King's Lynn boost survival hopes on the pitch as they thrash Barnet in the National League
King's Lynn Town 5 Barnet 1
King's Lynn Town boosted their survival hopes on the pitch at home to Barnet tonight – as owner Stephen Cleeve continues to fight for the club's longevity off the field.
The result – which could prove totally academic come the end of the weekend – was virtually wrapped up in the opening 20 minutes as the Linnets moved themselves out of the bottom three of the league table.
Talisman Michael Gash grabbed two goals against his former club in the first half while Cameron King, Dayle Southwell and Adam Marriott were on target after the break as Ian Culverhouse's side clinched their first double of the season.
It was liquid football from the hosts in the first quarter of the contest as Gash, aided by Cameron King and Alex Kiwomya, tore the visitors to shreds.
The opening goal arrived in the eighth minute after some neat link-up play down the right between Ross Barrows and King, who crossed for Gash to score from 12 yards.
Twelve minutes late it was 2-0 after Barrows teed up Kiwomya do deliver a peach of a cross for Gash to net with a stooping header.
Visiting Barnet reduced the arrears eight minutes later when the hosts were undone by a long ball from Scott Loach which saw Jonathan Hooper slide the ball past Archie Mair.
Gash went close to completing a stunning first-half hat-trick with two headers, one of which was clawed off the line by Loach.
Lynn were just as dominant after the interval, Marriott spooning an effort over the woodwork while Sonny Carey rattled the visiting woodwork.
Their dominance was finally rewarded in the 62nd minute after Adam Marriott crossed for King to score his first league goal of the season.
Four minutes from time Loach could only parry Marriott's fierce shot into the path of substitute Dayle Southwell to make it 4-1 before Marriott had the final say by grabbing Lynn's fifth.
It could prove to be Lynn’s penultimate fixture of the season if owner Cleeve decides to call time on a campaign which could see the curtain brought down with the visit of Weymouth – who the Linnets leapfrogged in the league standings – on Saturday.
Earlier today, the Linnets chairman appealed to football supporters around the world to get behind a pledged donation scheme to help save the club from shutting down.
He said: "Through no fault of its own the club has found itself in a position that it can no longer afford to participate in the National League without the assistance of monies in a grant form.
"If the club took a loan in the current circumstances it would saddle it with a debt which would be around it’s neck for many years to come.
"It would be fair to say that unless a substantial amount of these pledges are taken up there is no guarantee that we will be able to continue this current season."
The players did their part of the deal at The Walks this evening - but whether the club's efforts to survive off the pitch will be as successful remain to be seen.
King's Lynn Town: Mair, Callan-McFadden (Smith 46), McAuley (Jarvis 60), Clunan, Gash, Marriott, King, Barrows, Kiwomya (Southwell 72), Carey, Denton. Subs not used: Gyasi and Mitchell.
Booked: McAuley, Gash.
Scorers: Gash 8, 20; King 62, Southwell 86, Marriott 88.
Barnet: Loach, Connors (McQueen 21), Dunne, Petrasso, Hooper, Kefalas, Taylor, Baker-Richards (Mason-Clark 59), Judd, Daly, Wordsworth (McBurnie 77). Subs not used: Azaze and Faal.
Scorer: Hooper 28.
Shots on target: Lynn 9, Barnet 2.
Shots off target: Lynn 12, Barnet 7
Corners: Lynn 3, Barnet 4.