We’ll be back, vows Culverhouse as Lynn are halted by keeper’s one-man show

PUBLISHED: 17:13 07 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 07 April 2019

Kings Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse Picture: Matthew Usher

Kings Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse Picture: Matthew Usher

Play-off hopefuls King’s Lynn were denied by an outstanding goalkeeping display from Jack Harding as they went down 2-0 away to Banbury.

Harding pulled off a string of fine saves to frustrate the visitors in a Southern Premier Central encounter they dominated for long spells.

“Their keeper has been inspired today,” said Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse. “He has made a number of inspiring saves and fair play to him. He’s been named the sponsor’s man of the match and that tells you a lot about this afternoon.

“It was one of those days for us really. Our final ball could have been better and both of their goals have come from our possession in their half. I don’t have to tell the players that.

“It’s a disappointed dressing room in there and I’m not going to stand here and knock them. They have achieved so much since I returned to the club and to be sitting in a play-off place with four games remaining is a remarkable achievement. One thing I can promise is that we will be back.”

The Linnets made one change to the line-up that had beaten Halesowen the previous weekend as Aaron Jones replaced skipper Michael Clunan who was on the bench as a precautionary measure with a toe injury. Missing out altogether was Ryan Hawkins who collected an injury in midweek training.

Adam Marriott saw an early shot deflected for a harmless corner but then drew a fine diving stop from Harding after being teed up by Michael Gash. The overlapping Ross Barrows picked out Chris Henderson who drilled his effort wide and Marriott again went close with a snapshot from close range.

Harding stayed big to keep out Marriott and then proved equal to Gash who had cut inside two defenders before unleashing a powerful drive which the keeper parried away for a corner which resulted in Barrows firing over the bar. Town were caught by a real sucker punch a minute before the break as the powerful Greg Kaziboni broke up another visiting attack in his own half before embarking on a mazy run and dispatching a curling shot from just outside the box beyond a diving Alex Street to give The Puritans the lead.

Barrows forced Harding into a diving save and Gash was narrowly wide from close range as the visiting dominance continued at the start of the second spell.

Clunan was introduced to the action, striking a shot from distance that Harding again pushed to safety. It was then Jones’s turn to be frustrated by Harding who then produced an excellent reaction save to keep out Craig Parker’s blast with minutes remaining.

With Lynn now desperately searching an equaliser, home substitute Amer Awadh raced clear with the ball before keeping his composure to beat two defenders and Street to seal a real smash and grab three points for the home team.

Banbury: Harding, Hawtin, Taylor, Richards, Wise, Whitehead, Kaziboni, Rasulo (Henderson 84), Johnson, Iaciofano (Awadh 60), Nash. Booked: Nash. Subs not used: Shamsi, Berry-Hargreaves, Odhiambo. Goals: Kaziboni 43, Awadh 87.

Lynn: Street, Barrows, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis (Clunan 60), Fryatt, McAuley, Jones, Richards (Limb 80), Gash, Marriott, Henderson (Parker 64). Subs not used: Mellors-Blair, Bastock.

Ref: T Bowkett (Birmingham), Att: 426

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