Southern League Premier Division
King’s Lynn Town 0 Merthyr Town 0
King’s Lynn Town dropped two crucial points in their chase for promotion as they were held to a goalless home draw by Merthyr Town.
The Linnets created a host of chances throughout the 90 minutes at The Walks but were denied by a brave display by their depleted Welsh visitors.
Lynn hit both the bar and post during a frustrating afternoon as they chose an inopportune time to draw a blank at home for the first time in five months.
With all of Lynn’s promotion rivals all winning, the battle for home advantage in the play-offs is likely to go right down to the wire.
Ian Culverhouse, whose side’s clash at home to Kettering Town on Thursday night now takes on extra significance, admitted his side had not being clinical enough in the final third.
After seeing their six-match winning streak come to an end in disappointing fashion, Culverhouse said: “I thought we were a little bit slow today.
“We looked a bit leggy and were too pedestrian at times. Our quality in the final third wasn’t good enough today. The delivery from wide areas was poor and little half chances we snatched at.
“After starting slow we got caught up in it and in the end we were chasing a game that we shouldn’t have been chasing.”
Lynn passed up some presentable opportunities with the normally-reliable Michael Gash among the worst culprits in front of goal.
After Cameron King saw an early effort cleared off the line by Kyle Patten, Gash planted an early header on the roof of the net and fired a free-kick wide of the target.
Gash saw another effort come back off the crossbar, following an excellent ball from Cameron Norman, and his misery was compounded when he was foiled by young visiting goalkeeper Ed Hewitson.
The Walks outfit didn’t have it all of their own way and, midway through the second half, home goalkeeper Alex Street pulled of a stunning double save to foil both Owain Jones and Harry Franklin at point-blank range on the counter-attack.
Lynn continued to huff and puff and substitute Tom Siddons picked out Gash with a superb pass only for the frontman to drill his effort wide on the volley.
Hewitson, who belied his tender years with a commanding performance between the posts, thwarted Gash again with an excellent punch out and in the dying seconds of the match turned a Tom Siddons header onto his post.
Merthyr boss Gavin Williams paid tribute to his battling players.
Williams said: “We came here without a number of senior players and had a 16-year-old in goal but the togetherness and team spirit we have shown was first class.
“It was about coming here and digging in against one of the best sides in the league.
“King’s Lynn are a real handful. Yes we rode our luck at times but for all of our hard work, I think the point was deserved.”
King’s Lynn Town (4-3-1-2): Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Fryatt, Ward, Jarvis, Clunan, Hilliard (Hawkins 62), Gash, King (Parker 65), Lappin (Siddons 62). Subs not used: Mettam and Frary.
Booked: Ward, Gash.
Merthyr Town (3-5-2): Hewitson, Davies, Franklin, Reddy, Harris, Patten, Jenkins (Price 76), Wright, Jones, Morgan (John 45), Traylor. Sub not used: Dima.
Booked: Morgan, Reddy, Hewitson, Franklin, Davies.
Referee: Mr A. Sannerude (Lowestoft).