King's Lynn 1 Ilkeston Town 1
1st May 1999
LINNETS ended a fine season by losing their run of clean sheets but they successfully secured this year's unbeaten home record.
A top ten finish was excellent considering they were facing relegation at Christmas, after which Lynn were the form team of the league.
In a superb first half the Robins led with a stunning goal, but top scorer Mark Turner struck for the second time in two games to notch Lynn's 50th goal under Gary Mills. However Dave Puttnam missed a glorious chance to seal it and Lynn hung on in the end.
"It's been a good season in the end," said Mills. "We've had a thoroughly deserved run since Christmas, I'm proud of the side. Staying up was the most important thing for the club and I hope to have happy times ahead.
"Darren Gee does a lot of running about for me and he doesn't get the praise he deserves. I still want to play on. As far as I'm concerned, no one's going to get my shirt.
"It was a very good game on a very difficult pitch to play on. Once we got the ball down we were the better side. After they scored we were magnificent.
"Dave (Puttnam) had a chance after a great move, but what with the pitch he was thinking 'what am I going to do with it', and it went over."
Jeremy Goss, made captain after Colin Hoyle's injury, indicated he would be returning next season, adding: "I've enjoyed it here and it's an honour for me to be offered the captaincy.
"I've been impressed by the professional approach to every game, it's just like the league."
Ilkeston dominated early play as home keeper Chuck Martini made three good saves in the first five minutes.
The Robins were rewarded when Craig Clark was harshly penalised in a bout of 50-50 push-and-shove with Christian Moore as both chased a high ball. Justin O'Reilly curled a beautiful free-kick into the top corner as Martini was left standing.
This was the first goal Lynn had conceded since March 20 and the first at home since March 6.
In a productive Lynn spell, Puttnam followed up his own corner with, volley which Chris Marples saved at his near post. Micky Nuttell set up Lee Wilson, who blazed over.
On the half-hour mark, O'Reilly dispossessed Glen Fuff but shot inches wide of post and bar. Nuttell fed Puttnam, who screwed the ball over.
Linnets made amends as Mill crossed, Wilson's header was saved and Turner tapped in a half-volley for his I3th goal of the season. Just before the break Wilson's cheeky long rang lob struck the top of the bar.
Early in the second half Lynn wasted a golden opportunity. Wilson charged down the left, his centre was nodded on by Nuttell, and Puttnam side-footed over an open goal.
Wayne Fairclough's header out was poor but Dave Robinson's follow-up was blocked on the line by Fearon.
Tony Spearing and Fuff made crucial clearances while Martini tipped over O'Reilly's screamer Linnets had a late scare when Spearing's clearance ballooned off Simon Weaver and struck the post.
Lynn: Martini, Robinson, Spearing, Fuff, Clarke, Mills, Turner, Goss, Nuttell, Wilson, Puttnam. Subs (not used) McGinty, Simpson, Palmer
Ilkeston: Marples, Ludlam (Wright 67), Fairclough, Middleton (Eshleby 77), Weaver, Knapper, Clifford, O'Reilly, Helliwell, Moore, Fearon. Sub (not used) Alsop.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |