King's Lynn 3 Clevedon 1
9th September 2000
LINNETS manager Gary Mills spoke of his relief after his side registered their first win since the opening day of the season on Saturday.
'There was a lot of pressure on us to go out and win today, especially after coming into the game on the back of four defeats," he commented.
"I was delighted for every one of my players as they were so desperate for the win. Their mental strength today was nothing short of fantastic," added Mils, who had to endure a nervous 20 minute spell late in the second half before seeing his side clinch the three points.
"Once we went 2-1 up we sat back for 20 minutes and continually gave the ball away, but that was literally because we wanted to win it so much.
"The win was made even more impressive by the fact we had to change our team and system again."
Such was the tension on Saturday, the Linnets boss admitted he was unable to watch Anton Thomas' penalty miss on the stroke of half-time with the score delicately poised at 1-1.
"It was never a penalty in the first place," conceded Mills. "But for once I thought our luck had finally changed.
"I couldn't even watch Anton take the kick and I've never been like that before in the whole of my career that's how much it meant to me."
Luckily for Lynn, Thomas' miss had little bearing on the final outcome, but the sending off of Clevedon's Matt Coupe, who looked to have won the ball fairly from Dave Robinson in the box, did have as the home side made the extra man advantage tell in the second 45 minutes.
Lynn went into the game with their west country visitors without the injured quartet of Jamie March (ankle), Tony Spearing (broken foot), Dave Puttnam (calf strain) and Mills (hamstring), but it didn't prevent them taking a 12th minute lead following a stirring opening.
Defender Simon Dakin found Jon Palmer down the right who in turn crossed for Lyndon Rowland, who had by far his best game in Lynn colours alongside the impressive Thomas, to fire home his first goal since early March.
But Lynn's recent defensive frailties were exposed again eight minutes later when they allowed David Mehew to cross for Steve Lester to score.
Thomas' first half penalty blunder was beginning to look costly as Lynn struggled to break down the Clevedon defence.
They eventually regained the lead in the 63rd minute when Tommy Wright crashed home a volley from Palmer's cross.
The Linnets then contrived to sit back and allow the visitors back into the match with former Bristol Rovers frontman Mehew twice coming close to drawing Clevedon level.
But captain Robinson eased everybody's nerves by bagging Lynn's third deep into second half stoppage time.
: C. Martini, S. Dakin, C. Clark, A. Bullimore, G. Fuff, J. Palmer, E. Nwadike, D. Robinson, A. Thomas (S. Bush 90), L. Rowland, T Wright. Subs not used: P. Nicholls, W. Anderson.
: M. Hervin, A. Llewellyn, D. Haines (R. Ford 43), S. Peters, L. Jefferies, M. Coupe, J. Rollo (M. Badman 68), R. Skidmore, P Milsom (I. Harvey 5), D. Mehew, S. Lester.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
|| Coupe (professional foul 45)