King’s Lynn Town 2 Kettering Town 1: Linnets battle back in battle for play-off pole position
- Credit: Nick Butcher
King's Lynn Town proved they had the head for battle last night after laying down a marker in the race for pole position in the play-offs.
Victory consolidated their hold on the second place – and if it stays that way it means home advantage in the end-of-season shoot-out.
Headers by Michael Gash and Ryan Fryatt – within seven second-half minutes - pulled Lynn back into the game after Kettering went ahead.
Lynn had settled the better, Cameron Norman causing problems on the right flank, but it was an old-fashioned punt by Alex Street, headed on by Gash which set up Cameron King, but instead of hitting it first time turned inside and a defender's boot took the sting off his shot.
Lynn lost skipper Michael Clunan to injury after just 21 minutes, which brought Simon Lappin into the fray, and within moments Kettering's Liam Bateman was the target of home fans' anger again after clashing with Toby Hilliard. Bateman went down in a heap moments later and the atmosphere crackled again.
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But disaster struck on 52 minutes when Tom Ward brought down Stevens in the area and the referee had little option but to point to the spot - Solkhon did the honours from 12 yards and it was advantage Kettering.
Seven minutes later it was all square - Frazer Blake-Tracy swung in a deep cross from the left and Gash rose superbly at the far post to nod the ball home from two yards. Moments later a Gash piledriver was cleared off the line by Hoenes and Lynn, finally, were on the front foot again, with the crowd in full voice.
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Kettering's luck was in when a Ryan Jarvis shot was deflected inches wide, but from the corner, Ryan Fryatt headed home on 69 minutes. Advantage Lynn.
Kettering lost defender Kalern Thomas to a straight red on 81 minutes after a lunge on Gash.
King's Lynn Town: Street, Norman, Ward, Fryatt, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Clunan (Lappin 21), Parker (Hawkins 63), King, Hilliard, Gash. Subs: Frary.
Kettering Town: White, Thomas, Solkhon, Richens, Mulligan (Carvalho 74), Pendley, Stevens, O'Connor, Bateman, Milnes (Marshall 60), Hoenes (Howe 70). Subs: Toseland, Stohrer.
Ref: T Hancock. Att: 1,147