Stamford 1 King's Lynn 3
7th August 2001
DEFENDER Jamie March described Tuesday night's bruising friendly win at
Stamford as the worst match he has ever played in after players' tempers
boiled over throughout a stormy opening 45 minutes.
Events on the pitch became so bad that Linnets chairman Colin Nichols
threatened to pull his side off the field during the break, before referee
Martin Harris asked both managers to calm their players down.
March, who sustained a double fracture of the arm on his last visit to the
Newflame Stadium in February, said: "That was the worst game I've ever
"Stamford weren't bothered about playing football. They came out intent on
rattling as many people as they could and we became involved and things
gradually got worse.
"It was important that we protected ourselves and remained strong and that's
what we did in the second period."
He added: "From a footballing point of view there was little to talk about,
but we now know we can handle ourselves if we face any teams like that in
A furious Nichols, concerned for the safety of his players, said: "I told
the referee that I would take my players off if he didn't get a grip and he
told me he would speak to the managers."
Manager Tony Spearing emerged from the dressing room relieved that only one
of his players - Dave Robinson - had picked up a slight knock.
Spearing said: "I didn't enjoy that at all and neither did my players. The
only good thing is that we only picked up one injury with all those tackles
"We came here knowing it would be tough but I didn't expect my players to be
smashed around the park.
"I'm not laying all the blame on Stamford as they were continually allowed
to get away with it."
Referee Martin Harris, who failed to control the game from the outset, asked
both benches to substitute guilty players throughout the incident-packed
match, which King's Lynn eventually won 3-1.
Linnets had Robinson, March and Hayes ordered off the field, while the home
side lost Malcolm Ndekwe and goalkeeper Steve Corry.
Other than the injured Robinson, who was unable to continue, Harris allowed
the offenders back on the pitch during the second period.
LINNETS cruised to their third friendly win of the summer but the game will
be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
The match was littered with fouls and personal battles throughout as the
physical home side came out determined to kick King's Lynn off the pitch.
Stamford held the upper hand in the early stages of the game with Jason
Minett deflecting a home effort away for a corner and Tom Betteridge firing
over a free-kick.
The Linnets responded by taking the lead in the 13th minute when Simon Dakin
headed home a pin-point centre from Martin Eldridge on the left.
Lynn doubled their advantage nine minutes into the second half when March
fired home a scorching half volley from just outside the box.
Stamford reduced the arrears when Malcolm Ndewke punished a static defence
in the 57th minute.
A fine reaction save from Steve Wilson ensured that the Linnets kept their
lead intact, before Darron Clyde headed a Minett cross past his own keeper
for the Linnets' third 15 minutes from time.
: Wilson, Dakin, Eldridge, Robinson, Fuff, Clark, Anderson, Minett, Hayes, Clarke, Hudson. Subs used: Wright, March and White. Not used: Spearing.