King’s Lynn pay the penalty as Linnets’ play-off hopes suffer blow

Michael Clunan missed a late penalty as King's Lynn went down to a 2-1 defeat at Rushall Olympic. PI

Michael Clunan missed a late penalty as King's Lynn went down to a 2-1 defeat at Rushall Olympic. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse admits his side 'weren't at the races' in defeat to Rushall Olympic

Aaron Jones saw red as King's Lynn Town's play-off aspirations were dealt a blow as they suffered defeat in the West Midlands on Saturday.

Chris Henderson had given the Linnets an interval lead but strikes inside the last 20 minutes from Rushall's Joe Hull and Tyler Lyttle ensured the Southern League Central points would be staying at Dales Lane. To add to Lynn's woes Michael Clunan saw a late penalty saved by Matthew Sargeant denying the visitors a point.

'We simply weren't at the races today,' said manager Ian Culverhouse's afterwards. 'A week ago we were talking about a fine performance and today we are talking about a poor one. We were fortunate to have the lead at the break but we did little in that second spell to add to it and we have ended up paying a big price for it.

'Conditions were not the best underfoot and the strong wind wasn't helpful but sometimes it's like that and you have to find another way of getting your work done and today we haven't found that solution. I have no need to stand here and criticise the players because they know that today as a team we have not been good.

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'We are all in this together so we go away now analyse the situation, put the work in on the training pitch in the week in readiness for next Saturday. This league still has a long way to run and we have to be in their mixing it and fighting for every point week in, week out. It's my intention to see that we do just that.'

The home side almost took the lead midway through the first half as Dan Waldron nipped between Alex Street and Ryan Fryatt before sending a lobbed effort onto the Lynn bar which bounced to safety.

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The only real piece of quality from either side saw the visitors take the lead with Adam Marriott teeing up the Henderson, whose scuffed shot bobbled past Sargeant into the net moments before the break.

Jones sent a free kick over Sargeant's bar before Street saved well to deny Ash Sammons' curling effort.

Waldron shot well over when well set but momentum was now with the Pics and with 18 minutes remaining the growing pressure told as Hull's tidy first time finish beat Street from just inside the box following Lyttle's pullback.

Minutes later and the comeback was complete when Lyttle scored direct from a 20-yard free kick after Sammons had been upended on the edge of the visitors' box. In between the hosts' goals former Linnet Massiah McDonald had been introduced and his first taste of action was to concede a penalty kick after being adjudged to have handled the ball inside his own box with three minutes remaining.

Skipper Clunan stepped up but placed the ball too close to Sargeant's left hand which allowed the keeper to palm the ball to safety and preserve the home lead. The Linnets' frustration then boiled over with Jones being given a straight red card for a foul on Ben Lund meaning the full back now faces a three-match suspension.

Rushall Olympic: Sargeant, Lyttle, Adelekan, Whitall, Hull, Pendley, Maye, Smikle, Waldron (Lund (Smith)), Sammons, Soleman (McDonald). Unused subs: Parker, Slinn.

Goals : Hull 72, Lyttle 80.

Booking: Sammons.

King's Lynn Town: Street, Jones, Blake Tracy (Limb), Jarvis, Fryatt, Robinson, Clunan, Richards, Gash, Marriott (Hawkins), Henderson Parker). Unused subs: Mellors–Blair, McAuley.

Goal: Henderson 39

Booking: Limb

Red: Jones.

Referee: Jamie O'Connor

Attendance: 211

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