Southern League Premier Division: King’s Lynn Town 1 Dunstable Town 1
- Credit: Ian Burt
Teenager Toby Hilliard was jumping for a joy on a night when his team-mate Alex Street wishes he would have leaped a little higher.
The former had impressed in every department, apart from the goalscoring one, going into his 11th appearance in Linnets colours. But the tireless frontman finally put that right this evening as he deservedly opened his Lynn account.
Hilliard, 19, soared gloriously to meet Michael Clunan's free-kick in first-half stoppage time to get off the mark and spark scenes of delight from the home players. Yet that pleasure turned to pain when keeper Street made a second-half error which saw his side fail to heap more away misery on Dunstable.
David Keenleyside's inswinging corner should have been dealt with by Lynn's number one – even though he was under considerable pressure. Unfortunately he failed to really get off the ground while surrounded by a group of players and made a hash of his attempt at punching the ball clear.
As a result James Kaloczi barely had to hop to nod home and it was his side, bar a late Hilliard opening, that eventually perhaps looked more likely to win it as a tired Lynn slogged their way to a share of the spoils.
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The Norfolk outfit had gone into the game in high spirits after Saturday's destruction of high-flying Chippenham. So it was no surprise that Gary Setchell name an unchanged line-up as Town looked to build some momentum ahead of this weekend's FA Trip test at Barwell.
While the hosts failed to replicate their free-flowing weekend best early on, it was still they who offered a far greater threat going forward than the Blues – yet to win on the road this season.
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Hilliard had spurned three chances – while Clunan worked 45-year-old Paul Bastock – before crashing a header home via the crossbar to end the stalemate two minutes into time added on prior to the interval.
Lee Stevenson bent over as Setchell's troops tried to increase their momentum following the restart. Yet Street's howler sucked the wind out of them.
Visiting substitute Geoff Mitchell had a goal ruled out for offside while two stunning Conor Marshall interventions halted looming danger. Hilliard could have made it an even better game to remember at the death mind but didn't have the legs to streak free and shot tamely into the arms of the former Boston United goalie.
Lynn: Street, Castellan, Miller, R Fryatt, Marshall, Clunan, Hurst (Zielonka, 71), Bridges (Friend, 80), Stevenson, Hilliard, Mulready. Subs not used: L Fryatt, Frohawk, Pearson
Dunstable: Bastock, Reynolds, Pennell, Talbot (Mitchell, 73), Kaloczi, Pepera, Watkins, Keenleyside (Wharton, 87), Nolan (Roache, 55), Gregory, Osobu. Subs not used: McKenzie-Lowe, Leslie
Before the game Lynn confirmed the signing of Histon's Lee Smith. The 26-year-old versatile attacking talent – who has had two spells at Lowestoft – only played five matches for the club he's just departed after rejoining them in the summer. The paperwork for his move was not completed in time to feature against Dunstable but he is eligible to play in the FA Cup on Saturday.