King’s Lynn Town 1 St Ives Town 1
King’s Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse watched his side remain top of the tree for Christmas - then blasted the state of the pitch for the second time in the space of a few weeks.
The Linnets chief is furious with the poor condition of Lynn’s playing surface which is threatening to derail his side’s promotion dream.
Simon Lappin fired his side in front with a brilliant free-kick in the first half only for Lynn to get stuck in the mud when Danny Watson levelled matters early in the second half.
Culverhouse, who changed his starting line-up against Redditch United at the start of the month because of the pitch, said: “Fair play to St Ives.
“They came and put a lot of bodies behind the ball and started the game a lot better than us. We were a little bit lethargic – I thought the whole place was flat today.
“The state of that pitch is a leveller. The pitch is absolutely shocking, it is a disgrace. There’s no home field advantage – we haven’t got it. The pitch isn’t good enough.
“We can’t do anything with it, the money wasn’t spent on it that should have been spent on it.
“You saw us at the start of the season how we got the ball down and try and play.”
St Ives, fresh from a morale-boosting victory over Gosport Borough at the weekend, started the brighter of the two teams.
Watson broke Lynn’s defensive line and was denied by an excellent point-blank save from Alex Street, before Oliver Snaith fluffed his festive lines when well-placed inside the area.
Lynn offered little until Lappin forced keeper Tim Trebes to tip the ball on to the bar midway through the first half.
They eventually broke the deadlock eight minutes later.
Ryan Hawkins was hauled down on the edge of the box and Lappin stepped up to smash home the resulting free-kick past a static Trebes.
The pitch wasn’t to blame as the Saints equalised shortly after the restart.
Peter Clarke was allowed both time and space on the left before squaring the ball for Watson, who found himself in acres of space, to sidefoot home.
Visiting goalkeeper Trebes pulled off a superb double save to keep his team on level terms.
He was at full-stretch to prevent Michael Gash’s header from finding the back of the net before Michael Clunan’s shot from distance saw the shotstopper stop with his fingertips for the second time in quick succession.
Hawkins saw a curling effort from the edge of the box cannon back of the woodwork in the dying minutes and, although Leon Mettam nodded home the rebound, the goal was ruled out for offside.
King’s Lynn Town: Street, Norman, Ward, Gaughran, Blake-Tracy, Jarvis, Clunan, Lappin (Siddons 87), Parker (Mettam 46), Hawkins (McQuaid 84), Gash. Subs not used: Fryatt, Frary.
St Ives: Trebes, Smith, Warner-Eley, Libertucci (Rogers 70), Groves, Kelly, Clarke, McGowan, Watson (Sawyer 81), Snaith, Baker. Subs not used: Jarrold, Ferrell, McGeorge.
Referee: A. Wilson.