King's Lynn 1 Hastings Town 1
14th February 1998
HASTINGS continue to hold a curse over the Linnets - and keeper James Hollman in particular.
Four meetings have failed to bring a Lynn win and for Hollman it was a case of 'tuppence' for his thoughts for the second time this season.
Full-back Paul Tuppenney was involved in the sending-off of the Linnets keeper in the reverse fixture on the south coast in December when Lynn let slip a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2.
This time Tuppenney
spotted Hollman off his line and chipped a free kick into the net from near the touchline to put Hastings ahead after only nine minutes.
Hollman said he was at fault and admitted his place was far from safe with new signing Duncan Roberts waiting in the wings for his chance between the posts.
"There was one or two over the ball mucking about. I took the chance to go a yard out to make my presence felt and to check if all the forwards had been picked up," said Hollman
"But he took the kick and I couldn't get back in time.
"He didn't seem to hit it right and the ball took a nasty bounce and hit me on the way in."
It was left to Brett McNamara to leave the bench for a 37-minute spell which brought cheers for the home fans who witnessed a scrappy game.
McNamara, on his way back from a hamstring injury, was called into the fray after 32 minutes to replace flu victim Leo Cotterell.
But he lasted only until the 79th minute when Julian Delicata took over to prevent further injury to his leg.
"I could feel the injury and it was getting tighter and tighter. I thought it might go again and didn't fancy another two or three weeks out so I came off," explained McNamara.
Thankfully, that short spell was enough to bring the equaliser with a stunning 42nd minute strike.
Tony Spearing launched the hall forward but substitute Andrew Larkin held off McNamara and waited for the ball to bounce before bringing it under control.
Unfortunately for him, it was not allowed to touch the ground as McNamara
nipped in to lift the ball delicately over James Creed, and into the top corner of the visitors' net.
"I just chased him down and he made a mistake," said McNamara.
"The goalkeeper was in no-man's land and I lobbed it and hoped it would go in," he explained modestly.
"I just kept saying 'drop, drop, drop’ and luckily it did."
That was enough to stretch Lynn's unbeaten run to five games but it was in lack-lustre fashion as Hastings' tactics earned them the point they came for in a match sponsored by KLFM.
Simon Mead cleared the bar with two close range efforts in the opening stages and Lee Hudson scooped the ball high from the edge of the area before having two penalty appeals turned down.
Craig Hopkins saw his shot deflected off the line by a defender's heel and McNamara had a shot blocked within seconds of coming on.
Browne had a strike disallowed at the other end for offside while Matthews' corners caused problems for Hastings.
McNamara drilled the ball narrowly wide when he spotted Creed out of position and then a glorious five-man move ended with Steve Williams heading at the keeper.
Hollman fumbled Nicky Dent's 18 yard shot round the post in a rare away raid but Lynn had the chance to grab the points in the 88th minute.
Delicata and Mead combined well on the wing before Mead floated a teasing cross into the area. Williams bulldozing his way through only to crash his header narrowly over.
Morris was unhappy with his side's display at both ends of the field.
"It was a bad goal to give away and our goalkeeper was sloppy all afternoon," he blasted.
"He's got to get his head together because Duncan Roberts hasn't been brought in just to sit and watch.
"We left a lot to be desired up front and that was probably the worst I've seen Williams play."
But Morris revealed Williams and Matthews along with Cotterell, were suffering from flu.
"We looked ploddy with no real snap and never looked like being able to lift it," he added .
: Hollman, Matthews, Cotterill (McNamara 32, Delicata 79), Hoyle, Ellis, Spearing, G Roberts, Hopkins, Williams, Mead, Hudson. Subs (not used) D Roberts.
: Creed, Simmonds, Tuppenney, Playford, Morris, Yates, Payne (Larkin 36), Dent, Willard, Browne, Beard. Sub (not used) White, Fox.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
||Hudson (foul, 84)
|| Dent (ungentlemanly conduct, 43)
Report by permission of the Lynn News