It's as you were for Linnets
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 0, Team Bath 0: Lynn's championship charge stuttered as the Southern League, Premier Division title race took a bizarre twist. Keith Webb's side failed to pierce a well drilled Students' outfit in front of a bumper 2,336 crowd - Lynn's biggest home league gate in more than a decade.
King's Lynn 0, Team Bath 0
Lynn's championship charge stuttered as the Southern League, Premier Division title race took a bizarre twist.
Keith Webb's side failed to pierce a well drilled Students' outfit in front of a bumper 2,336 crowd - Lynn's biggest home league gate in more than a decade.
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But leaders Halesowen imploded against lowly Swindon Supermarine while the chasing pair fought out a Walks' stalemate - the Yeltz blowing a 4-1 lead with nine minutes left to draw.
Third-placed Lynn now know ten points from their final four league games will guarantee that the title heads to Norfolk.
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“We've got the edge on both of them,” admitted Webb. “I have to say I didn't believe the Halesowen result because I've heard so much rubbish in the past about so and so has done this and that elsewhere straight after games. You could say its 'as you were,' just with one less match. I'm not looking at it that we've got any extra margin for error. We've got two tough home games and we'll take nothing for granted.”
Webb was frustrated the Linnets failed to inflict serious damage on the Students' title hopes.
“I'm a little bit flat thinking maybe we could've come out of our shells more,” he said. “It wasn't a case of me telling the players to go out and not lose the game. I wanted us to be disciplined and knew we'd create chances. What I didn't want to do is chase the game. We didn't need to chase it and become stretched. Against any other team apart from them we could cope because we are on the same levels of fitness.
“But we're talking about a side who train every day. Their fitness levels are going to be that much better and stronger - look at the amount of games they have won late on.
“It was a typical, tight, top-of-the-table clash. No one wanted to make a mistake. They don't take too many prisoners or look to play much football. I felt it was us who tried to play the football.”
The Southern Premier top scorers fired a rare home blank.
“If I'm being slightly critical then I felt our forwards were reactive rather than proactive,” said Webb. “Talk to Lee Glover. He's been there in those situations and got the t-shirt. You have to be ready to take a chance. If it goes over your head then fine but at least you're on the move in the box. There was a few occasions when the ball bounced off us as if we weren't expecting it to drop.”
Webb praised back up keeper Rob Murray after the teenager replaced suspended first choice Scott Howie.
“I thought he did excellent,” said Webb. “He's a good keeper to come in for a big pressure game. He did everything I could have asked of Scott. I thought the other lads at the back helped him. Greg Crane was a tower of strength but he made an very good save just before half time when they broke and he had a one on one.”
Ben Chapman and Matt Nolan both passed fitness tests - Chapman restored to the starting line up in place of Charlie Defty (chest infection). Joe Francis and Gavin Hoyte were both ruled out. Steve Melton was preferred to Michael Frew in Francis' absence. Former trialist Kieran Deane and reserve keeper Duncan McAnally were included on the subs' bench.
Lynn started on the front foot with Shaun Lamb forced to head John Turner's cut back behind inside the opening minute.
Nolan drove at the Students' backline as the decibel levels rose around The Walks before shovelling onto Steve Melton whose cross shot struck Adi Adams.
Jack Defty fended off Steve Abbott but his close-range header flew into Jake Meredith's arms on 20 minutes.
Arnold drilled straight at Murray after league top gun Sean Canham expertly freed his strike partner. In form Nolan twisted away from Lamb on the edge of the visiting penalty box but his fizzing effort flew a yard over.
Nolan's side-footer smacked Students' skipper Sami El-Abd ten yards out from Dean West's first time cross.
Murray kept Lynn level on 31 minutes with a brilliant reaction stop after Arnold had galloped beyond Rikki Bains.
Defty's flick hit Lamb following patient build up play between Turner and Nolan.
El-Abd collapsed to the ground clutching his face after going head to head with Chapman as the high stakes contest threatened to boil over - referee Miller again choosing to just admonish the pair.
Melton's towering header bounced off Turner inside the six yard box and out of play.
Camm tidied up on the restart after Sean Canham had sneaked in behind the Linnets' backline.
Meredith athletically tipped over Ben Sedgemore's half volley from Nolan's knockdown.
Defty's looping header dropped just wide from the resulting corner as Lynn looked to remain on the front foot.
The unmarked Turner was inches from diverting home Sedgemore's snap shot after again enjoying the freedom of Team Bath's six yard box.
Camm drilled over after Abbott bravely threw himself at Turner in the build up. Takumi Ake rattled Murray's crossbar from 20 yards before Lynn's young keeper pouched his follow up.
Nolan's crisp strike at the other end ricocheted to Turner whose cross was headed clear by the impressive Abbott.
Crane's hanging header clipped the top of Meredith's bar - Sean Canham bailing out his keeper to complete the clearance.
Arnold blazed wide from eight yards after Crane misjudged Adams' free kick as Team Bath pinned the hosts back.
Lynn's captain regained his composure to foil dangerman Sean Canham before Camm hacked clear after Murray went walk about in a rare moment of indecision.
The tigerish Yorkshireman finished the contest with an ice pack to the back of his head after being knocked out in a sickening mid air collision.
Lynn assistant boss Lee Glover immediately motioned for the stretcher as the stricken Camm was attended to for a full five minutes.
The dazed midfielder was eventually helped to the touchline before later being ferried to hospital in a waiting ambulance.
t King's Lynn: Murray, West, Chapman, Bains, Crane, Camm (Fisk 90), Turner, Sedgemore, Defty, Nolan, Melton (Frew 83). Subs (not used): Bloomfield, Deane, McAnally.
t Team Bath: Meredith, Adams, Barnes, Abbott, Lamb, El-Abd, Wring (Perrot 80), M Canham (Dillon 37), Arnold (Coper 76), S Canham, Ake. Subs (not used): Green, Cooper.
Bookings: Arnold, Barnes
t Referee: CJ Miller (Kettering)
t Attendance: 2, 336