Marriott at the double as Linnets clinch vital runners-up spot
- Credit: Archant
Magnificent King's Lynn Town secured runners-up position for a second consecutive year as they leapfrogged hosts Stourbridge with a 2-1 win on a dramatic final afternoon of the regular season.
The Linnets were already guaranteed a home play-off semi-final on Wednesday evening, but Saturday's heroics now mean that if Stratford Town are beaten at The Walks in midweek, Lynn will now host the winners of the other tie between Stourbridge and Alvechurch, on Bank Holiday Monday.
Ryan Hawkins – in for unwell skipper Michael Clunan – quickly fizzed in a shot from distance and a determined Rory McAuley won the ball strongly before shooting wide as the visitors attempted to use the gale force wind that was blowing behind their backs to their advantage.
Robbie Thompson-Brown's free-kick at the other end saw work for Alex Street but it was the Linnets who were enjoying the better chances. Michael Gash drilled in a free-kick that somehow hit both posts but failed to hit James Wren's net and a McAuley header from a Frazer Blake-Tracy free-kick was gathered by Wren as the Glassboys struggled to contain a vibrant Town.
Finally the pressure told shortly before the break when, after a delicious move involving Chris Henderson and Ross Barrows, Adam Marriott swept the ball beyond Wren from close in to give Lynn a deserved interval lead.
Marriott's cross cum shot was gathered by Wren shortly after the restart as Lynn continued to press. Former Linnet Greg Mills fired over, but it was the clinical Marriott who doubled the advantage just after the hour. Ryan Jarvis played a delightful ball out to Gash who beat his man before shooting towards Wren's back post where the lurking Marriott applied a simple finish for his 24th goal of the season, enough to win him the golden boot award. Mills unleashed a 20-yard rocket to reduce the arrears for Stourbridge with just over 20 minutes remaining, ensuring a nerve-jangling ending for the masses of travelling supporters, bedecked in blue and gold. Lynn continued to attack with Henderson firing over from close in and Marriott, who spurned a great opportunity for a treble after robbing Aaron Hayden of the ball before firing wide.
Stourbridge: Wren, Hayden, Brown, McCone, Christophorou, Forde (Broadhurst), Anderson, Birch (Powell), Lilly (Benbow), Thompson- Brown, Mills. Subs not used: Pierpoint, Forsyth. Goal: Mills 68.
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King's Lynn Town: Street, Barrows, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Fryatt, McAuley, Hawkins (Jones), Richards, Gash, Marriott, Henderson. Subs not used: Parker, Mellors-Blair, Robinson, Bastock. Goals: Marriott 41, 63.