Stumped with Shaping Neck

Shape Neck 1st row called for pat 30, cast off 41, pat 30. Follows with: Cont in pat last 30 sts until neck measures 4 1/2 in. I now have 30 sts with 41 in the middle off the needle and then 30 more. If I follow pattern for the 1st 30sts and the continue across the the next 30 there’s a link in the middle which should be open for the neck edge. What am I doing wrong?

Just grab another ball or end from the other end of your skein to work the other side.