For one brief, glorious moment, as Clive Adams fired home from close range, it looked as if Lynn had done the impossible, writes Chris Dainty.
But as hundreds of visiting fans prepared to celebrate a last-gasp 2-2 equaliser the linesman's flag shot up to signal offside and sound the death knell of the Linnets FA Cup dreams.
It was a cruel blow for a side that gave nothing short of total commitment and, with a bit more co-ordination in midfield and upfront, could well have been looking forward to a place in yesterday's draw for the first round proper.
As it was Kettering created few chances and took two of them, while Lynn made a similar number but could only take the one.
Burrows showed early promise on the left wing, twisting and turning the Kettering defence on several occasions, but the quality of his crosses and the number of players getting into forward positions fell short of what has come to be expected.
Both sides were finding it difficult to string more than two or three passes together and there were a number of crunching tackles to keep the referee occupied.
Lynn goalkeeper Mick Drewery made the first of a number of fine saves during the afternoon when he did well to keep out a powerful header from Atkins after 15 minutes.
Bircumshaw was having a fine game at the back for Lynn, and he came close with a near post header at the other end from an Elliot free kick.
After an opening spell of Lynn pressure Kettering began to assert their authority on the match and towards the end of the first half Lynn were virtual prisoners in the own penalty area.
At one stage Kettering had three corners in a row and only some fine reaction saves from Drewery saw Lynn through to half-time without conceding any goals.
Lynn made a lively start to the second half with Chapman, who had so far seen a little off the Ball, weaving past two players to reach the Kettering box before blasting high and wide.
An unusually subdued Easthall had a sight of goal after 65 minutes when he left on to a Elliott free kick, but the Kettering goalie did well to get behind his powerful shot.
Thomson found its way into the refs' book for some clumsy tackling and minutes later he had the chance to make amends by putting Lynn into the lead.
Wiles put Easthall in the clear on the left as the home side tried to spring the offside trap. The ex-Poppies favourite raced to the by-line and hammered over a cross that left the defence stranded and found Thomson, whose side foot shot was cleared off the line by a defender.
Burrows was booked for time wasting and at the Linnets paid dearly for the missed chances when Kettering took the lead in the 73rd minute.
Phipps swept past Johnston down the right, crossed from the by-line and Evans was unmarked to direct a close-range header passed Drewery.
Kettering went 2-0 up in the 79th minute when they hit Lynn with the fast break. Atkins collected the ball just outside the Kettering area, flicked it on to Murphy who shrugged off a couple of challenges before releasing Duggan on the left wing to race in and hammer a shot past the unlucky Drewery.
Adams came on for Thompson and Lynn began throwing bodies forward. Watt's had a superb chip from a free kick well saved by the Poppies keeper.
Kettering should have scored again as the Linnets defence began to fall apart under the pressure, but they held out and visitors got one back the 88 minutes.
Chapman hit a near post cross from the right, Easthall's flick shot rebounded off the keeper and Burrows prodded the ball home at close range.
Lynn continued to surge forward in a desperate search for the equaliser. Thirty seconds before time the visiting fans were on their feet as Adams put the ball in the net following a Burrows free-kick and a Chapman knock down.
But the linesman's flag went up for offside and Lynn were out of the cup, but not without a fight.
Kettering: Tingay, McIntosh, Forster, Clarke, Harrison, Phipps, Evans, Atkins, Murphy. Sub Jenkins.
Lynn: Drewery, Wilson, Wiles, Watts, Bircumshaw, Johnston, Easthall, Thompson (sub Adams 82 mins), Chapman, Elliot, Burrows.
Referee: Mr M P Scott