King's Lynn Town earn deserved point against National League leaders Torquay
Vanarama National League
King's Lynn 0
Torquay United 0
Returning Lynn fans were treated to a very respectable goalless draw against league leaders Torquay as Ian Culverhouse's side more than matched their opponents on a sodden afternoon at The Walks.
Having won 10 of their 12 league games, Torquay failed to score in all competitions for the first time this season with their captain shown a red card in the final quarter of the game.
The Linnets' assistant manager Paul Bastock said he was proud with the nature of the performance and believed having a crowd in attendance gave the team a lift.
He added: "Their keeper was man of the match for them by a country mile. He made some decent saves and he's earned his pizza for the way home!"
Lynn made five changes from the team who lost 2-0 at Hartlepool in midweek with Aaron Jones, Ryan Jarvis, Simon Power, Jamar Loza and Dayle Southwell coming in for Alex Brown, Tai Fleming, Michael Clunan, Sonny Carey and Adam Marriott
After a load roar and rousing rendition of 'Championees, championees' greeted the Linnets onto the field, it was almost a perfect start for the home side as Southwell found himself in space inside the box.
Torquay keeper Shaun MacDonald denied him as Lynn came out of the blocks quickly, eager to impress the returning 625 spectators in attendance. Both Bastock and Lynn defender Ross Barrows said it felt like there were 1,000 fans inside the ground, such was the noise being created.
Archie Mair was called into action just short of 10 minutes, diving across and getting a strong hand to beat away a curling Connor Lemonheigh-Evans effort from outside the box. Michael Gash then fired wide moments later at the Tennyson Road end in what was a lively start to the game.
The rain was lashing down as Power's dangerous inswinging free-kick was headed out for a corner, with Gash's ensuing header proving comfortable for MacDonald to claim on 19 minutes.
Jordan Richards narrowly missed the target from just inside the Torquay box as he created some room for himself. The crowd were certainly playing their part as Gary Johnson's team then managed to scramble a couple of corners away.
A surging run from Power through the middle of the pitch was cynically brought to an end by Fraser Kerr 30 yards from goal. The Torquay player received a yellow card for the challenge and Jones lifted the free-kick over the bar with half an hour gone.
There was a real let-off for Culverhouse's side as Ben Whitfield was left unmarked at the back post. He side-footed wide of Mair's goal when he really should have given the visitors the lead.
Mair was then called into action again just before half-time, superbly diverting a close-range effort behind for a corner.
Torquay's former Dereham Town forward Danny Wright was feeding off scraps as Lynn continued to take the game to their high-flying opponents in the second-half. Wright had scored eight goals in 12 National League games ahead of his return to Norfolk.
Power was enjoying his afternoon, as his run down the right flank resulted in a corner just short of the hour mark, before Southwell narrowly volleyed over the bar from a Jones cross.
The same man was then denied by MacDonald as the Lynn forward was closed down by the keeper inside the box.
Callan-McFadden threw himself in front of a Torquay effort on goal to deflect the ball for a corner.
And at the other end, Loza's run down the left side resulted in his cross being hacked over the bar with Southwell waiting to finish. The latter then fired wide with an ambitious free-kick from distance.
Seconds after coming on for Southwell, Marriott was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge from Asa Hall, which resulted in a straight red card for the Torquay captain with 10 minutes left to play.
Power then headed straight at MacDonald as Lynn pushed for a winner against the 10 men. There only looked like being one winner at this stage as Marriott fired over from close range with 84 minutes on the clock.
With one minute of injury time gone, Jake Andrews' free-kick was straight at Mair. Whitfield then fired just wide of the far post for Gary Johnson's side, which would have been extremely harsh on Lynn deep into stoppage time.
Speaking after the game, Bastock said: "I thought to a man we were unbelievable, the effort, the endeavour, the chances back to front. It made a difference having a crowd there. Me and the gaffer are just so proud, everyone is so proud of each other.
"We were the better team on the day in my opinion and we actually feel like we've dropped points against a top of the table team which has been blowing people out the water."
King's Lynn: Mair, Barrows, Jones, Smith, Callan-McFadden, Richards, Jarvis, Loza (Carey 84), Power, Southwell (Marriott 77), Gash (Mitchell 74). Subs not used: Fleming, Clunan
Torquay: MacDonald, Cameron, Kerr, Lemonheigh-Evans, Hall, Wright (Umerah 72), Andrews, Randell (Waters 70), Sherring (Warren 72), Nemane, Whitfield. Subs not used: Buse, Covolan
Official man of the match: Simon Power