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King's Lynn 1 Rhyl 0
15th December 1984
Martin Coupe was still at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital when the Linnets started to celebrate this FA Trophy success.
The young striker was the victim of a cruel tackle which meant he had to go off to have stitches to a deep cut just below the knee.
But Coupe was able to reflect that he had the final say against the tough tackling Welshmen because his 43rd minute goal separated the sides.
It was Coupe's 20th goal of the season and he had now scored in each of the three qualifying rounds of the Trophy.
Rhyl will not forget in a hurry Coupe's involvement in this bruising cup-tie.
Tempers were already getting frayed by the 30th minute when he made a late rash challenge on keeper Gareth Hughes. This was the flash point for some ugly goalmouth scenes as Rhyl players looked for retribution.
Coupe was perhaps fortunate not to be cautioned as was the lanky Rhyl defender Barry Roberts, who was in the thick of the melee.
The lenient and somewhat inconsistent referee let it all go unpunished - and after some semblance of order had been gained Lynn had reason to thank him for their goal in the 43rd minute.
Mr Overton and his linesmen gave Lynn the benefit of the doubt as Rhyl tried to scramble the ball away and a lucky rebound saw Coupe, Martin Twigger and Steve Hines all in the clear.
Coupe got there first and drilled his shot wide of Hughes deep into the corner of the net.
Rhyl could hardly believe it when the linesman's flag stayed down and their manager said afterwards "I think it all happened too quickly for the officials who missed a definite offside."
Three minutes into the second half Coupe was brought down from behind by a high tackle from Roberts. The Rhyl defender was rightly booked for it, but that was little consolation for Lynn as they watched Coupe limp off.
With Ready not looking fit and Twigger not sharp, Coupe had been the most effective Lynn forward. His replacement Mark Howard did well enough, but gradually the game went Rhyl's way as the Welshmen started to spray the ball about.Now the test was on Lynn's defence. In the thick of the action was Clive Adams, with another ten star performance, while Chris Watts beside him and full backs Freddie Easthall and Steve Mercer hardly put a foot wrong.
Rhyl eventually took off their striker Selwyn Morris in the 75th minute and introduced Mark Perry into the attack.
The move brought immediate results and some danger to Andy Claxton's goal. Perry went close with a header, Jim Smith powered in a 20-yard drive which produced a good save from Claxton and then top scorer Andy Jones swerved a free kick just wide.
In the 88th minute, with Lynn still hanging on, Jones broke free on the right and he stumbled past a challenge from Claxton outside the penalty area. The unguarded goalmouth obviously looked inviting and Jones hurriedly tried the shot from a narrow angle, which went behind - but if he had crossed instead, Perry was waiting.
It had not been all one way, however, with Mario Ippolitto providing two good chances for Lynn. From the first, in the 65th minute, Steve Hines beat Hughes and saw his shot cleared off the line; the second opening came in the 92nd minute with Ready making his first penetrating run and shot which he thumped narrowly wide.
Apart from Coupe's goal the first half had little to enthuse over. Easthall was booked for dissent and Morris for not retreating ten yards from a free kick; minor offences in a scrappy and ill-tempered affair.
After the match both managers agreed that the form of the Lynn defence had been the deciding factor.
Ray Jones said: "We played better today and lost, than we did a week ago and won. Our forwards did not do enough, but the King's Lynn back four played well."
Colin Foster praised his defenders and added: "It's always hard against Northern Premier League sides and it was important that we did not buckle under. We battled hard with the all the way."
Lynn (4-3-3): Claxton; Mercer, Watts, Adam, Easthall; Ippolitto, Foster, Hines; Ready, Coupe (sub Howard 49 mins), Twigger.
Rhyl: Hughes, Blackmore, Nugent, Roberts, Newey, Amour, Williams, Wignall, Morris (sub Perry 75 mins), Smith, Jones.
Referee: B Overton (Boston). Attendance: 595.
Report by permission of the Lynn News