King's Lynn 1, Tiverton Town 1
Martin Davis That the Linnets' match at The Walks today survived the recent downpours and went ahead as scheduled was a credit to groundsman Maurice Bunting, who had prepared an excellent playing surface.
That the Linnets' match at The Walks today survived the recent downpours and went ahead as scheduled was a credit to groundsman Maurice Bunting, who had prepared an excellent playing surface.
However, with more rain imminent, it remained to be seen how badly the pitch would cut up as play progressed.
For Lynn, who were looking to quickly get back into action after the disappointment of their midweek call-off at Hitchin, it was hoped that they could stage a repeat of the last two Southern League games versus Tiverton at The Walks, which had both resulted in 4-1 home victories.
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On the team news front, captain Mark Warren had recovered from injury and resumed at centre-half.
Also back from injury, taking his place up front, was winger Michael Frew.
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The pair took the places of Charlie Defty and Steve Melton, who himself was an injury victim. Australian newcomer, Kieran Deane, who had received international clearance, was given a place on the bench, along with Craig Fleming, completed by John Turner, Matthew Nolan and Rob Murray.
Tiverton kicked off with Lynn set to attack the Tennyson Road end as the promised rain just began to fall.
The Devon side won an early free- kick taken by Neale which Jack Defty put out for the first corner of the game.
Vinnicombe's in-swinging kick caused Lynn goalkeeper Howie problems before the ball was eventually put out for a goal-kick.
For Lynn, Dean West played a fine ball up the wing to Frew whose first-time cross was just missed by three on-rushing forwards with Francis finally putting the ball into the side netting.
Another Lynn attack was started by Chapman who found Defty who in turn passed to Sedgemore. He, in turn, found Jack Defty who controlled the ball well before finding Mark CAMM, who was bursting through from midfield to coolly slot the ball past Johnson for the game's first goal after just six minutes.
Defty again found Francis with another searching pass from which the winger tried to set up Sedgemore but a Tiverton defender was alert and nipped in to clear.
Francis then played in another searching cross which was put out for a corner taken by the winger,
Defty got his head to the kick from which Crane headed inches wide with Johnston well beaten.
For Tiverton, a long ball out of defence sent Young away on a run but he was stopped at the expense of a corner by Lynn skipper Mark Warren.
Next it was Chapman on the Lynn left, with a long ball up to Defty who won a corner from which Francis eventually shot wide.
Lynn were well on top but needed the comfort of a second goal to emphasise their superiority.
It was again Defty winning another ball in midfield who found Francis who was brought down some 20 yards from goal, however the kick was blasted straight at the wall and cleared.
In a rare Tiverton counter, Young crossed a dangerous low ball into the box which was cleared by Dean West with Howie stranded.
For Lynn, when Sedgemore found Defty the big centre-forward was stopped at the expense of a foul by Rudge.
From the free-kick taken by Sedgemore, Bulley just beat Mark Warren to the header to concede a corner which was cleared with no danger.
A further corner as Lynn continued to press saw Johnson put under pressure but his defenders came to the keeper's rescue and cleared the danger.
It was still all Lynn as West found Frew with another fine ball down the line, who beat his defender and crossed across the face of the goal with again no-one up to apply a final touch.
In a rare Tiverton attack Bockevski broke clear but was foiled by Howie who made a good save with his legs.
For Lynn, Sedgemore and Chapman combined well to set up Francis but his cross/shot was wild and well over.
Next Michael Frew 'won' a free- kick on the edge of the Tiverton area from which Crane tried one of his blockbusters which ricocheted off the wall for yet another corner. From this kick, Defty volleyed
narrowly wide. Yet another flowing move by the Lynn forwards was only kept at bay by desperate defence with Tiverton's Vinnicombe being cautioned for a foul on the Lynn number seven, Frew. The free-kick resulted in a real scramble which was eventually cleared for yet another Lynn corner from which Tiverton's number five Rudge was cautioned for a foul on Defty.
However, despite all the Lynn pressure there was no further score before the interval.
The first action in the second half saw a first-time cross from Francis just cut out by visiting centre-half Rudge as Jack Defty closed in.
From a free-kick awarded against Bloomfield, Tiverton substitute Gould, who had just replaced Young, put a dangerous ball into the box which was well cleared by Camm. A second substitution for Tiverton saw them replace O'Brien with Knighton.
A long ball from Chapman chased by Bloomfield, saw Tiverton keeper Johnston have to race to the edge of his box to hack clear.
Lynn, on the hour, made their first change, with Turner replacing Bloomfield. When Jack Defty chested a ball to Francis, he slipped it through to Turner, but the substitute took two touches and his low shot was blocked.
Chapman again burst through on the left to the by-line and his low cross caused real panic in the visitors' defence as the ball ricocheted between numerous players before being scrambled away.
A mazy run from Francis saw the ball break to Chapman and Defty, who combined to set up Turner, but Rudge came to Tiverton's rescue with a brave, diving header.
From a free-kick taken by Chapman, it took two defenders to hold off Turner, who forced the corner. From that kick, Lynn's second substitute, Kieran Deane, who had replaced Frew, saw a header blocked for a third corner - from which a period of head tennis ended with Crane putting the ball inches wide. A few minutes later, Lynn rode their luck when a free-kick taken on the Tiverton's left was flicked on for Bulley to head wide of an open goal when unmarked.
Lynn keeper Howie was then called upon to make a brave save at the feet of Neale as the visitors had a rare spell of pressure, which
culminated in an equaliser after 77 minutes when centre-forward Botchevski broke on the right and drilled the ball hard and low across the penalty area for substitute GOULD to smash in from 15 yards.
Lynn responded as Francis played the ball into the box, which was missed by four players before Turner beat three defenders, but lifted his shot well over the bar.
A free-kick taken by Tiverton's Vinnicombe after a foul by Defty resulted in a comfortable gather for Howie.
Lynn now made their final throw of the dice as they brought on forward Nolan for defender West.
When Defty was fouled, the kick taken by Francis saw Warren, Defty and Nolan all try headers at goal before the latter's effort cleared the crossbar.
A final flurry from Lynn saw Johnston save at the near post from Francis with his legs, from which Tiverton broke for a fruitless corner as the game drew to its conclusion.
By failing to capitalise on their early superiority, the Linnets had dropped two vital points in their promotion quest.
t King's Lynn: Howie, West, Chapman, Warren, Crane, Camm, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty, Bloomfield, Francis. Subs: Turner, Nolan, Deane, Fleming, Murray (keeper).
t Tiverton: Tiverton: Johnston, O'Brien, Vinnicombe, Bulley, Rudge, Tom Gardner, Bye, Young, Botchevski, Fraser, Neale, Knighton, Villis, Will Gardner, Gould, Wyatt.
t Referee: Paul McCall (Needingworth).
t Attendance: 1,094