King's Lynn 0 Merthyr Tydfil 1
1st September 2001
UGLY scenes followed the Linnets' second last-gasp -home defeat in a week, as three stewards suffered minor injuries and the Merthyr players were escorted to .their bus for their safety.
Trouble flared up around gestures made by away keeper Neil Thomas to Lynn fans, who then invaded the pitch. Both sides have been reported by the referee.
After Merthyr's injury-time winner, scuffles between players took place in the tunnel, which. resulted in minor injuries to head steward Carl Jarman and Lynn kit man Richard Simper among others.
It is understood neither club will take the matter further.
A Merthyr official described it as a "storm in a tea cup."
Tempers boiled over when Thomas seemed to snake a meal of Lynn striker Lee Hudson's challenge, with no discernible contact made.
At the final whistle Thomas clenched his fists at the crowd, some of whom spilled onto the pitch.
Linnets director Peter Langford said that referee Mr Martin from Wellingborough has reported Thomas for inciting the Lynn fans, the Merthyr players' goal celebrations and Lynn and Merthyr for their fans' pitch invasion.
Mr Martin did not see the tunnel incidents and thus they were not in his report.
"We don't condone what the fans did," said Langford.
"There was a half-time tannoy announcement that fans should not go on the pitch. The goalkeeper had been inciting them at that end.
"There was no animosity from the stewards as they escorted Merthyr players to their bus. Some Merthyr players shook my hand as they left.
Merthyr secretary Anthony Hughes understood Linnets officials' decision not to allow their players in the bar after the stormy events.
Hughes told the Lynn News: "Obviously we were disappointed with that, but they chose to make that decision for the right reasons.
"As far as we are concerned, the events were a storm in a tea cup and occasionally things like this do happen. There's no animosity on our part towards King's Lynn."
Hughes added that, contrary to earlier reports: "It would be very harsh to say that Lynn didn't allow our supporters in the bar.
"I saw them immediately after the game and after what had gone on, they thought it would be wise to go home."
Hughes added: "The linesman informed the referee that Neil had made gestures to supporters during the game, although he wasn't cautioned in any way.
"Neil denied this going home. If he is reported and found guilty, then there is no question that we will discipline him ourselves."
These events overshadowed the game, which was no great loss. Player/coach Tommy Wright described Lynn's first half display as "abysmal", the hosts making little impression for the first hour.
They perked up in a great 20-minute spell, and captain Dave Robinson nodded the ball into the net from a free kick, but it was ruled offside.
"In the first half there was no passion, no invention, it was definitely the worst display I've seen at Lynn," said Wright, who added changes may have to been made fr last night's Chelmsford away game.
Wayne Anderson had the best chance of the first half, somehow heading wide from six yards following excellent work on the wing from Hudson.
On the stroke of half-time, young Lynn keeper Simon Nobes, in for the suspended Steve Wilson, superbly saved with his legs from Ian Edwards.
After a half-time rollicking, the Linnets controlled the game .after Nobes foiled Danny Carter with another point blank save.
Lynn looked far better when Zeke Rowe came on.
Hudson blasted wide when well-placed by Adie Hayes, who went close with a 25-yard screamer at the death.
But the Martyrs went up the other end in the second minute of injury time, and sub Andy Mainwaring was sent free in the box and slotted low past Nobes.
Lynn: Nobes, Dakin, March, Robinson, Fuff, Clark (Clarke 82), Anderson, Hayes, Rowland (Rowe 61), Hudson, Minett (Evans h-t).
Merthyr: N. Thomas, I. Edwards, D. Haines, J. Rollo, C. Lima, A. Needs, G. Thomas, D. Carter, G. Beddard (M. Dodds 8), J. Eaton (A. Mainwanng 72), T Ramasut. Sub: R. Jones.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
||Robinson (14, foul)
Rowe (65, flare-up)
Hudson (76, foul)
|| Carter (27, flare-up)
Rollo (63, foul)
Lima (65, flare-up)
|Lynn News Man of the Match - Simon Nobes