King’s Lynn Town 1
King’s Lynn Town provided the perfect pick-me-up for flu-ridden boss Gary Setchell by bringing home a point from league leaders Skelmersdale.
The spoils were deservedly shared at Stormy Corner in a thrilling encounter which had everything.
Striker Sam Mulready gave Lynn an early lead before Ben Tollitt, who was later sent-off for the hosts, equalised midway through the second half.
After the game, Setchell said: “That’s a shot in the arm for my flu, that’s for certain.
“I’m so proud of my players. Every single one of them have given me everything against the league leaders.
“We’ve pressed and pressed and pressed and we’ve probably pressed so hard that we ran out of legs a little bit in the last 20 minutes.
“Skelmersdale showed why they are top of the league because they probably had 65 or 70 per cent possession in the second half, but we’ve worked our socks off and dug in.
“We’ve had a few kicks in the teeth lately, but our last two away performances have been top-drawer and we’ve managed to squeeze one point out of them, which is a bit harsh.
“To a man, my team were absolutely fantastic and I don’t think we’ve had a harder-working performance than that all season.
“It was something of a mis-match when we played them at The Walks, but today it was two teams slugging it out and either team could have gone on and won the game.”
Setchell hopes Mulready’s strike will spark a run of goals from the Lynn born-and-bred frontman, who has endured something of a stop-start career due to injuries since his arrival at the club.
“I’ve said it before, but I want Sam to have a run in the team. Injuries have hampered him, but he is going to have a run in the side now.
“Michael Frew and Sam have run themselves into the ground, as has everyone today, and we are picking up players off the floor, but Sam’s goal was something else.”
Mulready’s strike – a certain contender for goal of the season – came from all of 30 yards after receiving the ball on the right-hand side.
Lynn came incredibly close to doubling their advantage in the 16th minute, but a sublime fingertip save by Skelmersdale goalkeeper Steve James turned a Peter Winn effort onto the crossbar.
Dan Mitchley, Kenny Strickland and Tollitt were all thwarted by excellent saves by opposing shotstopper Alext Street at the other end before the teams had time to draw breath at the interval.
The hosts had penalty appeals waved away in the 65th minute after Street beat Scott Bakkor to the ball.
But the hosts were back on level terms less than two minutes later when Tollitt thundered home an equaliser after a cheeky dummy from Mitchley had set him up.
Not to be out-done by his opposite number, Street pulling off another stunning stop to keep out a Mitchley volley from all of eight yards in the 69th minute.
Both teams had chances to win a pulsating encounter before a coming together between Lynn’s Dan Quigley and Tollitt saw the former booked and the latter sent-off in the dying minutes of the contest.
Skelmersdale: James, Fernandes, Holden, McIntosh, Bodie, Kirkbride, Strickland, Burton, Mitchley, Whittington, Tollitt. Subs: Wylie, Bakkor, Wright, Mooney, Meaney.
Sent-off: Tollitt. Scorer: Tollitt 68.
Lynn: Street, Ramm (Spriggs), Yong, Eze, Fryatt, Watson, Bell, Quigley, Frew (Smith), Mulready, Winn. Subs not used: Stocker, McLeish, Pearson.
Booked; Fryatt, Bell, Eze, Quigley. Scorer: Mulready 7. Attendance: 231.
EvoStik League Premier Division
Skelmersdale United 37 18 9 10 63
FC United 30 17 9 4 60
Workington 33 17 8 8 59
Ilkeston FC 31 16 9 6 57
Ashton U 31 16 8 7 56
Buxton 34 15 10 9 56 55
Curzon Ashton 32 15 9 8 54
Halesowen Tn 33 12 14 7 50
Grantham Tn 36 13 11 12 50
Barwell 32 14 6 12 48
Stourbridge 32 13 8 11 47
Blyth Spartans 27 12 8 7 44
Lynn Tn 32 12 8 12 44
Rushall O 32 13 5 14 44
Whitby Tn 32 10 11 11 41