 73), A. Jones, Sundire (Charles 62), Barrett, Barrows, Scott. Subs not used: Linton, Knowles.
Booked: Bowry, A. Jones.
Attendance: 6,328 (93 from King's Lynn).