King’s Lynn playoff hopes all but over after St Neots draw

Toby Hilliard wheels away after scoring the Linnets second goal 23.1.16.'TIM SMITH ANL-160329-093630001
Toby Hilliard wheels away after scoring the Linnets second goal 23.1.16.'TIM SMITH ANL-160329-093630001
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Southern League Premier Division
King’s Lynn Town 1
St Neots Town 1

King’s Lynn Town’s hopes of reaching the Southern Premier Division playoffs were all but ended as they were held by relegation-threatened St Neots at the Walks this evening.

Toby Hilliard’s 17th minute goal gave the Linnets a lead their first half performance clearly merited, before Drew Roberts’ second half free kick gave the Cambridgeshire side a share of the spoils.

The Linnets’ starting line-up showed two changes from the one which suffered a 2-0 defeat at Chesham United on Saturday.

Youngster Liam Fryatt came into the team at the expense of Kern Miller, while Hilliard got the nod ahead of Liam Hurst.

Miller, recovering from a virus, was named on the bench along with Hurst, while midfielder Michael Clunan sat out the second of his two-match suspension.

Standing 11 points behind fifth-placed Hungerford at the start of play, Lynn knew that only a win would realistically keep their hopes of reaching the top five alive.

And the Linnets began brightly, taking a deserved lead on 17 minutes when Stevenson’s deep delivery was met by the scalp of Ryan Fryatt before being turned in by Hilliard at the far post.

Twelve minutes before the interval Hilliard’s sweetly-struck volley struck the base of the posts before Archer gratefully clutched on to Bridges’ follow-up effort.

The visitors stepped up their efforts after the break with Remy Gordon’s shot flashing wide of the target six minutes after the restart.

Bridges fired over a neat pullback from Liam Fryatt before Lynn were pegged back on 65 minutes when Roberts curled his free-kick, given after Sam Gaughran was eventually adjudged to have baulked him on the edge of the box, over the wall and past a stranded Street.

And the visitors had chances to snatch victory in the final 20 minutes.

Roberts blazed over from six yards with the goal at his mercy, while substitute Jordan Brown hit the post as the Saints threatened to go in front.

At the other end, Matthew Castellan spurned a late opportunity for the hosts and Stevenson forced Archer into a late save, but Lynn couldn’t find the winner that would have kept their playoff dream alive ahead of Saturday’s trip to Biggleswade.

King’s Lynn Town: Street, R. Fryatt, Yong, Gaughran, Castellan, Castellan, L. Fryatt, Hilliard (Hurst 77), Stevenson, Mulready (Zielonka 69), Sands, Bridges.