King’s Lynn Town 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds 1: McAuley to the rescue for King’s Lynn as strikers fail to fire at The Walks
Rory McAuley's last-gasp equaliser earned King's Lynn Town a deserved share of the spoils at The Walks.
The Linnets were unable to build on the five-goal win at Leiston in midweek and looked to be heading to their third home league defeat of the season following Declan Rogers' spectacular strike – until Lynn's big centre back struck in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
The result left joint manager Rob Back both disappointed and frustrated as to his team's lack of cutting edge at The Walks this season.
'It's becoming really frustrating now,' said Back. 'We were brilliant, outstanding in the week and everything we hit went in. Today it was almost a case of rewind seven days to last weekend with chances being created and missed. It just seems we cannot take our chances at home.'
The loss of striker Adam Marriott due to a slight hamstring problem didn't help Lynn's cause, but Back refused to blame his recent signing's absence as a factor.
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'Everyone has worked really hard today and put in a shift,' he said. 'Harry Limb had a good game and will continue to get his chance as the season progresses. It's two points dropped, but the positives are that we have again created numerous chances, we haven't lost and we keep collecting points.'
Aaron Jones had the ball in the Diamonds net on 20 minutes but failed to see the assistant's raised flag for offside as he began his celebrations and Limb tested Ben Heath with a close-range header as Lynn began brightly. But the nearest either side came to a first-half breakthrough was when visiting forward Jack Bowen hit the base of Alex Street's goal following a flicked header.
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Rogers fizzed a 20-yarder over Street's bar at the beginning of the second half with Ryan Hawkins repaying the compliment at the other end. A mazy Limb run ended with a driven shot that Heath did well to tip to safety as Lynn began to press again.
However, it was from an attacking position that the Linnets were caught out as Rogers found a pocket of space in midfield and placed a 25-yard curler which comfortably beat Street.
Town responded and Heath denied Hawkins with a diving save from close in. Rushden were still dangerous at the other end with Rogers denied by Street's fingertips. Nathan Hicks drove wide from an acute angle and only Tom Lorraine will know how he failed to convert from only two yards to seal the win. That miss was to prove costly when Michael Clunan's free-kick was met by McAuley's head to finally beat Heath and gain a valuable point for Lynn when all looked lost.
Lynn: Street, Jones (Thomas 71), Blake-Tracy, Jarvis (Richards 80), Fryatt, McAuley, Clunan, Henderson, Gash (Parker 69), Limb, Hawkins. Sub not used: Congreve. Scorer: McAuley 90+6
Rushden: Heath, Reynolds, Brown, Westbrook, Dolman, Hicks, Rogers, Farrell (Curtis 71), Bowen, (Dean 88), Diamond, Hopkins (Lorraine 80). Subs not used: Ashton, Punter. Scorer: Rogers 57
Ref: J Burridge (Huntingdon); Att: 816.