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Blue & Gold Trust Official Website

Hastings Town 3 King's Lynn 2
13th December 1997
INJURY time brought delight and despair for the Linnets as their five-match winning league run crashed to a halt on Saturday. Incident was rare in the first half until Brett McNamara's 50th Southern League goal for the club in the third minute of added time. He added a second three minutes into the second half and it looked all over, especially when keeper James Hollman kept out Danny Simmonds' 61st minute spot kick. Unfortunately the dismissal of Hollman after 78 minutes proved the turning point.
He was shown the red card after a flurry of push and shove in the visitors' net immediately after Hastings pulled back a goal. Even so, with Martin Matthews deputising in goal, Lynn held their re-charged hosts at bay until the first minute of injury time. They then equalised and hit the winner three minutes later before holding on for another three minutes to clinch victory. Hollman was adamant he had done nothing wrong and heaped criticism on the match officials.
"The referee was a disgrace. I just pushed the guy away and the referee saw me. He did nothing but then took the word of the linesman who said I had thrown a punch. He was half the pitch away and the ref believed him rather than his own eyes. I couldn't understand it and now I've lost two weeks wages," blasted an angry Hollman who said he had been fined by manager Peter Morris immediately after the game. Matthews backed up the keeper's version of events and said he could not see how the linesman should be able to make a decision from such a distance.
"I picked up the ball out of the back of the net and the next thing I knew one of their players was pushing me to get it off me. He did it twice but the referee did nothing but then sent off our keeper for doing the same thing just once." It proved to be an eventful game for Matthews who started in midfield, switched to centre-back when Tony Spearing came off after 19 minutes with a back injury, moved to wing-back at half time and finished up between the posts.
"It was just a spur of the moment thing," he said of his new-found emergency keeper status. "No-one looked like they fancied it and I thought I'd look positive and put the shirt on but it went downhill from there!"
Matthews made a valiant attempt to keep out Stafford Browne's equaliser but his spectacular dive was deemed to be insufficient by the linesman who ruled the ball had already crossed the line. And the stand-in number one was beaten again when substitute Simon Fox blasted in from 15 yards.
"I thought I was going to save it but I didn't even see the ball once he'd hit it," said Matthews who revealed it was the first time he had play in goal seriously. I've done it in park football and in five-a-side with my mates but never at anything like this level." Lynn should have made the game safe long before the controversial ending. Lee Hudson wasted a good chance in the first minute and then managed to hit keeper James Creed when the goal was gaping with King's Lynn 2-0 up. Hudson had set up the Linnets opening goal when his shot hit the post and rebounded off Creed's back before McNamara beat the keeper to the loose ball.
A wonderful piece of wing skill from Craig Hopkins brought the second goal when his trickery left Paul Tuppenney spell-bound before delivering a perfect cross for McNamara to sweep in. Colin Hoyle's handball gave Hastings hope of a comeback but Hollman parried the penalty to add to a breath-taking first-half save from Stuart Playford. But then things went wrong. Richard Skelly delayed a clearance and was promptly booked as he pulled Steve Yates' shirt. That free kick found the head of Playford to score the Hastings opener and then Hollman's sending off turned the game on its head. Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Skelly, Hoyle, Ellis, Spearing (Stock 19), Hopkins, Wright, Roberts (Delicata 45, Mead 82), McNamara, Hudson.
Hastings Town: Creed, Simmonds, Tuppenney, Larkin, Beard, Smith (Fox 70), Payne (Yates 75), Barham (Fergusson 89) Playford, Browne, White.
Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn641018 Stock (43 foul)
Skelly (77 foul)
Hollman (78 violent conduct)
Hastings 9119313
Report by permission of the Lynn News