King's Lynn 1 Merthyr Tydfil 0
7th April 2001
LINNETS gained their revenge over the Martyrs thanks to Adie Hayes' third goal of the season to continue their end-of-season flourish.
Merthyr were the last team to beat Lynn in the league on February 10 with a stunning injury-time winner. This puts Lynn back into fifth place.
"We returned a favour big style. It was our most complete 90 minutes," said delighted manager Tony Spearing. "They never got out of their half.
"I want everyone to stay level-headed as I'm sure there's a hiccup around the corner.
"In the first half we were lazy on crosses, they were not early enough and they broke down. That's 13 games unbeaten in normal time and at this level, it's an achievement."
Rain at the start of the game made for a skid-pan surface which made it difficult for the players.
However, Zeke Rowe and Paul Raynor played well on their home debuts, former Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield ace Raynor (34) outstanding with the way he bossed the midfield.
"Both players who have signed have come and proved themselves;" added Spearing. "Everybody stood still for the goal except Adie. Paul is now bossing him about and Adie has really grown up in the last couple of games."
This is the third season running Linnets have started indifferently and done well in the run-in. Similarly, the story of this game was a slow start leading to domination.
Linnets had much first-half possession but did not make much of it. Merthyr broke effectively and had good claims for a penalty when Glen Fuff seemed to chop down Darren Ryan in the 23rd minute, but referee Mr Stretton waved play on.
Just before half-time Lynn went close when Gareth Elliott cleared a Lyndon Rowland header off the line with an overhead kick.
Linnets made their intentions clear a minute after the break when from a Tommy Wright corner, Dave Robinson's half-volley was brilliantly tipped over by keeper Neil Thomas at full stretch. The hosts went on to dominate the half.
Rowland missed with a snap header across goal, Jon Palmer was inches wide of the right stanchion with an overhead effort on the hour, and the match seemed destined for a draw.
Dave Puttnam's entrance upped the tempo and he set up the winner within three minutes Of coming on. Everyone stood still waiting for the referee to blow up for a foul on Wright, but Puttnam played through Hayes, who walked through a static defence to slot past Thomas's left.
Puttnam again turn provider, as sub Kristian Jones - with his first touch - latch on to his perfect ball over the top, but Thomas saved with his legs.
Jones also impressed after coming on, beating three players but again being denied by Thomas when a pass to Zeke Rowe might have been the better option.
: Martini, Dakin, Clark, Robinson, Fuff, Raynor, Palmer, Hayes, Rowe, Rowland (Puttnam 71), Wright, (Jones 83). Not used: Anderson.
r: N. Thomas. M. Regan, R King, G. Thomas (C. Loss 81), G Elliott, K. Walker (G. Abraham 71) A Needs, L. Price (P. Giles 81), D. Ryan, J. Perry, D. Clarke.
Lynn News Man of the Match
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
|| Clarke (21, foul)
- Paul Raynor