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King's Lynn 1 Macclesfield Town 2
3rd May 1981
A SEASON in the Northern Premier League which opened in sunshine with a two-goal win over Workington last August ended on Sunday in heavy rain and a defeat by Macclesfield.
In between there have been 40 games of which nearly half have been drawn.
Overall a disappointing season for the Linnets, especially as they opened in such fine style with two good wins, but they will have learnt a lot from this first experience of the Northern Premier League.
They have escaped the ignomy of having to apply for re-election and in the close season can prepare for the next campaign.
Certainly it has been amply demonstrated that the NPL is a much harder competition than the Southern League and the warning that the Linnets would find it tough going have been borne out.
But there has been only a narrow division between success and failure. In Sunday's game for example the Linnets had by far the better of the first half yet turned round a goal down. Macclesfield snapped up a second goal after Lynn had been looking likely to equalise and then came a pulsating last ten minutes when one goal was salvaged and a point so nearly saved.
It was perhaps a game symptomatic of the season so near yet so far. A dozen or so points have been lost from games where the Linnets could and should have picked up something. In the NPL however there are no easy teams and mistakes can be so costly.
Macclesfield survived all the early Lynn pressure which saw goal keeper Simpson diving out to save at the feet of Adams and later Chapman; two other shots from Elliott and Wright beat him but also missed the target. With three minutes of the first half remaining Lynn lost possession in mid-field and when play was switched to the left there was Marsden unmarked and able to evade Ringwood's challenge and slot the ball into an empty net.
The second half opened with Elliott again unlucky with a well-struck shot which rebounded to safety off Chapman. But Macclesfield were looking more relaxed now they had the lead and alter Marsden was robbed of a second goal by good covering from Saywood, the Linnets were hit again. A 65th minute corner by Marsden went to the feet of Heathcote on the far side of the goalmouth and he volleyed in without hesitation.
Still Lynn battled on and Elliott in the 80th minute got the goal he thought would never come. It was a 20-yard free kick and he found a gap in the covering thanks to a diversionary run from Adams. Most of the action was then in the Macclesfield half with Wright seeing one header being knocked off the line and Wiles putting a half chance over the top.
Lynn: Ringwood, Wilson, Wright, Saywood, Wiles, Adams, watts (sub Rudd 25), Elliot, Rider, Chapman, Alexander.
Macclesfield: Simpson, Brennan, Fairclough, Wardle, Higham, Mason, Markland, Gay, Williamson, Heathcote, Marsden. Sub. Flay
Report by permission of the Lynn News