THE prospect of Eastern Division football for Lynn next season moved a step closer on Tuesday night after a comprehensive defeat by arch-rivals Kettering.
Lynn battled gamely in the first 45 minutes, but the promotion-chasing Poppies showed their class with three strikes after the interval.
It was a sad night for Peter Morris against his former club, but the Linnets coach had few complaints when he said: "We matched them in the first half, but the first goal we conceded was a bad one and at 2-0 we were always chasing the game.
"We've now met three of the top four teams in our last four matches and have cut our own throats with mistakes in two of the games."
Despite their impressive first half showing, Lynn would have gone into the break behind had Kettering striker Dale Watkins converted one of his two early chances.
Watkins missed a gilt-edged chance in the 10th minute when he flashed a shot wide of Wilson's left post when he should have done better.
Eight minutes later the same player was denied by Wilson, who bravely stood up to block Watkins' shot.
Midway through the half Wilson, whose handling was impeccable throughout the night, was called upon again to save Wayne Diuk's cross with three Kettering players waiting to pounce.
Lynn gradually found their feet as the half wore on, but other than half-chances for Matty Clements and Andrew Stanhope, they rarely threatened the Poppies goal.
Referee Mr Caswell won few friends in the crowd when failing to book Watkins for a deliberate trip on Glen Fuff in the 39th minute as Lynn enjoyed their best spell of the match.
The man in the middle eventually brandished a yellow card to Kettering's Craig Norman for a professional foul on Clements in the 44th minute after the Lynn striker had burst through on goal.
Unfortunately, the impressive Paul Raynor wasted the resulting free-kick on the edge of the box when he blasted it straight into the Kettering wall.
Lynn got off to the worst possible start after the break when the sloppy McNeil conceded possession almost straight from the restart and Watkins rounded Wilson before slotting home.
A flowing move down the right saw the Poppies score their second goal in the 83rd minute when Darren Collins delivered an accurate cross for Watkins to net his and Kettering's second.
Lacklustre Lynn's misery was completed two minutes from time when they lost the ball in midfield and Lee Cowling made no mistake with the finish.
Raynor hit the post for Lynn with just seconds left on the clock, but his goal-shy colleagues had their backs turned to goal when the ball rebounded out.
It summed Lynn's night and season up and left The Walks faithful wondering where the next goal will come from.
Lynn: Wilson, Staff, McNamara, McNeil (Hudson 58), Fuff, Clark, Stanhope (Anderson 36), Raynor, Clements, Bush (Rowe 69), Hayes.
Kettering: Pettinger, Diuk, Cowling, Matthews, Perkins, Norman, Fear, Turner, Collins, Watkins, Butcher. Subs not used: Hughes, Piercewright and Lenagh.
Att: 1192. Booking: Norman (44, professional foul) Lynn News MoM: Paul Raynor