King's Lynn 3 Merthyr Tydfil 0
12th September 1998
IF Linnets player-manager Tony Spearing ever needs a quick win to raise his spirits, he should dial 'M' for Merthyr.
The Welsh outfit were the victims of a killer display with Lynn's frontmen doing the successful shooting that hit the target.
And another striker, Southampton star Mark Paul, came to The Walks to watch his former club. He was rewarded as Lynn, with something to prove after the midweek setback at Bromsgrove, put in a good team effort.
Star of the show was substitute Coren Hardy, a slippery little striker who opened his league account and had a big hand in the other two goals.
Micky Nuttell notched his first Lynn goal while sub Julian Delicata's late strike means all his four Linnets goals have arrived after coming off the bench.
An impressed Spearing admitted he may have to throw Hardy in against leaders Nuneaton tonight because of an injury-hit squad.
"He took his goal well, he's waited for his chance to come," Spearing said.
Of the game overall the Linnets boss said: "Tonight I can sleep easily. If we can carry on like that we won't go far wrong.
"We have played better. After 20 minutes I thought 'here we go' but we went to a flat back four which gives me something to think about. Both centre-halves were outstanding.
"Before the game started I laid down how it was. We were up against it but l'm glad we ground out a result.
"People are saying they're a new team, but so are we. I said to give it time as this year is a learning process for me."
Merthyr started off the stronger side but Duncan Roberts pulled off three outstanding saves. He had an early scare rushing out to challenge, Colin Hoyle blocked a shot and Roberts saved from Jamie Harris while running back. The tall Linnets keeper then tipped over efforts from ex-Welsh under-21 striker Shaun Chapple and Adrian Needs.
On the half-hour the injured Lee Gibson w as replaced by Hardy, who immediately made an impression. He raced through and was professionally
fouled by Needs, who was booked.
The resulting free-kick from Glyn Roberts found Worrell Sterling on the right and his cross was headed in by Nuttell.
Three minutes later from a Glen Fuff clearance Hardy broke on the right and tired of waiting for support, tried his luck with h left-footed curler. It looked wide but crept in at the far post.
"It was on my weak foot," Hardy revealed of his goal. "But I practice with both feet. I enjoyed it, I'm pleased to have come on and got the opportunity."
Luckily for Lynn in the second half Merthyr's performance was about as convincing as Bill Clinton.
Nuttell nodded wide an Ian Stringfellow centre and, after Hardy was again fouled, Spearing's deflected cross was agonisingly close to being turned in by Sterling.
Lynn had penalty appeals turned down as, shortly after coming on, Delicata was challenged by former Swansea City defender Gareth Phillips in the box.
Merthyr went close when Spearing headed clear after keeper Roberts missed a centre.
The icing on the cake came with five minutes left. Hardy surged clear down the right and crossed for Delicata to turn in an easy goal.
D Roberts, Wright, G Roberts, Fuff, Hoyle, Spearing, Sterling (Delicata 74), Gibson (Hardy 30), Nuttell, Stringfellow, Oakes. Subs (not used) Bloodworth.
Thomas, Evans, Needs, Phillips, Abrahams (Morgan 77), Lima, Giles, Griggith, Harris (Chiverton 70), Shephard, Chapple. Sub (not used) Durham.
|FACTfile||Shots on |
|Shots off |
Abrahams (67, foul)
|Lynn News Man of the Match - Coren Hardy