King’s Lynn Town 0 Merthyr Town 0: Linnets draw rare blank as sides jostle for best play-off spot
King's Lynn Town's six-match winning streak was brought to an end by a stubborn Merthyr Town side.
A combination of an outstanding display by teenage goalkeeper Ed Hewitson and the woodwork denied the Linnets a home league for the first time since early November.
And with all of their nearest rivals winning it tightened up the points tallies of the four teams jostling for final play-off positions.
'I thought we lacked some intensity today,' admitted Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse. 'We needed a little spark from someone and it hasn't happened for one reason or another.
'The game was very stop-start for me and that's partly down to them and the plan they employed. Credit to them as that's what they wanted to do and they got their point. It's gone now so we now plan for Kettering.
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'We are in on Monday and we will go through a few things and have a chat. There's a few of them down in the changing room now but they will respond I'm sure. I'm not going to knock them because for every game this season, except Farnborough away, they have all put shifts in for me and this club. I think the club finished 13th last season and we sit second this which is a huge improvement in a season. We keep going and see where we end up.'
Lynn created more than enough chances in the opening half to be comfortably ahead at the break. Cameron King saw a close-range effort cleared from the line with Hewitson for once beaten and Michael Gash was inches away with a free-kick from 20 yards. He came even closer minutes later when a thundering effort smashed against the bar and cannoned to safety with no home player able to knock the rebound home. Gash then turned provider for Michael Clunan who spooned over from eight yards.
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Alex Street, a virtual spectator for much of the game, made a vital double save midway through the second spell as Merthyr almost benefited from a rare up-field excursion, but this was the exception to the rule as Gash pulled a half volley wide and then produced a fine blocking save from Hewitson as the Linnets became increasingly desperate for a breakthrough.
Town introduced both Craig Parker and Tom Siddons to the fray with the former pulling a shot over and the latter seeing a looping header cleared off the line in the dying minutes as the visitors clung on for a deserved point.
King's Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake–Tracy, Fryatt, Ward, Jarvis, Clunan, Hilliard (Siddons 62), Gash, King (Parker 65), Lappin (Hawkins 62). Subs not used: Mettam, Frary.
Merthyr: Hewitson, Davies, Franklin, Reddy, Harris, Patten, Jenkins (Price 76), Wright, Jones, Morgan (John 45), Traylor. Subs not used: Dima.
Referee: A Sannerude. Att: 721