FOOTBALL: A penalty was all that separated King’s Lynn Town from National League hosts Ebbsfleet United in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Ayo Obileye’s 67th-minute spot kick, given after a foul by Chris Smith on Josh Umerah, ended the Linnets’ run in the competition.

Manager Ian Culverhouse admitted the higher-ranked team had caught his team out.

“I thought we lacked a bit of quality in the final third,” he said. “We bossed the game but fair play to them, they banked up and caught us on the break.”

Culverhouse’s pre-match preparations were not helped by the fact that Michael Gash, Harry Limb, assistant manager Paul Bastock and physio Carol Holland were late arriving due to an accident on the motorway.

Even so, Lynn started brightly and had a glorious chance when Sonny Carey’s corner was met by the head of Ross Barrows, forcing Dean Gregory into a full-stretch save. The rebound fell to Adam Marriott but he poked the loose ball wide. 

The hosts were reduced to 10 men. Ryan Jarvis was penalised for a foul before a skirmish ended with Andre Blackman receiving his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident. 

Alfie Payne’s shot was cleared off the line by Lawrie Wilson as Lynn looked to pull off a shock. 

Ebbsfleet looked more dangerous in the second half and earned a third round home tie with Royston Town thanks to Obileye.

Culverhouse thought the sending-off had worked against his team. “We looked better when it was 11 versus 11. We found good space, Mazza (Adam Marriott) and Alfie Payne had good chances, but when they went down to 10 they banked up. It was good to have Chris Smith back. He will be disappointed with the penalty but he’s a young lad and will learn from that.”

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