Evo-Stik Division One South: Newcastle Town 0, King’s Lynn Town 0
Lynn spurned a host of opportunities to draw their first blank since September and drop two points in Staffordshire.
Russell Dunkley, Shane Tolley and Danny Beaumont all missed glorious opportunities as the Linnets blew the chance to move up to second in the table.
The point made it 11 unbeaten for Lynn but it certainly could – and should – have been a return to winning ways on what was a wasteful and frustrating afternoon for The Walks' outfit.
Gary Setchell's in-form troops, third, went into the match having seen their eight-game winning streak in 2013 ended at Carlton Town on Wednesday. But the point did stretch the Linnets' unbeaten spell to 10 in Evo-Stik Division One South – a run which included a 3-2 victory over today today's opponents at The Walks.
The hero that day was Dan Quigley but the midfielder, who bagged a second-half hat-trick, was ruled out of the return fixture after picking up a knee problem during Lynn's midweek draw.
James Jepson came in for the injured fans' favourite while Ryan Fryatt and Tolley replaced Ross Watson and Sam Mulready respectively.
The hosts, 17th, are fighting at the other end of the table and haven't scored at their own Aspire Stadium in the last four games. So it was perhaps no surprise that Setchell's men started the game on top.
- 1 Travellers set up 'unauthorised' camp in popular park
- 2 Large aircraft in shape of whale spotted above Norfolk
- 3 Massive care village and research park planned for edge of Norwich
- 4 Why is Norfolk not introducing a hosepipe ban?
- 5 Mods and rockers taking over Norfolk town for classic bike and scooter meet
- 6 Norfolk attraction to hold its largest ever fireworks display
- 7 City pub to reopen with new owners hoping to bring back 'good old days'
- 8 Woman filmed being raped while she was unconscious, court told
- 9 Rare sighting of Northern Lights captured above Norfolk
- 10 High Court threat to A47 dualling plan
George Thomson fizzed an effort wide, Dunkley headed a Steve Spriggs' corner against the post and captain Richard Bunting went close inside the first 15 minutes as the Norfolk outfit chased an opener.
Lynn's skipper had a drive deflected just wide as he, Spriggs, Jepson and George Thomson controlled the all-important midfield engine room. It wasn't all guns blazing pressure, but the visitors were enjoying a large share of possession and territorial advantage.
They eventually carved out a golden opportunity just after the half-hour mark to take the lead but Dunkley failed to capitalise. Spriggs, who was looking back to his early-season best again, crossed for Thomson. His mis-hit attempt rolled to Lynn's number nine – but he lashed over from eight yards.
'Castle struggled to get out of their own half and when they did they were restricted to diagonal balls into the box, which centre-backs Phil Gulliver and Jason Lee dealt with comfortably, and long-range pot-shots.
They stemmed some of the pressure, of sorts, from the visitors towards the end of the opening 45 minutes to leave the scores deadlocked at the break.
A fine bit of trickery from Nathan Sutton fashioned the first chance of the second period after he dumped Lee on the seat of his pants. Thankfully for the travelling fans his finish was no where as good as his approach play and Danny Gay stopped his poorly hit-strike comfortably.
Tolley skied an effort at the other end as the match hung in the balance. And an outstanding save from Newcastle 'keeper Dave Parton prevented a fine header from the same Lynn player minutes later putting the visitors in front.
Spriggs flashed an effort just past the upright as Setchell's men upped the ante. Could they find the vital goal their dominance deserved? And they should have done when Tolley raced clean through. One-on-one he strode into the box and looked certain to score but curled his effort round the outside of the post, rather than inside it. It was better than Dunkley's chance earlier.
Substitute Beaumont was the next guilty party when he played a clever one-two with Thomson only to slice his one-on-one wide. It was the harder of the three golden chances, but still should have been buried all the same.
Setchell took off defender Gulliver and replaced him with Mulready as he went for broke. Three men at the back. The Linnets' boss was desperate for a winner. He knew a draw was two points dropped.
The hosts' Matt Lowe nearly provided a sting in the tail when he smashed a decent effort towards Lynn's top corner but Gay palmed it over comfortably. An deep in injury time Fryatt scuffed an effort wide, as the hosts surived a handball shout in the box, as the Linnets had to make do with a point – rather than the three they deserved.
Newcastle: Parton, Moyo, Bridge (Whalley, 31), Ruddock, Carter, Askey, Diskin (Gordon, 89), Millar, Sanders, Sutton, France (Lowe, 76). Subs not used: Nicholls, Kenny, Lowe. Booked: France, Gordon.
Lynn: Gay, Fryatt, Gulliver (Mulready, 76), Lee, Yong, Spriggs, Bunting, Jepson (Beaumont, 67), Thomson, Dunkley, Tolley. Subs not used: Watson, Butt, Ward. Booked: Fryatt, Gulliver, Thomson.
Referee: C. Taylor