King's Lynn 2 Clevedon Town 0
8th December 2007
IT WAS graft, not craft, as the Linnets went back to the top of the table in appalling conditions playing against nine men on Saturday.
The visitors already had Christian Sylvester sent off by half-time, when The Walks outfit led from goals by Danny Bloomfield and Andrew Fisk.
When Geraint Bater followed on 50 minutes, more goals were expected, but the match petered out in a curtain of freezing, swirling rain on a boggy pitch.
Linnets' manager Keith Webb said: "I didn't expect a pretty game. Clevedon are renowned as a dogged side. In the second half they knocked it about well without hurting us, but you wouldn't expect them to with nine men.
"Another goal right before half-time sometimes can be an excuse for taking your foot off the pedal.
"It was a disappointing second half performance.
"You see it at pro level and on the telly when a team goes down to ten it becomes a mental thing where players don't do the right things.
"When the second man was sent off we had even more time on the ball and at times we made the wrong decisions.
"Bob Paisley (Liverpool legend) said you don't judge players on how quickly they move the ball about under pressure, but on decisions they make with time on the ball.
"If before the game you offered me three points, two goals and a clean sheet I'd have snapped your hand off."
On the tackle by Sylvester which forced off left-back Greg Lake, Webb said: "I thought it was a naughty tackle above the knee. Greg's knee stiffened up immediately.
"Steve Melton got a longer run out as a result, I like Steve. He brings quality and calmness."
On the versatile Dan Buhlemann, who slotted in from midfield for Lake, Webb said: "He did alright, he filled in adequately."
Clevedon had the first chance on eight minutes, Sylvester having a header cleared by Buhlemann. Joe Francis came closest at the other end, shooting across goal.
But on 32 minutes Sylvester needlessly lunged late on Lake, and got his marching orders.
Five minutes later Lynn took the lead with a good move down the left involving Buhlemann and Jack Defty, who flicked on for Bloomfield to fire his 12th goal of the season (and Lynn's 50th) into the roof of the net.
In the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time Defty shot across goal and Fisk bundled the ball home from two yards.
Five minutes into the second half the visitors were reduced to nine men when Bater was shown his second yellow card of the afternoon for dissent.
This effectively killed the game as the Seasiders understandably stuck men behind the ball, but it was disappointing that during this period Lynn could not break them down and test the keeper.
On 71 minutes sub Steve Melton, back in first team action after injury, started a move that led with Francis volleying wide.
With five minutes left an inviting cross somehow missed Melton and ballooned off fellow sub Matt Nolan and over the bar.
Webb resisted the temptation to use first choice defender Ben Chapman, who will train tonight and be fit for Lynn’s big FA Trophy tie at Cambridge United.
: Howie, West, Lake (Melton 34), Warren, Crane, Camm, Buhlemann, Fisk, J. Defty (Turner 66), Bloomfield (Nolan 71), Francis. Subs not used: Murray, Mulryne. Booked: Warren.
: Greaves, Brigham (Cook h-t), Haynes, Bater, Hendy (Symons h-t), Trought, Page, Green, Prosser, Leek, Sylvester. Not used: Scott. Booked: Bater, Haynes. Sent off: Bater, Sylvester.
: 806. Referee: M. George (N. Walsham). MoM
: Andrew Fisk.
, Lynn first: Shots on target 4, 1; off target 8, 0; corners 5, 4; offside 3, 1; free-kicks 14, 12.