Notts County F.C
Wootton 38, 43
King's Lynn Town F.C
Dramatic finale earns brave Lynn a deserved point
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn Town may be a club in crisis but they are clearly not in the mood to give up.
A goal in the first minute by Sonny Carey and a dramatic equaliser in time added on secured a point for Lynn against all odds.
It came on the day that strikers Adam Marriott and Dayle Southwell became the first sacrifices made by Town as they look to see out the National League season.
Both were placed on furlough as owner Stephen Cleeve looks to cut costs to the bare minimum in an effort to continue playing.
The absence of leading scorer Marriott, who has scored six league goals this season, and Southwell, who has four, leaves manager Ian Culverhouse with just Michael Gash and Kairo Mitchell as recognised strikers.
The four-strong bench at Meadow Lane included Culverhouse’s 50-year-old assistant manager and retired goalkeeper Paul Bastock.
And while non-furloughed players on the books this week will receive full wages, the situation is only going to become more difficult after next Saturday’s game at Woking, when more players are set to join Marriott and Southwell.
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Culverhouse made four changes to the side which drew at home to Weymouth on Saturday; in came Jordan Richards, Ryan Jarvis, Mitchell and Ross Barrows. Out went Marriott and the suspended Kyle Callan-McFadden, with Alex Kiwomya and Michael Gash on the subs’ bench.
With all those problems working away in the background, Lynn needed a good start, and Carey gave them it with just a minute on the clock - and in some style. Archie Mair’s ball forward found Michael Clunan, then Cameron King who slipped it to Carey who saw his opportunity and with his left foot smashed a rocket into the top-right corner from 25 yards.
It was an absolute stunner of a goal from the 20-year-old midfielder, who has hit peak form in recent weeks.
Carey tested Sam Slocombe again with a long-distance free-kick that slipped out of the keeper’s hands as Lynn dominated the early stages.
There was danger at the other end when a corner from the left was almost bundled in by Kyle Wotton at the far post.
Mitchell got his first sight of goal moments later, but fired over.
Barrows could have made it 2-0 on 20 minutes when Carey produced a beautiful defence splitting pass but the full-back was denied by the keeper.
Lynn were looking anything but a bottom-four side as they caused the Magpies all sorts of problems - Carey and King were again supreme in midfield, Mitchell a willing foil up top.
Mair had to be down quick to his right to deny Wootton after a break led by Enzio Boldewijn, who beat off any resistance as he made his way through half the length of the pitch.
Clunan should have done better than shoot wide of the home goal, after excellent work again by Carey, but County were beginning to work out the Linnets midfield and got themselves back into the game on 38 minutes when Wotton stooped low to get his head to a cross from the left and glance it past Mair and into the far-right corner.
It was tough on Lynn, and it got tougher five minutes later when Wootton headed home his second of the game, brilliantly finding the top left corner.
Within seven minutes it should have been game over, only for County’s Ruben Rodrigues to head over with the goal at his mercy as Lynn’s defence struggled with another cross from the flanks.
Lynn had lost King for the second half, replaced by Michael Gash, and on 59 minutes Barrows, who had been struggling with a hamstring injury, was replaced by Kiwomya.
But despite the odds against them growing, Lynn were holding their own and looking threatening - Mitchell saw a long-range effort on 68 minutes whistle past a post as they enjoyed a good spell of possession.
Clunan saw a goalbound effort blocked then poked one wide as Lynn piled on the pressure - and all without King and with Carey at right back.
Just as it looked like the game was up for Lynn, up popped Carey with a free-kick from the left that went into the far corner, perhaps with a touch from Mitchell on the way.
Notts County: Slocombe, Barnett, Lacey, Rawlinson, Kelly-Evans, Rodrigues (Wolfe 90), Doyle, Reeves, Boldewijn (Effiong 81), Wootton, Knowles (O’Brien 81). Subs: Miller, Sam.
King’s Lynn Town: Mair, Barrows (Kiwomya 59), Fleming, Smith, Denton, Richards, Jarvis (Gyasi 83), Clunan, King (Gash 46), Carey, Mitchell. Subs not used: Bastock