Chorley 1 King’s Lynn 0
- Credit: Matthew Usher
King's Lynn Town manager Gary Setchell launched a scathing attack on the match officials after a hotly-disputed penalty decision consigned the Linnets to a third straight defeat.
Lynn produced a much-improved display against high-flying Chorley, but still left Victory Park empty-handed after a controversial penalty award tipped a tight game in the home side's favour.
The turning point came in the 49th minute, when defender Ryan Clarke was harshly adjudged to have fouled Dale Whitham in the box as the pair contested a cross.
Referee Matthew Donohue had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and striker Josh Hine promptly swept home the resulting penalty to earn his side a narrow victory.
Setchell said: 'I thought we were robbed. I don't normally come out and blame referees – that hasn't been my style during the four years I've been in this job – but I thought the officials were especially poor today.
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'If referees are going to give penalties for incidents like that then you're going to see 10 or 12 in a game.
'The ball came in, our lad competed for it, their lad used his body, but he didn't push him or shove him or climb up him. So for me we've been let down by the officials.'
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After suffering two heavy defeats on home soil at the hands of Cambridge City and Matlock Town, leaking nine goals in the process, Lynn came to Lancashire with a steely determination not to get beat.
As a result goal-threats were scarce in a largely forgettable first half, Andrew Hall crashing a 30-yard thunderbolt just past Sam Ashton's right-hand post and later Danny Gay rescuing Lynn with a near-post save from a James Dean short-range flick.
The decisive moment came as Whitham went down under Clarke's challenge and Hine dispatched the penalty into the roof of the net.
As the game began to open up, Whitham completely missed his kick from substitute Darren Stephenson's inviting pull-back and then from a long throw-in Dean got in a looping back-header which beat Gay but bounced on the bar.
At the other end, Dan Jacob curled a snap-shot just beyond the far post.
Setchell added: 'You have to give credit to Chorley. They're the best side we've faced in this league but I thought we matched them in a lot of departments.
'They passed the ball well and had lots of possession but I thought we were very resilient.
'It just goes to show you how close we are to being a decent side ourselves.'
Chorley : Ashton, Walmsley, Mather, Teague (Ross 17), O'Brien, Cottrell, Hine (Stephenson 58), Baker, Dean, Whitham, Jarvis (Meaney 71). Subs not used: Vermiglio, Wiles.
King's Lynn): Gay, Fernandes (Thomson 66), Yong, Lee, Gulliver, R Clarke, Mills (Spriggs 81), Quigley, Duffy, Hall (Mulready 87), Jacob. Subs not used : Fryatt, E Clarke.
Referee: M Donohue