Gorleston 2 King's Lynn 3
18th September 1982
First qualifying round matches in the FA Cup have often proved awkward hurdles for the Linnets.
And it was no exception on Saturday in the heat-wave conditions at Gorleston, Where Lynn staged a remarkable fight-back after trailing to two goals.
Gorleston made a dream start with a tenth minute goal. While Lynn were perhaps expecting the danger to come from ex-Norwich winger Phil Lythgoe and the top goal-scorer Kevin Ready, they were decoys; it was defender Calver who went through on the left and his low cross was crashed in from close range by Woolsey.
And the Greens continued to embarrass a sluggish Lynn defence with their sharp attacks.
In quick succession Woodcock and Ready both got into clear shooting positions and wastefully put the ball wide.
While Lynn were slow in getting forward and at times positively reluctant to get players into the penalty area, Gorleston enthusiastically ran the ball and seemed to find ample space on the cramped ground.
Although Gordon Hodgson did luck away one header past the Gorleston keeper, the offside flag was already u P. Apart from that, the only first half saves Mel Davies had to make were from a spectacular volley by Nolan Keeley and a touch in by Andy Bircumshaw.
Gaps in the Lynn defence continued to alarm their supporters and . in the 41st minute a shot from Woodcock was scrambled off the line.
On two occasions either side of the interval Ready sped through and only had Andy Claxton to beat. but each time he failed to put the chance away.
A second goal was inevitable and it finally came from Woolsey who Was put clear on his own by a quick clearance from Lythgoe after a Lynn attack had been easily broken down.
This was in the 52nd minute and realistically Lynn looked dead and buried. Gorleston were clearly Winning on points and most people in the ground thought that the knock-out blow had been delivered.
If there was any urgency about Lynn's play even then it was well disguised, however they hauled themselves back into it with a goal on the hour. It came from their first corner of the match, Elliott, s centre being knocked on and when Rudd's shot was blocked Keeley turned in the rebound.
Just after this came a major turning point in this amazing game. Lynn's defence hesitated when they saw- the linesman's flag go up for offside, but the referee waved play on and Woolsey neatly tucked his shot past Claxton for what looked to be his hat-trick.
At first the referee signalled a goal, but after furious protests by Lynn players he consulted the linesman and eventually. disallowed the goal.
Lynn had now- brought Paul Chapman on .to add strength to the attack.
Chapman's presence to and around the Gorleston penalty area gave the home defence something to think about and they clearly panicked in the 73rd minute when Thompson floated in a centre from the right. Keeley and Hodgson both Went in and finally the ball ran to Easthall who lashed in an angled shot into the roof of the net.
Having hauled themselves back from the depths what would Lynn do now? Ready could have settled that in the 82nd minute when he got past Wiles and for the third time in the match wastefully
missed the chance. Lynn breathed again and were probably thinking in terms of a replay when out of the blue came the winner with three minutes left.
It was Lynn's most direct move of the match . . . and so effective. Claxton threw the ball out to Elliott on the left and his through pass caught the Greens' defence flatfooted. Rudd drifted in behind them and lethally put away a low right foot shot into the corner of Davies' net.
That was surely the final twist to the game - not so. The frustrated Ready got his marching orders when he foolishly lashed out at Thompson, leaving the referee with no options.
: Davies, Love. Calver, Henning, Harris. Brock. Woods. Woodcock Ready. Woolsey. Lythgoe (sub Jervis 80mins),
: Claxton: Watts, Bircumshaw. Wiles. Wilson (sub Chapman 65 mins) Hodgson, Elliott, Keeley, Thompson, Easthall, Rudd.
: P. Keen (New Costessey). Attendance