Time running out for Linnets

King's Lynn Town defender Ross Barrows is disconsolate as Grimsby celebrate

King's Lynn Town defender Ross Barrows is disconsolate as Grimsby celebrate after opening the scoring at The Walks - Credit: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town’s hopes of National League survival hang by a thread. 

While Lynn were losing at home to promotion hopefuls Grimsby, Aldershot were going down at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.  

But the stalemate in a two-horse survival rate is of little use to Lynn: they are eight points behind with four games to play – two fewer than Aldershot who occupy the final safe place. There is little doubt Lynn ran themselves into the ground against Grimsby, but it doesn’t need a mathematician to work out they are in dire straights. 

Lynn boss Tommy Widdrington made three changes to the team which lost at Notts County on Good Friday. Munashe Sundire returned from suspension, Luis Fernandez started in one of the three centre-backs roles and Josh Barrett, who missed Meadow Lane because of injury, returned. Out went Cam Hargreaves, with Aaron Jones and Jak Hickman dropping to the bench. 

Lynn had an early sighter when Barrett and Tyler Denton worked well on the left of the area and Denton slid a low ball to the near post which Gold Omotayo clipped wide. 

Moments later it was the turn of Clunan and McGavin to impress, the Lynn skipper sliding the ball to Denton whose right-footer on the turn was pushed away by keeper Max Crocombe. 

But Lynn had keeper Paul Jones to thank for preventing a Grimsby opener, coming out quickly to smother a shot by Emmanuel Dieseruvwe. 

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Grimsby lost top scorer John McAtee on 21 minutes to a wrist injury, with former Norwich City man Tristan Abrahams coming on. 

Theo Widdrington flashed a shot wide of the far post after Grimsby failed to clear his corner from the left and with the visitors beginning to warm up, the atmosphere became heated at times with Lynn left bemused by some of the officials’ decisions. 

Keeper Jones came put quickly to deny Abrahams and Coulson was forced to head off the line as Max Wright’s nodded the loose ball towards the net. 

Lynn’s goal lived a charmed life and Grimsby fired in a series of shots and headers – Omotayo twice headed them clear among a tangle of bodies before Jordan Cropper curled an effort just wide which ended the siege. 

Lynn were giving as good as they got, and a lovely out-ball by Sundire found Barrett who cut in from the left but fired straight at the keeper. 

Barrett then tried his luck from the other side but this time the fall slipped a foot wide of the left post. 

But in time added on, Grimsby struck, Danny Amos’s shot coming back off Jones’s left post, and falling to the feet of Abrahams, who jinked left and right and left again before firing the ball home from eight yards. 

It could have been worse – Jones did well to keep out a Dieseruvwe effort after being left facing three red shirts as Lynn’s defence disappeared. 

Lynn will have felt hard done by after their first-half efforts, but any hopes of a quick response were blunted by a Grimsby side who looked like they’d had a half-time rocket. 

The Mariners built up a head of steam and Dieseruvwe should have doubled the lead before Denton headed Luke Waterfall’s header off the line. 

Lynn’s were defending manfully, but a Grimsby goal looked inevitable as the hosts tired.  

Sub Sean Scannell should have put it out reach but skewed his shot wide with only Jones to beat, before the keeper did well to deny Dieseruvwe as Grimsby wasted chance after chance. 

There was still hope for Lynn as full-time approached, but the vital break just wouldn’t come. 

King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, Sundire (Walker 77), Coulson, Fernandez (Charles 85), Barrows, Clunan, McGavin, Denton, Widdrington, Barrett, Omotayo. Subs not used: A Jones, Hickman, Kurran-Browne. 

Grimsby: Crocombe, Cropper, Smith, Waterfall, Amos, Wright (Scannell 70), Fox, Clifton, Maguire-Drew (Burgess 90), Dieseruvwe, McAtee (Abrahams 21). Subs not used: Pearson, Sousa. 

Att: 3,111