Romford 1 King's Lynn 1
15th August 1970
LYNN HAD a hard, bruising start to the Southern League season at Brooklands on Saturday but thoroughly deserved the point they took.
It was a game with two phases as different as black and white.
In the first half Lynn held control, scoring once and missing a couple of chances that should have been snapped up: then after the change-over Romford were in command. equalising and having chances to win the game.
So on the overall balance neither side could complain at the result but Lynn obviously felt satisfied as they left the field.
Player-manager Reg Davies said later: "This was a tough game to start with but we played with a lot of bite, more than we have done in the past."
He was referring in particular to Lynn's uncompromising defence that really got stuck into Romford. There were no half measures about the defence - not popular with !he home supporters but totally effective,
Romford's defence was not so sure, keeping Cliff Jones quiet with some close marking but consequently leaving gaps elsewhere. Early on Brian Jenkins. Keith Rudd and Jim Oliver moved into these open spaces intelligently to produce chances.
But when Romford were pressing these front runners did not have the support to put the home defence in real trouble.
Lynn had been forced to make a late change in attack when David Clark, called off with thigh strain. This meant a re-shuffle with Oliver lining up on the right wing and Jenkins ruining in the middle.
In the third minute Jenkins had the first chance when he was left unmarked from Rudd's corner but he mistimed the centre and headed wide.
Then Oliver and Jenkins together failed to get in worthwhile shot with the Romford defence looking panicky. But Romford also bad an early chance when Brooks, headed Chandler, centre straight to Nixon. whose shot was blocked by a mass of Lynn players.
Romford appeared to have an easy chance when Terry Tapping's centre bobbed in the penalty area with Robinson. Kerr and Bugg all leaving the ball to each other. But no Romford forward moved in and Lynn broke clear with Oliver and Rudd getting the hall across with Jones heading just wide. In this first period of the game Lynn were certainly the better side and Oliver was moving into a good shooting position when he was bundled off the hall.
Bugg was dealing easily with the many centres that were coming his way and Lynn held command in the midfield.
And in the 28th minute Lynn took an even firmer grasp when Jenkins headed in the first goal. Kerr and Jones had the Romford defence in trouble on the right then the ball was swung over to Rudd on the far post who pulled it back into the middle for Jenkins. completely unmarked, to score.
Next chance fell to Oliver, with Jones and Rudd splitting the Romford defence, but Oliver pushed his shot wide. Tapping was closer at the ether end with an angled shot with Bugg apparently unsighted.
So it went to half time with Lynn only one goal ahead when they could have been three clear.
But what a change then. Romford moved forward with more determination to keep Lynn pinned down for almost he entire half.
There was a difference: Lynn had managed to play some good football on the bumpy surface (the stadium also caters for speedway and the corner flags were on the shale track) while Romford produced their chances through sheer pressure.
The equaliser came in the55th minute. Bugg failed to cut out two centres in quick
succession, both times when it looked as if he was nudged off the ball, and Colin Flatt headed in at the second opportunity.
This spurred Romford on and Lynn had their shaky moments, but strangely the closest Romford came to a winner was from a breakaway.
Chandler gave Porter the slip on the half-way line and ran through clear, Bugg coming out of his goal to make he save of the match from he centre-forward's hard
It got rough and tough in he final few minutes, but while Romford protested at some of Lynn's defensive tactics,. Lynn also rightly complained as Howe's boot went into Brooks' arm without a word of admonishment from referee Mr. J. A. Tree (Redhill).
: Smith: Nichols. Howe: Sorrell, King, Andrew: Nixon, Freeman, Chandler. Flatt, Tapping.
: Bugg. Ricketts, Kerr: Brooks. Porter Wright, Robinson: Oliver. Rudd, Jenkins, Jones.