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Newport County 2 King's Lynn 1
15th December 2001
THE Linnets four-match unbeaten run came to an ugly end after Jamie Clarke and Craig Clark were sent off following the massive free-for-all, which involved players and benches from both sides.
This erupted following an off-the-ball incident involving Clarke and the Newport bench when the King's Lynn forward objected to a foul given against him.
Glen Fuff, Wayne Anderson and Adie Hayes were also booked after unnecessarily protesting with referee Mr Russell Green, who failed to brandish a single card to a home player after the 73rd minute fracas.
It was the first time in 24 years that Lynn have had two players sent off in a match, but player coach Tommy Wright had few complaints about the dismissals.
Wright said: "It was ill-discipline. It was a nothing incident, but for some reason it just kicked off and everyone seemed to be involved.
"The linesman told the referee which players to send off and I have no arguments with that, but maybe Newport should have had people sent off too, but that's not for me to comment on."
The game itself was settled by a Martin Paul penalty in the dying seconds after substitute Darren Suiter Lynn's fourth yellow card of the afternoon had clipped the heels of Garry Shephard.
Shephard sliced an earlier spot-kick against the post.
Wright said: "Apart from conceding an early goal I thought we created three or four good chances and were excellent in the first 30 minutes.
"We've made two mistakes for their first goal. Steve Wilson failed to claim the ball and then Jamie March was caught on his toes, and the ball bounced off his leg for their player to score."
On debutant and former West Ham trainee Matty Clements, Wright said: "He was unlucky not to score. He showed a nice touch, good pace and linked up well with Danny (Bloomfield)."
Lynn dominated the early stages, with Newport keeper Pat Mountain making three vital saves in the opening 11 minutes.
Two minutes into the contest, Clements left the Newport defence in his wake but Mountain saved his shot with his legs.
The Exiles took the lead a minute later when the usually reliable Wilson and March were punished for their errors by Shephard.
Lynn sustained their early pressure and in the sixth minute Mountain acrobatically turned Kevin White's effort away for a corner.
Five minutes later Simon Dakin's powerful header from a March cross was saved at point-blank range.
Eleven minutes into the second period, Fuff tugged down home debutant Alfie Carter in the Lynn box, but Shephard struck the resulting penalty against Wilson's right post.
The miss gave Lynn a new lease of life and in the 63rd minute Bloomfield fired home a scrappy equaliser, his fifth goal in seven games, after Newport failed to clear their lines.
Lynn were reduced to nine players before manager Tony Spearing re-organised his depleted side by forfeiting a striker with the introduction of Suiter.
Just as it looked as though Lynn would come home with a point, Suiter brought down the dangerous Shephard.
Substitute Paul made the game safe by sending Wilson the wrong way from the spot. Lynn: Wilson, Dakin, March, Clark, Fuff, White (Evans 60), Anderson, Hayes, Bloomfield (Suiter 78), Clements, Clarke. Sub (not used) Hudson.
Newport: Mountain, Thomas, Benton, Clark, Eckhardt, Carter, Rose, Ryan, Cowe, She[hard, James (Paul70). Subs (not used) Davies, Souter.
MoM: Clements
Bookings: Anderson (73, dissent), Hayes (73, dissent), Fuff (73, dissent), Suiter (88, late tackle)
Sent Off: Jamie Clarke (73, violent conduct), Craig Clark (73, violent conduct)
Report by permission of the Lynn News