King’s Lynn Town 2 Kettering Town 1.
Second half goals from Michael Gash and Ryan Fryatt saw The Linnets come from behind to put themselves back in the driving seat in the Southern League play off places. They recorded their first league win over the Poppies for 47 years in the process.
The game began at a frantic pace, with both sides keen to make an early impact on the game. The best early chance fell to Kettering with Cameron Norman forced to head behind a dangerous looking free kick into the Lynn box.
Kettering’s Liam Bateman was lucky to go unpunished for a late challenge on Michael Clunan which left the Lynn captain needing treatment. Clunan only lasted a few more minutes before being replaced by Simon Lappin. A comment towards referee Mr Hancock earned him a yellow card as he left the pitch.
Lynn created the better chances in the opening period and were unlucky not to be ahead in the 17th minute when Gash burst into the area and rounded keeper Paul White. He pulled the ball back for Toby Hilliard whose strike cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar.
Bateman did enter the referee’s notebook in the 21st minute after another late challenge, this time on Hilliard.
The lively Cameron King was causing Kettering problems from midfield, twice he fed Hilliard who fired wide with his first chance then hit the next straight at White.
The visitors ended the first half in the ascendancy. Aaron O’Connor shooting straight at Street, Michael Richens firing wide from the edge of the box, and Rhys Hoenes twice tumbling in the box but seeing penalty appeals waved away.
Kettering began the second half the stronger, and just after Richens had fired a warning shot, the visitors took a 53rd minute lead from the penalty spot. Tom Ward brought down Matthew Stevens as he was about to shoot, and Brett Solkhon despatched the resultant spot kick despite the best efforts of Street.
If anything the goal sparked the Linnets into life, they forced a corner which White could only punch out to King on the edge of the box. His header looped over the stranded keeper, but was headed off the line by Orrin Pendley.
On 59 minutes Lynn were level. Frazer Blake-Tracy got the better of full back Kalern Thomas down the Lynn left, and his hanging cross from the byline was nodded home at the far post by Michael Gash.
A few moments later the same two players combined, strong penalty appeals were turned down as Gash’s goal bound strike appeared to be blocked by a defender’s arm.
On 70 minutes White pulled off a superb save to turn a low shot through a crowded box from Ryan Jarvis wide. From the resulting corner it was Ryan Fryatt who rose highest to bullet home a header and give Lynn the lead.
Kettering were reduced to ten men in the 81st minute, a late challenge from Thomas on Gash earned the defender a straight red card.
Hawkins and Hilliard missed late chances to put the result beyond doubt, before Solkhon was booked for an elbow on Blake-Tracy.
The win takes Lynn to 95 points with three games remaining, strengthening hold on 2nd place in the table, but in less than 48 hours they must travel to Slough to take on another of their play off rivals.