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King's Lynn 4 Newport County AFC 2
18th August 2001
GOALKEEPER Steve Wilson was sent off on his league debut as the Linnets turned on the style to record their biggest opening-day win for 14 years.
Wilson was dismissed for handling outside-his area in the 78th minute, but by then Lynn had already blown their Welsh visitors apart with a scintillating performance in the opening hour.
Manager Tony Spearing said: "Newport were a very good side but we absolutely destroyed them for an hour..
" We gave away two sloppy goals and then the worst thing in the world happened with our keeper being sent off, but our spirit pulled us through."
The highlight of an incident-packed encounter was Lynn's second goal when Simon Dakin let fly from all of 30-yards with a curling left foot shot which whistled into the top of the Newport net.
Right-back Dakin, who played a part in all of the goals, said. "It's a long while since I've scored a goal like that and I don't think I could have hit it any better with my right foot.
"I just kept my head down and struck it and by the time I'd lifted my head up I saw it heading for the top corner."
Dakin's contender for goal of the season came in the 42nd minute, after Jamie March had given Lynn the perfect start by volleying home Dakin's centre on the edge of the box with only four minutes on the clock.
Lynn, who were also inspired by Lyndon Rowland and Wayne Anderson throughout, completed a breathtaking first-half display when Adie Hayes added a third from the penalty spot on the stroke of the interval, after Jason Minett had been upended in the box.
Newport were a different side after the break but it was Lynn who extended their lead in the 62nd minute when Lee Hudson's last contribution of the game was to sidefoot the ball-home.
The departure of the injured Steve Welsh signalled a Newport fightback, although visiting keeper Pat Mountain did well to tip efforts from substitute Kristian Jones and a miss-hit clearance from his own defender over the bar.
Newport dangerman Gary Shephard scored both the visitors goals after Lynn conceded possession on both occasions, before Wilson's rush of blood saw him leave for an early bath.
Captain courageous Dave Robinson donned the gloves for the final 12 minutes, but was rarely troubled as Lynn stepped up a gear to deny Newport any further glory.
Lynn: Wilson, Dakin, Robinson, Fuff, Welsh (Clark 63), March; Minett, Anderson, Hayes, Hudson (Jones 63), Rowland. Sub not used: Clarke.
Newport: Mountain, Robison, Souter, Clark, Eckhardt, Dorrian (Cowe 45,), Rose, Walker, Paul, Shephard, James. Subs not used: Griffin, Benton.
Att: 1,023.  
Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn545412 Robinson (32, foul)
Wilson (78, deliberate handball)
Newport 5104414 Robison (31, dissent)
Souter (53, dissent)
Lynn News Man of the Match - Simon Dakin
Report by permission of the Lynn News