Lynn are thwarted by a late equaliser

Martin Davis A late equaliser pegged back the Linnets in the Southern League Premier Division 'match of the day' at The Walks.

Martin Davis

King's Lynn 1, Halesowen 1

A late equaliser pegged back the Linnets in the Southern League Premier Division 'match of the day' at The Walks.

The leagues two big spenders were going head to head in a game the result of which could have a large bearing on the destination of the league title.

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Despite not having scored in the last three home meetings with The Yeltz it was in defence that manager Keith Webb had looked to strengthen his side prior to the encounter.

With Mark Warren and Craig Fleming undergoing surgery and Greg Crane serving a one match ban he brought in two centre halves on loan, Rikki Bains, from Tamworth and Gavin Hoyte, from Cambridge United, to bolster the defence against the visitors high-powered attack.

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The two new signings went straight into the starting line up.

Brian Chapman had recovered from knocks received at Chippenham as was also the case with Mark Camm both being fit to take their place at the start and Shaun Carey had been added to the squad as cover.

Charlie Defty reverted to the bench from last week, Stephen Melton hoped to have a try out with the Reserves at Soham after last week's postponement delayed his comeback, everyone else was fit and available for selection.

On eight minutes the visitors had a great chance to take the lead when Shane Paul crossed from the right wing allowing Caskey to hit a fierce shot from which Scott Howie made a great save and then denied Brennan on the follow up.

A through ball from Brennan was chased by Maquemba but Howie was quick off his line to gather.

After a free kick conceded by Camm and taken by Maquemba it was Dean West who cleared the danger for Lynn who themselves won a free kick but Joe Francis put in a poor delivery.

On 20 minutes Lynn had a good opportunity when Francis found Jack Defty who in turn delivered to Danny Bloomfield who hit a rising shot which produced a good tip over the bar save from keeper Osborne. From the corner kick Defty's header was punched out by the keeper only to be played back in by Michael Frew where Hoyte stabbed the ball wide.

At the other end Baines was alert to clear a threat from the Halesowen centre, the lively Brennan. On 25 minutes Lynn had a strong penalty appeal after Perpetunini had appeared to impede Frew but referee Miller waved away the claims.

On 37 minutes Lynn were awarded a free kick after Perpetunini was adjudged to have made a back pass to goalkeeper Osborne on the edge of the six yard area, Francis rolled the kick to Hoyte whose hard drive was blocked by the keeper at the expense of a corner from which he rose well to punch away.

Following this effort both Caskey and Perpetunini both found their way into the referee's notebook being cautioned for dissent.

No quarter was being asked or given in this pulsating encounter as befits the two top table sides.

Half time: King's Lynn 0, Halesowen 0.

Lynn got the vital first goal on 55 minutes when, from a free kick taken by Francis on the right and played deep to the back post, Jack Defty climbed well to head the ball back across the goal where Lynn debutant BAINS headed in from close range.

The Yeltz immediately brought on a substitute, replacing Paul with Hamilton.

For Lynn, their debutants Bains and Hoyte, were combining well at the back and breaking up many of the promising visitors' attacks. The Yltz were trying to apply pressure as they desperately searched for the equaliser.

Lynn now made their customary substitution after 71 minutes, with Nolan replacing Bloomfield.

Chapman was cautioned after kicking the ball at Maqumba.

This was followed by Hamilton who was booked Miller's notebook after a foul on Sedgemore.

A cross from the left wing gave Halesowen's right-back Gomez a chance of a shot, but again Howie was well placed to save, but from the cross, Gomez supplied Unjaque with a shooting chance, but again the ball was beaten away by Howie. When a bad bounce beat Hoyte, Unjaque was almost through on goal, but Chapman was quick to come across to avert the danger.

On 86 minutes from a corner taken on the Lynn left, the ball came out after being only half cleared to Yeltz's skipper Darren Caskey, who fired the ball, which was deflected in by Jay Denny for the Halesowen equaliser.

A minute later, Pearce was adjudged to have fouled Defty some 25 yards from goal and Hoyte moved up to take the kick, but his pile-driver sailed over the crossbar. The Yeltz made a determined effort in the last few minutes to win the game and keep their title hopes alive and from a cross by Caskey, Hamilton got in a header which was only just over the bar.

t King's Lynn: Howie, West, Chapman, Bains, Hoyte, Camm, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty, Bloomfield, Francis. Subs: Turner, Nolan, C Defty, Fisk, Murray.

t Halesowen: Osborn, Gomes, Perpetuini, Pearce, Pierrpoint, Denny, Paul, Caskey, Brennan, Maquemba, Anya. Subs: Hamilton, Unjaque, Peter, Lycett, Abbassi.

t Ref: Mr C Miller, Kettering. Att: 1,422.

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