Kettering Town 1 King’s Lynn Town 0: Linnets knocked off their perch in battle of the top two

King's Lynn Town's Michael Clunan missed a penalty at Kettering. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town's Michael Clunan missed a penalty at Kettering. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town relinquished top spot after coming off second best in their biggest match of the season.

It was first against second, but Aaron O'Connor's 23rd-minute strike reversed those position in front of more than 1,000 fans at Latimer Park.

The Linnets are now two points behind, but will be kicking themselves after missing a golden opportunity which may well have changed the complexion of the game: the usually reliable Michael Clunan missed from the penalty spot when his effort struck the bar after keeper Paul White had pulled down Leon Mettam.

The Linnets began brightly, with Michael Gash testing White with a header and Tom Ward heading wide from the resulting corner. Clunan then proceeded to miss his spot kick and Mettam scuffed a shot wide before O'Connor decided the game with a low strike which gave keeper Alex Street no chance. Lynn responded well with Ward heading wide. Clunan then saw White parry his goalbound effort and Gash had a shot deflected wide as the Linnets continued to press.

Mettam hit the far post with a low driven shot and headed over on the half-time whistle.

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The second spell continued on the same theme, with White producing a fine double save to deny Gash. Ryan Jarvis then played Gash through, but again White was in fine form to deny the Lynn forward.

Referee Paul Forrester then showed Poppies midfielder Michael Richens a straight red following an altercation which left Linnets full-back Cameron Norman in a heap in his own box as he prepared to defend a corner.

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The visitors continued to dominate, with substitute Ryan Hawkins drilling straight at a grounded White.

Fellow sub Craig Parker lofted a shot over, despite controlling most of the game Lynn left empty-handed.

Kettering: White, Bateman, Marshall, Solkhon, Toseland, Stohrer, Milnes (Stevens), Richens, Meikle (Thomas), Howe, O'Connor (Hoenes). Subs not used: Akindi, Snow. Goal: O'Connor 23

Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracey, Gaughran, Ward, Fryatt, Clunan, Jarvis, Gash, Mettam (Hawkins), Lappin (Parker). Subs not used: Siddons, McQuaid, Frary.

Ref: Paul Forrester. Att: 1,019

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