Hilliard salvages late point for King’s Lynn Town
King’s Lynn Town 1 Banbury United 1
An added-time equaliser from Toby Hilliard salvaged a point for the Linnets against Banbury United at the Walks.
Lynn dominated possession for large spells of the game but missed several key opportunities to put the game out of sight.
With Hereford winning 4-0 at Dunstable, the Linnets dropped down to second in the Southern League Premier Division standings.
The home side’s first chance came on three minutes when a teasing cross was met by Dion Frary, only for the defender’s shot to fall agonisingly wide.
Some excellent midfield passing gave Simon Lappin a golden chance to give Lynn the lead on 12 minutes but his powerful low drive flew past the post.
Banbury’s first real chance came on 21 minutes when striker Ricky Johnson’s header from a Jordy Ngathe delivery floated over the woodwork.
Lynn’s best chance of the half came on 23 minutes when Craig Parker’s looping header bounced back off the bar, with Michael Gash seeing his follow-up effort blocked.
The hosts piled on the pressure at the end of the first-half but their only real chance came when Ryan Jarvis volleyed over from range.
Against the run of play, Johnson won a free-kick in a dangerous area for Banbury following Cameron Norman’s foul.
Opposing manager Mike Ford brought on set-piece specialist Tom Winters for Sam Humphreys and the substitute could only hammer his free-kick at the wall.
Following his set-piece, Winters appeared to stamp on Ryan Hawkins in the box but managed to escape with only a yellow card.
The half-time whistle blew soon after the controversy to send both sides in level at 0-0.
Winters was involved in the first bit of action of the second-half when his half-volley from range tested Alex Street.
Cameron Norman, who was lively down the right all afternoon, could have given the Linnets the lead soon after but his effort flew over after some great work from Gash had set him up.
Manager Ian Culverhouse brought off injured defender Ryan Fryatt for striker Leon Mettam ten minutes into the second period.
The change saw Frazer Blake-Tracy shuffle across into the middle of defence while Lappin moved to left-back.
The substitution almost paid dividends on 62 minutes when Gash played Mettam through on goal.
But visiting goalkeeper Jack Harding was quick off his line to deny the striker to keep the scores level.
Hawkins then had a chance to put his side in front, but his weak side-footed effort from a Norman cross was blocked.
A minute later, Hawkins found space on the edge of the area, but his low drive again lacked enough power to beat Harding.
However, it was Banbury who took the lead in the 72th minute when some slack defending allowed Jack Self to get in behind the home defence before he stabbed past Street.
The Linnets went in search of a response and almost had their equaliser when Mettam won a free-kick on the edge of the box 85 minutes.
Gash took the set piece and saw his powerful strike tipped wide of the goal.
The same player almost levelled again two minutes later but could only fire over from Norman’s cross.
Lynn found an equaliser in added time when substitute Hilliard finished excellently from inside the area following Mettam’s clever back heel.
Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Frary, Fryatt (Mettam 50), Jarvis, Clunan, Parker (Hiliard 68), Gash, Hawkins (McQuaid 82), Lappin. Subs: Hilliard, Mettam, McQuaid, Watson.
Booked: Clunan, Jarvis, Gash.
Scorer: Hilliard 90+2.
Banbury: Harding, Pond, Ngathe, Nash, Carnell, Johnson, Hawtin, Self, Sandy (Howards 65), Humphrey (Winters 45+2), Wyse. Subs: Howards, Winters, Awadh.
Booked: Carnell, Winters.
Scorer: Self 72.