Chippenham Town 1 King's Lynn 0
19th February 2005
THE Linnets' recent good run came to an end in controversial circumstances as they went down to a hotly contested penalty and Sam McMahon was sent off at league leaders Chippenham.
However with a little more luck, top scorer Danny Bloomfield may well have finished with a hat-trick.
The decisive incident came on the hour mark when Chippenham striker Sam Allison was tackled by Lynn substitute Ludovic Quistin.
Although inside the box Allison was heading away from goal when he was sent sprawling by Quistin.
Referee Kevin Pike clearly signalled no penalty, but his assistant raised his flag. Chippenham players surrounded the assistant referee, quickly followed by their opponents.
As punches were thrown Darren Hay and Gary Setchell, who had taken over the captaincy from Mark Angel who was replaced at half-time, were shown a yellow card as was Bluebirds skipper Gary Thorne.
After a four-minute delay, Mr Pike - whose low mark from the visiting club automatically reports him to the FA - reversed his decision on the advice of his assistant.
As Chippenham's top scorer and penalty taker Scott Walker had limped off after a quarter of an hour centre back Ian Herring
took the spot kick and his low shot to Steve Wilson's left gave Lynn's custodian no chance.
Lynn boss Tommy Taylor said: "I said to the referee: All I want is honesty'. After the fracas in the corner it was easy for the ref to say `Let's calm it down by giving a penalty.
"(In the fracas) Sam got hit the face by their full-back but nothing was done about it.
"No more could have been asked of the team, we passed the ball, the midfield and defence were good.
"We could have come in 4-0 up and they would have been dead and buried.
"Simon Clark didn't play be cause he was feeling tight in his leg. It was one of those where he could have played and then been out for five weeks."
On 68 minutes Lynn had a mountain to climb as McMahon, still smarting from a fruitless penalty appeal after Chippenham's Matthew McEntegart had appeared to handle in the box, was booked for the second time after felling Allison and duly received his marching orders.
Taylor said: "The first yellow card both players have gone for the same ball, but only one got booked."
Lynn should have been out of sight at the interval as they benefited from the Hardenhuish Park slope and a fierce wind at their backs.
As early as the first minute Thorne's clearance blew back towards goal for Darren Hay to flick the ball to Bloomfield behind the home defence. From point-blank range his shot was superbly clawed away by Mark Hervin.
On 26 minutes Robbie Harris found Bloomfield on the edge of the Chippenham penalty area and his curling shot appeared destined for the top corner until Hervin again superbly tipped the effort over.
Ten minutes before the break Bloomfield wriggled past the Chippenham back four but with only Hervin to beat he lobbed his effort over keeper and bar.
Chippenham had barely threatened the visitor's goal in the first 45 minutes. Dave Gilroy fired one effort wide while Wilson rushed off his line and snatched the ball off the Chippenham striker's toes.
With nine minutes left Lynn should have scored a deserved equaliser when Quistin presented fellow sub Chris Bacon with a chance in front of goal, but with Hervin flat-footed on his line Bacon dragged his effort wide.
: Hervin, Regis, McEntegart, G. Thorne, Herring, Badman, Wilmot, Davidson (Constable 79), Gilroy, Allison, Walker (Charity 15). Subs not used: Horgan, W. Thorne, Astley.
: Wilson, Jones, Setchell, McMahon, Hammond, Camm, Defty, Harris (Bacon 82), Hay, Bloomfield, Angel (Quistin h-t). Not used: Forshaw, Harvey, Higgs.
: Kevin Pike (Gillingham, Dorset). Attendance
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