By Chris Milsom at The Walks
King’s Lynn Town 1
Slough Town 2
FOOTBALL: A Manny Williams winner on 89 minutes stole the promotion-deciding game in front of a bumper sun-drenched Walks crowd on Monday.
For this Southern League play-off final, Linnets boss Ian Culverhouse named the same 16-man squad which had defeated Weymouth in the semi-final on Wednesday night, Culverhouse resisting temptation to include club captain Michael Clunan in his squad.
And it was the home side which was quick out the blocks and created the first real chance. Slough could only half-clear a cross into the box and it dropped to Michael Gash whose first time volley cannoned back off the frame of the goal.
A driving run and cross from Ryan Hawkins across the face of goal was just out of the reach of the lurking Gash at the back post shortly afterwards.
The Rebels nearly benefitted from a rare Ryan Jarvis mistake. His under-hit back pass had to be dealt with by home goalkeeper Alex Street, with Perry Coles closing quickly.
The first goal did arrive on 27 minutes somewhat against the run of play. Frazer Blake-Tracy’s free-kick from wide was headed down by Gash which was helped on by Ryan Fryatt into the path of Toby Hilliard who poked the loose ball home.
And in true Linnets fashion, one nearly brought two. A high cross from Simon Lappin was missed by Turner in the visitors’ goal, then Gash hooked the ball across the face of goal which was then headed agonisingly wide.
The Rebels deservedly levelled just minutes before the half time interval.
A James Dobson corner was only half cleared by the Lynn defence back out to Dobson, who stood the ball up for Chris Flood to head past the despairing Street.
Coles almost gave Slough the lead in the 53rd minute when he lost his marker and hit a low shot which hit the base of stopper Street’s left-hand post
Flood then squandered a great chance after getting through on goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle from Blake-Tracy.
Striker Leon Mettam was then introduced in place of scorer Hilliard, and his first involvement nearly resulted in a penalty kick when his scissor kick was blocked by a Slough defender.
The Rebels continued to press and they were rewarded just as the clock ticked onto 90 minutes. Williams jinked his way into the Lynn box before firing past Street into the top corner.
Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracy, Lappin, Fryatt, Jarvis, King (Siddons 89), Parker, Gash, Hilliard (Mettam 80), Hawkins (Ward 62). Subs not used: Frary, McQuaid.
Referee: Mr Daniel Lamport (Swindon).