Tiverton Town 1 King's Lynn 1
11th September 2004
MIDFIELDER Carl Holmes marked his return from injury with a last minute goal as the Linnets earned themselves a battling point in Devon.
Holmes' looping header deservedly gave Lynn a share of the spoils to ease tensions off the field after a traumatic week at the club.
Caretaker boss Robert Taylor praised the performance of his side, saying: "After everything that had gone on during the week I was delighted with the reaction of the players.
"We defended well and kept our shape in the first 20 minutes which were crucial and played really well after we went a goal behind.
"A mistake usually kills you in the game, but we bounced back from that. A few weeks ago the players would have gone and buried their heads in the sand."
Taylor added: "The last 20 minutes was our best spell in the match and I do not care who the players are or what reputations they have, if it is not going to plan on the pitch you have to be prepared
Taylor made the bold decision to leave Mark Burrows on the bench, before the defender pulled out of the game with a sudden back injury to leave question marks over his future at the club.
The caretaker boss also kept faith with the under-fire Daryl Stitch, who other than a howler for the Tiverton goal, had his best game in Lynn colours to date.
Tiverton surged forward in the opening stages and Lynn had to be on their mettle to foil the lively looking home wing-backs.
In the fifth minute, David Steele headed Kevin Wills' cross wide.
Four minutes later, the Linnets defended like trojans as shots rained in on their goal.
James Mudge (twice), Kevin Wills and Steele all had efforts on target which were either blocked or scrambled away by a dogged Lynn defence.
Lynn were happy to catch Tiverton on the counter attack early on and midway through the half Holmes saw his header hacked off the goal line.
The best chance of the half fell to King's Lynn 11 minutes before the interval when Tony Battersby found himself one-on-one with Tiverton goalkeeper Mark Ovendale only to be beaten to the ball by the former Wisbech shot stopper.
On the stroke of the interval Mudge cut inside from the right but drilled wide of Aaron Osborne's left post.
Mudge again went close almost straight from the restart before Tiverton eventually took the lead in the 65th minute when Sutch's back header left Osborne short and Wills nipped in to slide the ball home.
Rather than fall apart as in recent week, Lynn piled forward with substitutes Chris Bacon, Robbie Harris and Mark Heath-Preston giving them a new lease of life.
The equaliser came in the dying seconds of the game when Bacon delivered a corner from the left and Holmes looped his header over Ovendale.
Lynn could have easily won the game in the fourth minute of injury time, when this time, Bacon crossed from the right and the ball somehow missed the head of both Harris and Bloomfield.
All in all a satisfactory point for Lynn, whose joy was short lived by the news that Gary Setchell had broken a bone in his foot and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
: M. Ovendale, S. Winter (M. Lock 62), C. Vinnicombe, P Milsom, N. Rudge, R. Cousins, K. Wills, I. Harvey, T. Stocco (J. Densham 62), D. Steele, J. Mudge. Subs not used: G. Goff, M. Booth and D. Hallett.
: Osborne, Sutch, Blake, Camm, Jones, Setchell* (Heath-Preston 68), Holmes, Fishlock*, Battersby* (Bacon 80), Bloomfield, Angel (Harris 72). Not used: Higgs and Anderson. *= booked.
: Adam Jones.
: S. Robbins (Bristol).