Linnets’ promotion hopes go down to the wire

King’s Lynn Town’s hopes of automatic promotion will be decided on the final day of the National League North season.

Lynn’s 3-1 success at Darlington on Saturday was matched by second-placed Fylde, who were 5-1 home winners over Leamington, whose relegation was confirmed as a result of their defeat.

Mark Hughes’ side showed their quality by scoring twice in the first half through Ben Stephens and Josh Coulson.

Gold Omotayo added a third with his 24th goal of the campaign in the second half before the Quakers pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Michael Liddle.

Lynn retain their one-point advantage, from a game more. Fylde play their game in hand on Tuesday when they travel to Curzon Ashton.

The one and only automatic promotion spot will therefore be decided next Saturday, when Lynn host Curzon and Fylde head to Bradford PA.

The Linnets went close on 19 minutes when Josh Barrett found Christian Oxlade Chamberlain on the right, and the full-back’s low cross bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Twelve minutes before the interval a long throw from Oxlade Chamberlain towards the near post was punched away by Taylor.

But Barrett placed a diving header towards goal which was pushed away and Ben Stephens was on hand to head the ball into the net.

It was almost 2-0 when Stephens got around the back and his right foot shot came back off the post and Barrett’s follow up was deflected wide.

But the respite was only brief, because when the ball came in from the right, Coulson headed into the corner of the net to put Lynn 2-0 up seven minutes before the break.

The game was put beyond Darlington’s reach shortly after the restart when Stephens put the ball into the box from the right, Barrett saw his effort blocked, as did Omotayo, but the big frontman knocked the rebound past Taylor.

Darlington were awarded a penalty 20 minutes from time when Jacob Hazel chased a ball forward by Nathan Newall and was brought down by Tommy Dixon-Hodge.

Liddle made no mistake from the spot with his sixth goal of the season but it was only a mere consolation for the home side.

Now the eyes of Linnets fans will turn to Curzon Ashton, hoping The Nash can do the Linnets a huge favour on Tuesday.

Darlington: Taylor, Sukar, Newall, Hedley (Nelson 57), Lawlor (Brookwell 69), Moke, Purver (Cooper 57), Liddle, Lambert, Felix, Hazel. Subs not used: Brookwell, Cooper, Howe.

Scorer: Liddle 72 (pen).

Lynn: Dixon-Hodge, A Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Crowther, Coulson, Callan-McFadden, Widdrington (Hughes 85), Clunan, Stephens (Ponticelli 72 ), Barrett, Omotayo. Subs not used: Denton, Scott, Morrell.

Scorers: Stephens 33, Coulson 38, Omotayo 49.

Attendance: 1394.