Gloucester City 1 King's Lynn 2
19th Novemder 1983
TWO first half goals from Martin Coupe kept the Linnets at the top of the Southern League Premier Division.
The club's leading scorer took his running total to 13 goals in 18 games, even if his latest batch did include a slice of good fortune.
The first of his two, might not have beaten Gloucester keeper Neil Hards, but for a deflection.
His snap shot from six yards hit defender Dave Brunton on its way into the net.
That goal, scored after 16 minutes. gave Lynn :t deserved 1-0 lead.
They had created the better scoring chances, with Marty Wiles and Jim Kabia having particular success down the left wing.
A cross from Wiles gave Colin Foster an early shooting opportunity but he sliced his kick from 18 yards.
Lynn's only worry in that half came after nine minutes when City mid-field player Gerry Sweeney strayed in at their near post, only to thrust
a shot into the side-netting. Gloucester attacks were rare in this half. Richard Johnston blotting out many of their moves at an early stage.
Gloucester keeper Hards was to have a busy first half. He had to dive low to stop a 16th minute shot from Coupe and was also troubled by the shooting of Chris Waits.
From the main stand, one shot by Watts seemed to have hit the net. However, the angle of view was deceptive and the ball had actually dipped just below the Gloucester cross bar.
Coupe's first goal. when it came was no surprise. Neither was the news, revealed
afterwards, that the talented striker has been asked to attend a trial with Birmingham City.
As if to justify their request. Coupe quickly added a second goal in the 41st minute,
he intercepted a poor back pass from defender Geoff Merrick. chased clear and outwitted the keeper with
a shot placed into the right hand corner of the net.
Hopes of three points were to flicker momentarily in the second half when Gloucester brought on Mike Burford, the substitute.
His skills and strong running at last brought some attacking purpose to the home side. He crossed for Chris Garland - the ex-Bristol and Chelsea player to pull one goal back after 64 minutes.
However, that momentum was quickly broken, and Lynn could have built on their lead near the finish. Gloucester defender Steve Harding had to clear one shot off his own line in the 83rd minute.
For this game, manager Keith Rudd put himself on the substitute's bench because he was not 100 per cent fit.
Johnston and Clive Adams formed the central defensive partnership with Foster moving to mid-field and Kabia into attack with Coupe.
In Friday's LN&A we had reported on the success of Kabia in mid-field, but for this match the decision to put him into the front line again paid off.
Rudd said: "I thought it wits going to be a hard battle out there and if it had not worked out for us in the first hour I could always put myself on to try and give us more outlets.
"In the first half we played like a championship team. but we caused problems for ourselves at times in the second half."
: Hards, Sillet, Merrick, D. Bruton, Harding,Hunt. Walker, Sweeney, M. Bruton, Gwyther. Garland: sub Burford
: Claxton: McJannet, Johnston, Adams, Wiles, Easthall, Foster, Watts, Bartlett; Kabia, Coupe; sub Rudd