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Stockport maul hapless King's Lynn Town in one-sided National League encounter

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Stockport County 5 King's Lynn Town 0

Wing wizard Ryan Rydel mauled King's Lynn's woeful defenders as FA Cup giantkillers Stockport County piled yet more misery on hapless Town in an embarrassingly one-sided encounter at Edgeley Park on Tuesday night.

The 5-0 reversal means the Linnets head into Saturday's must-win home clash against relegation rivals Aldershot Town on the back of seven straight league defeats, having conceded 14 goals in their last three outings — and 134 in the league since the start of last season.

By contrast, County are now unbeaten in six in all competitions — including two epic FA Cup tussles with League One Bolton Wanderers, who they defeated 5-3 in a first-round replay last week — since boss Dave Challinor joined at the start of the month from Hartlepool, who he steered into the Football League last season.

Manager Ian Culverhouse can't believe what he is watching as Lynn make another error. (53066055)
Manager Ian Culverhouse can't believe what he is watching as Lynn make another error. (53066055)

Lynn, threadbare in quantity as well as quality, named only three subs, and the squad’s limitations were exposed from the off, as County’s midfield maestros pulled the strings.

Rydel, Antoni Sarcevic and Ryan Croasdale were allowed to spray the ball across the park at will as the Linnets were barely able to get a touch, let alone get out of their half, while Ollie Crankshaw and Scott Quigley peppered the visitors’ goal.

With County’s players creating a multitude of half-chances, it was only a matter of time before they took the lead, which they duly did in the 34th minute after Rydel’s left-footed free-kick from the right dropped to Jordan Keane on the left of the box, and he fired an angled half-volley into the far corner from 12 yards.

Skipper Michael Cunan had Lynn’s first shot at goal a minute later, but it was a weak effort that went wide of the left-hand post.

And with half-time looming, County bagged the second their domination deserved, when Croasdale drove froward down the right after Lynn wasted possession outside the hosts’ box.

He crossed to the left-hand edge of the box where Rydel was charging in, and he smashed the ball across Jones, whose frame could only slow its progress into the far corner.

The second half started just as badly, County taking just three minutes to extend their lead.

Will Collar dispossessed Ethan Coleman in midfield and he sent Quigley clear to the left of the penalty area.

Jones saved his thunderbolt but the ball flew straight to Crankshaw who headed home.

Brett McGavin came on in the 55th minute for Coleman, while Arthur Iontton’s last involvement on his first start was to get booked for a meaty challenge, as he and Malachi Linton gave way to Michael Gyasi and Josh Barrett, as boss Ian Culverhouse gambled on using his final two subs with almost half an hour remaining.

However, County helped themselves to a fourth in the 77th minute after Lynn’s defence twice failed to fully clear the ball following a County free-kick on the left, and sub Ben Barclay cashed in just six minutes after coming on, firing home past Jones’ left hand post from 22 yards.

Biggest cheer of the night from the home fans, however, was in the 81st minute for the return of Connor Jennings to action after getting the all-clear following cancer treatment, as he replaced Crankshaw.

And Jennings completed a fairytale comeback by adding County’s fifth in time added on, shooting through a forest of legs in the penalty area, after Lynn had lost the ball just outside the left-hand side of the box.

The return of Jennnings, and the comprehensive thumping of the Linnets, saw County send their fans home with an early Christmas present in their last home match before the Boxing Day derby with Altrincham.

In contrast, it looks as though the Lynn faithful will endure a very bleak midwinter indeed.

Stockport: Hinchliffe, Kitching, Palmer, Southam-Hales, Collar, Keane (Barclay 71), Rydel, Croasdale, Quigley (Reid 56), Sarcevic. Crankshaw (Jennings 82). Subs not used: Rooney, Raikhy.

Scorers: Keane 34, Rydel 45, Crankshaw 49, Barclay 78, Jennings 90.

King's Lynn Town: P. Jones, Fernandez, Bird, Bowry, Clunan, Coleman (McGavin 54), Omotayo, Linton (Gyasi 63), A. Jones, Sundire, Iontton (Barrett 63).

Booked: Iontton, Sundire, McGavin, Gyasi.

Attendance: 4568 (32 away).

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