Soham Town 1 King's Lynn 1
13th September 1980
One had to feel sympathy for skipper Mick Wright in his 60th FA Cup tie with the Linnets on Saturday.
One minute he was within inches of forcing the ball into the Soham net for what would have been a decisive goal.
The next minute he was in his own penalty area and rolled the ball too wide of keeper Russ Algar and into his own net to give the home side an equaliser.
It was hardly a goal Soham deserved and they played just about the entire game as though a draw was the height of their expectations. So in that respect Soham will feel that they have achieved a result.
But for Lynn it was a disappointing performance and they must surely improve on it for the replay at The Walks tomorrow.
As we pointed out in Friday's Lynn News, the Linnets have had a dismal FA Cup record in recent seasons and this first match of the 80's was not an improvement on what has gone on before. The one consolation is that they are still in there.
That was also the view of Mick Wright when we spoke to him afterwards and he also explained what had happened in those two agonising minutes.
Of his close miss in front of the Soham goal he said, "I did make contact with the ball when it came in but not well enough to knock it in."
Then of the unfortunate own goal he said: "I heard a shout from Russ and I thought he wanted me to pass it back to him, but in fact he had wanted me to leave it and was not in position to save it when I steered it past him.
"Soham did not give us any trouble and really there was no danger from that situation. I can only remember them having one other shot and that was when we gave the ball away."
With a strong wind blowing straight down the bumpy pitch the conditions were a leveller and both sides struggled to put together any constructive moves; Lyn did have most of the first half play, but it was due as much to the wind being in their favour as to their own play that Soham were pinned in their own half.
Young Adrian Taney, getting a vote of confidence from manager Keith Rudd after hi midweek game, was soon in action on the left wing. When he was brought down five yards from the penalty area, Lynn tried a planned move involving Bailey, Rudd and Watts which ended in Watts chipping the ball just too far away from his colleagues waiting in front of goal.
Rudd was on target with a couple of shots, both hit from outside the box and Gary Topham in goal saved comfortably. Soham's only threat in the half came in the 25th minute and saw Richard Palmer darting through for a right foot shot which Algar was pleased to be able to block.
Towards the end of the half Lynn won several corners but they did not pose a threat to Soham and generally it had been a disorganised 45 minutes by the Linnets.
The second half started off in better style with Lynn taking the lead in the 515th minute. The build-up involving Chapman and Rudd on the left, with Watts getting into vacant space down the middle to take the pass from Rudd and force in a low shot past Topham.
It was the first goal Watts had scored this season and fully deserved it was as he gave another hard-working display which would have put him top of any points list.
Several times Lynn pushed strongly into the Soham penalty area, but after Bailey turned a shot into the side of the net and Wright had his narrow miss it was Soham's turn to celebrate.
The equaliser came in the 76th minute, Wright went back to cover a ball down the middle when Palmer got in close contention the Lynn skipper turned his pass wide of Algar. It was almost a slow motion sequence as the ball bounced into the net.
In the last few minutes Soham realised they were within an ace of a major Cup upset there were some rather frantic scrambles around the Lynn penalty area. But Lynn still looked to have it under control and the only effort to worry Algar was an 88th minute header from Fretwell which he saved.
: Topham, Wells, Robinson, Kelly, Fretwell, Hockley, Kennedy, Peacock, Dennis, Palmer, Guy: sub: Martin.
: Algar: Rider, M Wiles, Wright, Wilson, Bailey, Watts, Adams, Taney (sub Pinkowski), Chapman, Rudd.