Stourbridge 0 King's Lynn 1
11th February 1984
NEW-SIGNING John Cockerill showed a lethal finishing touch when he scored Lynn's winner at Stourbridge on Saturday.
A week ago he made his debut in defence and proved adept at preventing Fareham from scoring.
In a tactical move he was switched to mid-field for the match at Stourbridge and made a surging run early in the second half before surprising ex-Wolves keeper Phil Parkes with his angled shot.
Parkes was beaten on three other occasions when the woodwork came to his rescue which shows that the Linnets could have finished comfortable winners.
Yet the Linnets did not really impose themselves on Stourbridge who are second from bottom in the table.
Even when the Midlanders were reduced to ten men after a sending-off they were still able to make the Linnets feel somewhat uneasy in the closing minutes.
It was another game by the Linnets, typical of so many . this season, when one is reluctant to be critical of the performance because at the end of the day the result shows three more points have been gained.
But manager Keith Rudd is aware of the problems as he observed afterwards: "I look round the dressing rooms and see so many good players, the best we have had in recent years. Individually good, but put them out on the park as
a team and they don't function as well as they could.
"We are often getting wins in games because the players have such good individual ability.
"If only we could get them together two or three times a week for coaching and work on set pieces we would walk away with this league."
And having got that off his chest, Rudd was faced with the instant problem of
trying to arrange a full-scale practice or a friendly match before the team have
their next Southern League fixture which is not until February 25 at Cheltenham.
That's looking ahead, however. Back to Stourbridge, where the Linnets were without Chris Watts. who had a foot injury but there was the return of centre half Richard Johnston.
It was a strong defensive show by Lynn, so much so that Andy Claxton only had one shot and one header direct at his goal.
The midfield and attack had their good moments, without showing the same consistency.
In a good opening period. Clive Adams forced a one-handed save from Parkes and in the 19th minute Adams was well forward again to crack in a volley which clipped the bar.
Then the Linnets tended to lose their way until just before the interval when Johnston put in a header from a corner and Parkes went down to save on his line.
For all his experience, Parkes was at fault in the 53rd minute when Cockerill scored. It was a good break by the Linnets which left Stourbridge without much cover, but
did not have much of an angle when he lashed in a left fool shot which deceived Parkes at the near post and he could only help the ball into the net.
Immediately after this Cockerill put Alexander through and this time Parkes blocked the shot. Although Martin Coupe was being closely watched by the experienced Martin Lander, there were gaps for the other
Linnets and in the next Lynn raid Paul Bartlett guided shot narrowly wide.
Stourbridge were now down to ten players, after losing winger Aidan Gibson who was sent off for dissent - the third successive game in which a player has been sent off when playing against the Linnets. The referee later booked Clive Adams for a foul.
The pace of the game hotted up as Stourbridge committed themselves to attack, which obviously left gaps for the Linnets. Claxton was injured going down to save at the feet of Paul Brown and after recovering from that he had three corners to face in as many minutes as the game came to an end.
But Lynn could have made it safe. one effort from Adams rebounding off the bar and later a Kabia shot hitting the post.
: Parker, Travis, Brown, Marshall (sub Round 68 mins), Lander,
Britton, Ash, .Briscoe, Langford, Hollier, Gibson.
Claxton, McJannet, Johnston, Foster, Wiles, Bartlett, Adams, Kabia,
Cockerill, Alexander, Coupe. Sub: Easthall.