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By GAVIN CANEY
, Sports Reporter
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
King’s Lynn Town picked up a point against last season’s runners up at The Walks tonight - but it should have been three.
Striker Jason Turner missed a host of chances, including an 86th-minute penalty which was saved by Martin Kearney, as the Linnets drew for the first time this term.
Gary Setchell’s side were looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season at Sheffield FC on Saturday. But they were going to have to do it without suspended midfielder Dan Quigley and injured striker Russell Dunkley.
Carlton, managed by former Linnet Les McJannet, arrived in Norfolk with a fierce reputation. They finished second last season and had picked up six points from six on the road so far this season.
So perhaps it was no surprise that the Millars started with a spring in their step as they dominated possession in the opening exchanges. Matthew Varley’s Rory Delap like long throw-ins were causing concern for the men in yellow with first Joe Naylor and then Josh Thornton going close with headers.
With chances at a premium, Alex Street did well to save Wes Henry’s effort with his legs just before the half-hour mark as the hosts struggled to gain territorial supremacy.
But when they did, in the last five minutes of the half, they exploded into life creating a flurry of chances that should of been converted. Ross Watson saw three decent efforts go close but Jamie Forshaw and Turner were the guiltiest parties.
A sweeping move from back-to-front which involved Rob Hughes, Richard Bunting and Jordan Yong presented Forshaw with a one-on-one opportunity. He blazed horribly over. And then Turner pounced on a poor Kearney goal-kick to create a golden opportunity of his own, but scuffed his shot at Carlton’s keeper.
Nick Hall missed a sitter for Carlton at the start of the second 45 while the usually-lethal Turner missed two more outstanding chances as Spriggs continued to offer a creative threat from out wide.
The Millers tired as Lynn took control but they nearly went in front when Phil Gulliver deflected a cross onto his own cross bar. Ryan Fryatt’s goal-saving block in the aftermath was as brave as it was athletic.
And to sum up his night in front of goal, Turner’s spot-kick was saved with five minutes left, after Yong had been brought down in the box. To his relief, in injury time, Carlton substitute Ruben Wiggins-Thomas missed a free header from six yards as both teams went home with a point.
King’s Lynn: Street, Watson, Gulliver, Fryatt, Yong, Spriggs, Bunting, Hughes, Thurlbourne, Forshaw (Beaumont, 67), Turner. Subs not used: Johnson, Ward, McLeish, Buhlemann.
Carlton: Kearney, Darkin (McVicar, 26), Gordon, Asher, Varley, Hall, Thornton, Naylor, Henry (Wiggins-Thomas, 58), Whitehurst (Smithson, 79), Kimberley. Subs not used: Clarke. Booked: Varley, Kimberley