Second place looks a lot closer as Linnets strike again
King's Lynn Town put a large cat among the play-off pigeons with a 2-0 victory over their closest rivals.
Having disposed of Alvechurch in midweek, the Linnets went to Stratford just one point ahead of their hosts.
Ninety minutes later, the gap was four, courtesy of a goal in each half from strikers Adam Marriott and Michael Gash, and, with second-placed Stourbridge losing 3-2 at Royston, means runner-up spot is four points in the other direction.
Kettering and Stourbridge had looked to have the top two spots stitched up, and while the Poppies are romping it, 11 points clear, there is now a real tussle for the first, and supposedly most advantageous play-off spot.
Manager Ian Culverhouse said: “I thought we were very, very good today. The pitch didn’t allow us to play, but the times we did get the ball down we looked very composed on it. We tried to play in the right areas, the back four defended everything with Peds (Alex Street) in behind and it was a real professional performance.
“Stratford started the second half very well, so we changed our shape to nullify it and once the players got used to the system again I thought we were in control. Mazza’s (Adam Marriott) goal was a great settler for us and it took the pressure off a bit. To come here and get the three points is magnificent.”
Defender Ross Barrows, signed from Grantham on Friday, was quickly soon involved, crossing for Gash to flick the ball on for Marriott to put Lynn ahead after just three minutes.
Stratford’s Will Grocott wasted an chance from close range while Lynn keeper Alex Street denied Nabil Shariff low to his left.
Barrows almost doubled Lynn’s lead just before the break, but his shot deflected through the legs of keeper Laurence Bilboe and out for a corner,
Stratford came close to drawing with 15 minutes to go, but Ryan Fryatt blocked Shariff’s effort on the line after Street had saved the initial shot from substitute Dan Creaney with his legs.
Lynn’s centre halves, Fryatt and Rory McAuley, kept Stratford at bay and their efforts were rewarded three minutes from time when Lynn sealed the points when Gash fired a shot into the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the area.
Stratford: Bilboe, Cox, Fisher (Isacc 83), Fry, Wilson, Williams, Shariff, Skendi. Taylor, Grocott (Creaney 72), Carvalho. Subs not used: Sebbeh, Etheridge, Fishwick.
King’s Lynn: Street, Barrows, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Fryatt, McAuley, Clunan, Richards, Gash, Marriott (Mellors-Blair 89), Henderson (Hawkins 54). Subs not used: Parker, Limb, Bastock. Goals: Marriott 3, Gash 87.