Photo gallery & video highlights: Evo-Stik Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 2, Trafford 2
16:55 22 February 2014
Archant © 2014
Lynn conceded an injury-time equaliser to blow a two-goal lead at The Walks.
George Thomson’s incisive pass was headed into the bottom corner by Andy Hall in the eighth minute to put the Linnets in front. Just two minutes later the latter crossed for Jake Jones to make it 2-0.
But an easy afternoon didn’t follow as the home side failed to take advantage of their fine start and contrived to make for a nervy encounter. An unmarked Shelton Payne pounced on some slack defending to bring his troops back into it with more than 40 minutes left.
Lynn got deeper and deeper as the match wore on and with the nerves setting in, Jones was sent off for hauling Michael Oates as he broke clear. But the fouled player had the last laugh as he struck in the 91st minute to earn his team a point and put a dagger in Town’s hopes of reaching the play-offs.
Lynn went into the match naming just three subs with keeper Alex Street and midfielder Dan Quigley both suspended and Rob Duffy failing a late fitness test. Gary Setchell’s options weren’t helped by the unconfirmed rumours that utility player Pete Bore had decided to leave the club in the build-up to the fixture.
The hosts handed a debut to work experience keeper Ben Killip who arrived from Norwich City in the week with the Linnets’ usual shot-stopper facing a spell on the sidelines for a Sunday-League based misconduct charge.
The North arrived from Manchester sitting 10 points behind Norfolk’s premier non-league outfit. Both clubs were promoted in the summer but Town have adapted far better to life in the Northern League’s top-flight winning the reverse fixture 2-1 thanks to goals from Duffy and Ewan Clarke.
And the Linnets only took 10 minutes to match the number of times they found the net at Shawe View after an explosive 180-second spell to take command this time around.
The game had been trundling along without any incident before Thomson’s cute chipped ball was cleverly nodded home by the incoming Hall. The goalscorer quickly turned provider when his even better centre picked out Jones and the former Tamworth wideman finished it emphatically by thumping the ball past Kieran O’Hara – who barely moved – first time.
David Bell’s mis-hit cross nearly made it three but the visitors’ keeper just managed to tip the ball over as the Linnets threatened to run riot. The midfielder’s next beautiful delivery created an opening for Thomson but he fired his shot into the ground and it bounced just off target.
At the other end, the Premier League loanee had little to do on his non-league debut until he raced off his line to cut out an attack. Killip’s clearance wasn’t entirely convincing on the stretch but the 18-year-old wasn’t made to pay for it as Trafford’s advances came to nothing.
An offside flag denied Hall a clear route to goal as Lynn upped the ante in search of a clincher. That change of pace aside, proceedings were relatively routine following a quickfire opening. Yet Setchell’s side deserved credit for their hustling and hunting in packs which stopped the away team from building up a head of steam.
A fine move involving Bell and Jordan Yong created a glorious opportunity for Sam Mulready as half-time approached. He was denied by O’Hara’s outstretched left foot and the Trafford keeper was alert moments later to deny Gary Mills’ well-struck drive after the ball had found its way out of the box.
As the second period began, Killip was yet to be troubled. And he still hadn’t when the visitors hauled their way back into the match, thanks to some sloppy defending.
Payne peeled away to collect a corner from the edge of the area and, with plenty of time to compose himself, drove home to give Trafford hope. Lynn had let the Whites back into the game and they only had themselves to blame.
Despite conceding, the yellows remained on top territorially. That said, they looked considerably less threatening than they had done earlier on. A wild Jones shot which went out for a frustration was a sign of the wideman and his team-mates’ frustrations.
A raking ball from Mills from left to right raised noise levels but unfortunately Mulready dragged his attempt wide at the end of a decent break.
As the clock kept ticking, an air of anxiousness filled the home of the top-five chasers. That worry increased when Stephen Mason strode into the danger zone. Thankfully for the home faithful he was flagged offside and even if he hadn’t of been Killip pushed his header away.
Jones did his team a favour by hauling the charging Oates down – but had to be given his marching orders. And a day that had promised so much ended up delivering so little as Oates beat Killip to a cross at the death to make it 2-2.
Lynn: (4-2-3-1): Killip, R. Clarke, Fryatt, Lee, Yong, Mills (Sanders, 82), Hall, Bell, Thomson (McDonald, 79), Jones, Mulready. Subs not used: E. Clarke. Booked: Jones (x2). Sent off: Jones. Goals: Hall (8), Jones (10).
Trafford (4-2-3-1): O’Hara, Beadle (Welsh, 57), Smart, Mason, Bayunu, Schofield, Payne, Andrews, Oates, Fallon, Hackney (Ashton, 76). Subs not used: Palmer, Jones, Heron. Booked: Schofield, Bayunu, Payne. Goals: Payne (49), Oates (90+1)
Referee: A. Wilson
- Video highlights provided by King’s Lynn Town’s official YouTube channel.