JOINT Linnets manager Gary Setchell refused to throw in the title towel after seeing main protaganists St Neots move a step closer to winning the league at his side's expense.
The Linnets lost a pulsating UCL encounter, and their unbeaten home league record to boot, against the team dubbed as "St Notes" in front of another big four-figure crowd.
But after the game, a defiant Setchell, whose side's title hopes are now hanging by a thread, said: "We're not going to throw the towel in. We want to get as many points as possible between now and the end of the season.
"If we get 103 points and don't win the league we'll probably be the unluckiest team in England.
"Both teams are good sides and it looks as though both will get more than 100 points. It's just unlucky that one us has got to miss out on going up this year and unfortunately it looks as though that team will be us.
"If we'd have played with the same intensity first half as we did in the second half I think we could have given them more problems.
"When it went 3-2, even with ten men, we were in the ascendancy. It wasn't until the second half that we started passing the ball and making the ball stick with our front men and you can only credit our lads for what they did after the break."
Town were 2-0 down at the break and a man in arrears when Bexfield was harshly shown a red card for hauling down Shane Tolley.
Ex-Linnet Lewis Webb stepped up from the penalty spot to score his third spot-kick against the Linnets this season after former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore had nudged the visitors ahead.
Dan Jacob then curled a left-footer past Alex Street within five minutes of the restart but Jack Defty and Jamie Thurlbourne’s penalty in two minutes prior to the hour mark left the Saints reeling.
Jacob’s second goal ten minutes from time settled the contest and in all probability sealed the league crown with it.
Second-placed Lynn are now ten points adrift of the Saints with five games left to play and Setchell felt Bexfield’s early bath turned the game firmly in St Neots’ favour.
“If anyone watches football you see those incidents all day long. Penalty, yellow card – no question, but no way did it warrant a red card.
“There was a lot said about the referee before the game, especially by St Neots, after he sent off two of their players earlier in the season. I think the pressure got to him and he buckled.”
Setchell praised the victorious Saints, saying: “We have just come up a little short. We won two games against them, but they have won arguably the most important one.
“They have a lot of good players, lads with experience in the Championship and Premier League – but regardless of how much money they spent, they beat us where and when it mattered.”
|King’s Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, L Thurlbourne, McNeil, Watson, Spriggs (White 52), Doherty, J Defty, Bacon (Harris 52), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Harris, White, Buhlemann, Fryatt, Hails.
Bookings: Doherty, Watson.
Sending off: Bexfield.
Goals: Defty (57), Jamie Thurlbourne (59).
St Neots: McShane, D Moore, Hyem, Webb, Gayle, Forham, Green, Strachan (Kanudu 52), S. Moore (Hilliard 60), Tolley, Jacob. Subs (not used): Fuff, Skully, Trebes.
Bookings: Webb, Strachan, Fordham, Jacob.
Goals: S Moore (30), Webb (43), Jacob (50, 80).
Referee: S. Barry (Northants). Attendance: 1,445.