Gloucester City 1 King's Lynn 2
13th August 2005
Five minutes into the game, Linnets keeper John Higgs must have felt like being swallowed up by the ground.
Higgs had just suffered the unusual embarrassment of being beaten direct from a goal-kick from home keeper Matt Bath.
But 85 minutes later Higgs was Lynn's hero, after some fine late saves ensured that the Linnets opened their 2005/06 Southern League programme with three points.
Linnets manager Tommy Taylor said: "I didn't say anything to John after the game.
"It was just a misjudgement on his part as far as I'm concerned and the Gloucester keeper will probably never do that again in his life.
"John made some important saves in the second half and we won the game, that's all that matters."
On his side's performance, Taylor said: "I'm happy with the win, but I still believe that we can improve my at least another 35 per cent.
"I was very pleased with the back four. Paul Kelly was also magnificent."
Gloucester keeper Bath had just saved an effort from Cedric Anselin when Lynn's season got off to the worst possible start.
Bath launched his goal-kick, helped by the strong wind, only for the ball to bounce over Higgs, who was rooted to his penalty spot, and into the empty net.
Still reeling from the bizarre opening goal, Kelly was on hand to clear Lee Davis' corner off the line midway through the first period.
Lynn, who had only won at Gloucester four times in 22 previous attempts before Saturday, began to find their feet and in the 35th minute Adam Smith centred for Anselin to level the scores with a first time shot.
Shortly after, Lynn lost McMahon with a nasty-looking injury.
Smith was at the centre of the move which led to Lynn taking the lead on the stroke of half time.
The former Norwich City youngster fed Jack Defty, whose bending ball found Danny Bloomfield to score on the opening day of Lynn's first league game for the second successive season.
Both teams cancelled each other out in a scrappy start to the second period before Gloucester pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
Higgs thwarted Tigers' skipper Neil Griffiths with his legs and shortly after tipped Chris Thompson's goalbound effort over his woodwork.
With just seconds left on the clock, Higgs came to the rescue again to deny Griffiths scoring with a header.
Chances were few and far between for Lynn after the break, with Defty and Bloomfield wasting half chances.
The last time the Linnets opened their league season at Gloucester, back in 1963/64, the club went on to win promotion. Although the Linnets lost 3-0 that day, they will be hoping that statistic proves to be a lucky omen in the month's ahead.
Gloucester: Bath, C. Thompson, R. Mansell, N. Griffiths, L. Tomkins (J. Reid 45), M. Thompson, N. Mustoe, T. Webb, D. Addis, R. Kear (L. Lewis 64), L. Davis (A. Harris 75). Subs not used: E. Rimmer and L. Randall.
Bookings: Mansell, Griffiths, Reid and Davis.
Lynn: Higgs, West, Camm, McMahon (C. Defty 36), Cooper, Clark, Kelly, J. Defty, Smith, Bloomfield, Anselin. Subs not used: Harris, McNeil and Harvey.
Booking: J. Defty.
Referee: Stephen Pardoe (Crewe). MoM: Grant Cooper.