King’s Lynn Town 0 Merthyr Town 0
Lynn endured a frustrating afternoon at The Walks as they failed to break down a stubborn Martyrs defence.
There were two changes from last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Stratford, with Michael Clunan and Toby Hilliard restored to the starting line up in place of Craig Parker and Leon Mettam.
It was the two incoming players who combined inside 40 seconds as Clunan looked to set Hilliard away, but the frontman got his foot caught on the ball as he ran through.
Fryatt then headed Lappin’s free kick just wide as young visiting keeper Ed Hewitson had a shaky opening period for the visitors.
Merthyr tried to hit The Linnets on the counter attack, and in the 8th minute Ian Traylor burst into the box but his effort was straight at Alex Street.
Cameron King was next to be frustrated by the visitors defending, the ball fell to him at the back post from a Clunan corner, and after evading Hewitson his low shot was kicked off the line by Jarrad Wright.
In the 13th minute Cameron Norman was fouled on the edge of the Merthyr box, Gash’s free kick flying just wide of the post.
Match referee Mr Sannerude had a busy afternoon, booking a total of seven players. The first came for a foul by Kerry Morgan on Frazer Blake-Tracy on 18 minutes.
The Linnets continued to dominate the game and came closer as good work from Norman found Gash in the box, but his strike cannoned back off the bar with Hewitson beaten.
Owain Jones then seized on a rare Tom Ward error but failed to test Street when through on goal.
Further chances fell to King and Clunan as the half came to a close.
In first half stoppage time, Ward received a booking after tangling with two Merthyr players. Morgan then received a final warning from the referee after fouling Norman, having already been booked. That was his last action in the game before being replaced by Miles John.
The second half continued in a similar pattern, most of the game being played in the Merthyr half.
Ian Culverhouse gambled just after the hour mark, replacing Hilliard, King and Lappin with Tom Siddons, Ryan Hawkins and Craig Parker.
Hewitson was then booked for time wasting in the 65th minute as Merthyr attempted to slow the pace of the game.
Merthyr then broke away as the Linnets piled forward looking for the opening goal, but Street pulled off a superb double save to deny first Jones, and then Harry Franklin.
Gash and Parker went close for Lynn before Fryatt had to be alert to deny Traylor a scoring opportunity with his fellow defenders appealing in vain for an offside flag that never came.
Hewitson was beaten in the 89th minute by a Tom Siddons header, but Kyle Patten came to his rescue by heading off the line. At that point most of the 721 strong crowd at The Walks sensed it wasn’t going to be their day.
It was to be Hewitson who had the final say, in the third minute of injury time he managed to turn a strike from Siddons on to the post and behind for a corner. From the resulting corner he was there again to turn Ward’s header over the crossbar.
The Linnets are back in action on Thursday evening at The Walks as they take on play off rivals Kettering Town. Then just two days later they travel to Slough.