Margate 3 King's Lynn 1
4th November 2000
OUT-of-form keeper Chuck Martini's first team place is in doubt after Lynn manager Gary Mills blamed him for all three goals.
He took the unprecedented step after the third and worst goal of substituting Martini for Ben Nower.
On their sloping pitch, Margate's tactics of pumping corners and crosses under Martini's nose paid off. This was after Lyndon Rowland had given Lynn an early lead.
"We did OK, but it's the same old story, we gave them three goals," said Mills.
"Chuck has punched the first one in the net, the second goal was in under the bar. Margate are a lively side, they combined well in the set pieces."
Mills gave the strongest hint yet that Martini, who has cost points recently, would be dropped.
"Maybe I should have made the decision two weeks ago to leave Chuck out;" he explained.
"Maybe it is time on Saturday to give Ben a chance. The problem is I don't know what players are going to be at the club.
"I didn't take Chuck off to humiliate him, I would never do that. I thought his confidence has totally gone and if I kept him on we might lose five or six-one."
Mills, who had a great game, paid tribute to his departing assistant Darren Gee.
"I wanted to win the game for my man and I'm gutted I didn't. He's an honest fellow and a hard worker and I'm sorry he's not with me."
Mills said the dressing room mood was one of uncertainty: "It's a difficult time for the football club but we've got to come through it. r don't know what's going to happen in the near future.
"We've got to get on with it as no-one is going to feel sorry for us. While I'm here playing and managing I'll give everything I've got."
Last week's releases and the absence of Tommy Wright, who was stopped from travelling from Wakefield by the floods, depleted Mills' squad.
This meant Lee Gibson made his first start of the season alongside Emeka Nwadike who was playing his 50th game for the club.
Lynn had a dream start in the seventh minute as Mills produced a defence-splitting 50-yard ball over the top for Rowland who evaded his marker and coolly finished a low right foot shot which went in off the post.
Linnets had a scare as Tony Spearing broke down, which let Phil Collins through in a one-on-one situation but he blazed over. Craig Clark replaced the hamstrung Spearing.
The hosts were level after 25 minutes, but only after Martini punched the ball away, half saved lain O'Connell's follow-up and Dave Robinson cleared for a corner.
Eliot Martin took it and Martini fisted it into the net under pressure from half a dozen marauding Margate men.
The Gate sensed they could profit from pinging the ball under the bar at corners.
Clark cleared off the line in a goalmouth scramble which home captain Graham Post finished off.
On the hour, another long ball from Mills found Simon Dakin sneaking in the Margate box, but he volleyed wide.
Margate got a killer third midway through the half. Parker sent a hopeful high ball into the middle, Martini jumped and missed it to leave Collins with a simple free header into the net.
This prompted Nower's entrance and, apart from a blatantly-looking offside chance he had little to do.
: C. Martini (B. Nower 70), Dakin, T. Spearing (C. Clark 22), Robinson, G. Fuff, L. Gibson (J. Palmer 72), E. Nwadike, G. Mills, A. Thomas, L Rowland, A. Hayes.
: L. Turner, G. Porter, P. Lamb, B. Edwards, L. Williams, I. O'Connell, M. Munday, E. Martin, M. Tako, Braithwaite 75), Collins, J. Saunders Subs not used: M. Greatorex, D. Yorath.
Lynn News Man of the Match
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
||Nwadike (9, foul)
Spearing (18, flare-up)
Robinson (35, foul)
Rowland (42, foul)
|| Collins (18, flare-up)
Tako (45, foul)
- Gary Mills