Southern League Premier Division
Stratford Town 1 King’s Lynn Town 1
Draw specialists King’s Lynn made it four draws from five league games when sharing the points in an heated encounter at Stratford.
Alex Street’s first-half saves cancelled out Lynn’s missed second half chances in a bad-tempered affair which saw eight players booked and another sent-off.
The hosts ended the game with ten men when defensive midfielder Barry Fitzharris was shown a red card following a bout of handbags.
Stratford manager Carl Harris paid tribute to a gutsy King’s Lynn performance, saying: “King’s Lynn are a game side and kept on working so I always had an inkling they would create a chance or two.
“The goal was poor from our point of view. We didn’t work hard enough to stop the cross then got into a mess when the cross came in.”
Stratford created the better of the opening chances with Kieren Westwood testing Street on three minutes who was forced to concede a corner.
Dior Angus was next in line and possibly should have done better with his opportunity but his effort was well saved by Street.
Lynn suffered a blow 20 minutes in when they lost Ryan Fryatt with a recurrence of the foot problem that has sidelined him for much of the season.
On 29 minutes Toby Hilliard was grounded by James Fry and Leon Mettam’s free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Cooper and the ball cleared to safety.
The home side had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock two minutes later.
Donnell Benjamin put Richard Gregory through on goal but Street parried the ball which fell to Liam Francis who scuffed his shot.
Lynn started the second half brightly with Kurtis Revan testing Niall Cooper and then Jacek Zielonka trying a bicycle kick which went high and wide.
Stratford took the lead on 58 minutes against the run of play when Fitzharris’ cross found its way to Gregory at the far post who slotted home as Lynn appealed for offside.
Lynn levelled nine minutes later when substitute Danny Emmington’s cross deceived Cooper in the home goal and was chested home by Lee Stevenson.
With three minutes left on the clock Lynn had a chance to end their winless streak when Mettam capitalised on Clark’s underhit backpass to his goalkeeper.
Lynn’s joint leading scorer, however, hesitated when trying to round Cooper who managed to grab the ball at the second attempt.
Frustration seemed to get the better of the players and this culminated in a melee which resulted in Fitzharris being shown a straight red card.
In the end a draw was probably a fair result in a game where the officials took centre stage with some baffling decisions.
Stratford Town: Cooper, Tuloch, Westwood (Clark 40), Fry, Francis, Kalenda, Fitzharris, Grocott, Gregory, Angus, Benjamin(Sheldon 74). Subs not used Brooks, Brathwaite, Ahenkorah.
Booked: Fry, Clark, Benjamin, Francis.
Scorer: Gregory 58.
King’s Lynn Town: Street, R. Fryatt (Emmington 20), Yong, Gaughran, Quigley, Zielonka, M. Clunan, Stevenson, Hilliard, Mettam, Revan. Subs not used: McQuaid, Edge, Pearson.
Booked: Hilliard, Stevenson, Gaughran, Mettam.
Scorer: Stevenson 67.