A battling performance of heroic proportions could not save patched up King’s Lynn Town from their fourth straight league defeat at Gigg Lane.

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Two goals in either half – the second highly controversial – from striker Michael Norton meant the latest Linnets A1 excursion would end pointless.

A second red card in the space of four days for winger Jake Jones only compounded another afternoon of frustration for manager Gary Setchell who, for spells of the match, had seen his side go toe-to-toe with the play-off chasers.

Town had slightly the better of the opening quarter, with loan midfielder Liam Hurst rounding advancing keeper Dave Carnell, but his inviting centre failed to locate a team-mate.

United took the lead midway through the first half as Norton’s header easily beat Alex Street at the back post following a wicked Liam Brownhill corner.

The Linnets’ injury jinx struck again moment later as Andrew Hall joined Jason Lee, Ashley Timms and Ryan Fryatt in the main stand as he left the field with a heel injury to be replaced by Massiah McDonald.

Jordan Yong’s mazy run ended with a deflected shot, but the home side finished the half stronger, with the dangerous Matt Wolfenden scuffing wide when well placed.

King’s Lynn started the second half well, with McDonald seeing a shot blocked and man of the match Dan Quigley putting David Bell’s free-kick over.

Hurst fired over as the Linnets took the game to their hosts while McDonald blazed over after creating space before Yong denied Norton with a last-ditch clearance.

Street did well to deny Astley Mulholland in a one-on-one before the game exploded with a straight red for Jones after a tackle on Dave Birch.

With time running out the hosts clinched the game with one of the most bizarre goals many in the 2,083 crowd will have witnessed.

Ryan Clarke played the ball back to Street for what Lynn’s captain clearly thought would be a goal kick with the ball, in his opinion, having crossed the dead ball line.

However, the assistant on the far side deemed the ball had, in fact, remained in play. With Street not collecting the ball cleanly, Norton, almost apologetically, rolled it into an empty net.

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