Battling Linnets out of luck

Malachi Linton scores for King's Lynn Town against Torquay United

Malachi Linton celebrates after his first-half goal - Credit: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town produced the performance - but not the points – against Torquay. 

The Linnets put in a mighty second-half performance but just couldn’t take their chances.  

Given a couple of recent below-par displays in front of their own fans, it had all the hallmarks of a game that simply came two months too late – had Lynn shown this sort of urgency at the turn of the year, relegation might not be quite such a certainty. 

Lynn made two changes from the midweek draw at home to Woking, defenders Aaron Jones and Ross Barrows returning with Luis Ferdinand on the bench and Tyler Denton not in the squad. 

The visitors were struggling to keep the linesman’s flag down in the opening stages as Josh Coulson marshalled his defence well. 

Torquay did find a way through on 12 minutes when Danny Wright nodded a free-kick into the path of Connor Lemonheigh-Evans but the frontman blasted it over the advancing Paul Jones – and the bar. 

Wright got on the end of another free-kick, but there was no one in the area to take advantage of his touch. 

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Josh Barrett had Lynn’s first meaningful effort on 18 minutes, his right-footer wide of the right post. Minutes later the same player skipped through a series of tackles before dragging a deflected shot wide. 

Barrett was taking centre stage and got closer to the breakthrough on 26 minutes when a free-kick was narrowly too high. 

Lynn were holding their own, and more, but in the 30th minute Dean Moxey’s throw deep on the left found the head of former Dereham Town striker Wright who flicked it back and past Jones. 

Wright got a second on 35 minutes, drilling a low shot past Jones: it was a goal that owed much to Aaron Jones, forced to play out of position at left back, who had to cut inside to his favoured foot but lost possession. 

Barrett should have levelled two minutes later but keeper Shaun McDonald came out quickly to block. 

Stephen Hearne really should have put Torquay out of reach just before half-time but shot tamely at Jones. 

But with time added on, Cameron Hargreaves squeezed in a shot which Malachi Linton got a toe to and Lynn were back in the game. 

All hope was seemingly not lost – although it might have seemed that way seven minutes into the second half when Stephen Juke-McKenna rammed home a shot from 12 yards.  

But then came a moment of magic from Brett McGavin who fired in an absolute screamer from 30 yards on 57 minutes to bring Lynn back in it – again. 

Lynn’s tails were up and had Michael Clunan’s shot not been blocked the place might well have erupted. 

Barrett’s goalbound free-kick took a deflection, but the momentum dimmed a little when McGavin landed awkwardly and had to be replaced. 

Connor Kurran-Brown’s mazy run was ended by keeper McDonald. 

It was all Lynn, but, just like the season, they ran out of time. 

King’s Lynn Town: P Jones, Hickman (Sundire 70), Coulson, Barrows, A Jones, Clunan, McGavin (Charles 75), Hargreaves, Barrett, Linton (Kurran-Browne 61), Omotayo. Subs not used: Fernandez, Walker. 

Torquay: McDonald, Wynter, Lapslie, Omar, Lemonheigh-Evans, Wright, Little, Wearne (Holman 73), Johnson, Juke-McKenna, Moxey. Subs not used: Halstead, Martin, Hall, O’Connell. 

Att: 870