King's Lynn 0, Southport 0

Paddy Davitt Lynn clinched a hard-earned Blue Square North point against title-chasing Southport today in an entertaining goalless draw at The Walks.

Paddy Davitt

Lynn clinched a hard-earned Blue Square North point against title-chasing Southport today in an entertaining goalless draw at The Walks.

Keith Webb's men shaded the first half - Southport keeper Tony McMillan forced into a series of fine stops. The visitors then dominated after the break with Ben Chapman heading off his own goal line but Lynn withstood the pressure and could have clinched victory when Scott Mitchell burst through late on only to lift over.

Webb resisted the temptation to restore fit-again keeper Scott Howie to his starting line up -naming an unchanged 16-man matchday squad from the recent Gateshead win.

McMillan acrobatically tipped behind Jack Defty's volley on nine minutes in a bright start from the home side. Southport's stopper earned a reprieve after falling to grasp Chapman's floated centre in a penalty box melee - referee Lawson awarding a generous free kick.

Mansfield loan recruit Shaun Whalley burst down the left on a rapid counter but Steven Daly's bicycle kick flew behind. Rob Murray gathered Robbie Booth's header after Ashley Winn picked out the marked striker with Southport now beginning to establish a measure of territorial control.

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Mitchell's ambitious long range shot flew into the Hospital End terraces. McMillan expertly parried Frew's goal bound hit from the edge of the area as Defty closed in for the follow up.

Alert Southport defender Shaun Gray kicked Julian Joachim's scuffed effort off his goal line on 29 minutes after Defty's cute touch freed his strike partner.

Chapman earned the first caution for a spicy challenge on dangerman Whalley. Daly blazed Southport's best chance of the half over Murray's bar from six yards when Booth's flick dropped for the unmarked attacker.

t Half-time: King's Lynn 0, Southport 0

Mark Camm bravely through himself at Whalley's angled cross shot on the restart. Whalley teased Chapman on another rapier Southport counter but Murray gathered his driven centre. A below par Frew exited the scene for Joe Francis seconds after picking up a yellow card for upending the tricky Whalley.

Southport's wide man was then cautioned himself for a blatant dive inside the Lynn penalty box. Linnets' centre half Bradley Thomas collapsed to the ground in an off the ball incident as Southport looked to pin the hosts back - Mark Peters signalling an apparent elbow to the match official.

Referee Lawson consulted with his near side assistant but settled for a lecture with both captains.

Thomas returned after treatment with a few words of wisdom from experienced Lynn skipper Andy Johnson to prevent any hint of home retribution.

McMillan's miscued goal kick dropped for Joachim but the former Coventry striker smacked straight at the Southport keeper.

Chapman superbly headed Earl Davis' close range header off the Lynn goal line on 78 minutes with the title chasers pushing for a decisive breakthrough.

Francis released the pressure with a burst past two flat-footed Southport defenders but skied his cross with Joachim primed to apply a finishing touch.

Francis drilled a 25 yard free kick into McMillan's midriff after Davis had mauled Defty. Murray produced a fine tip over to claw out Mark Duffy's free kick destined for the top corner at the opposite end.

The all-action Mitchell then burst onto Luke Graham's hopeful punt but fired over on the run with only McMillan to beat - Webb and assistant Lee Glover throwing hands to head in unison.

Murray dropped on Neil Robinson's sliding toe poke in the first of four stoppage time minutes.

t Result: King's Lynn 0, Southport 0

t King's Lynn: Murray, Graham, Chapman, Peters, Thomas, Camm, Frew (Francis 60), Johnson, Defty, Joachim, Mitchell

Subs (not used): Hurren, Smith, Fisk, Howie

Bookings: Chapman, Frew

t Southport: McMillan, Lever, Gray, Flynn, Davis, Powell, Booth (Robinson 73), Winn, Daly, McGinn, Whalley (Duffy 67)

Subs (not used): Connolly, Millington, Drench.

Booking: Whalley

t Added on time: 1 min / 4 mins

t Referee: K Lawson (Scunthorpe)

t Attendance: 972