Clevedon 1 King's Lynn 0
1st January 1998
LINNETS assistant Darren Bloodworth refused to blame the frozen Hand Stadium pitch after a last minute strike saw his side slide to their first defeat in six matches.
Speaking after Clevedon's last gasp winner on a surface which resembled a skating rink rather than a football pitch Bloodworth said: "I've played on worse pitches before but there again I've also been involved in games where it's been called off for less than that."
Referee Mr Gooding acknowledged to both managers before the game that the players' safety was at risk but still allowed it to go ahead despite the side nearest the main stand being frozen solid.
The referee said that as soon as anyone slipped over, he would consider calling the game off.
"The conditions didn't help us as we like to get the ball clown the channels, but with one side of the pitch frozen, it made it very difficult, but it was the same for both sides." added Bloodworth, who thought his players deserved a share of the spoils.
It was certainly a game Linnets could not afford to lose, with sixth from bottom Seasiders now six points and three places behind Lynn following their victory.
As expected, Emeka Nwadike played despite an approach from Ilkeston last week.
"It's a sickening blow to lose so late on," Bloodworth said. "We came so close to gaining what would have been a valuable point considering the conditions, but bad defending has cost us in the last minute.
"I could accept it if their guy had hit it from 30 yards, but the manner in which we conceded wasn't like us.
"Until they scored we'd defended superbly. I thought Craig Clark. Glen Fuff and Dave Robinson were magnificent today."
Saturday marked the first time Lynn had failed to the find the back of the net since November 4. but Bloodworth was not duly concerned.
"You have to give Clevedon some credit for that as they packed their defence and were resilient at the back."
Lynn's best opportunities came at the start of either half. 'They came within inches of taking the lead as early as the first minute when Lyndon Rowland's header looked set to hit the target until it struck the back of Lee Jefferies.
Seven minutes after the break a flowing trove involving Tommy Wright and Jon Palmer found Simon Dakin, whose low drive was well stopped by Clevedon keeper Mark Hervin.
Other than that, Lynn were rarely seen as an attacking force with the hosts looking more likely to score.
In tile 27th minute. Robinson was on hand to clear Mark Palmer's header off
the line as Clevedon finally began to find their footing on the rock-hard surface.
Lynn enjoyed their best. spell of the game at the start of the second period but the home side continued to carve out the best chances.
A double Chuck Martini save denied Andy Mainwaring midway through the half and three minutes later the same player volleyed into the arms of the Moroccan when
he should have done better.
Just as it looked like Linnets would hold on for a point, Mainwaring threaded the ball through to Paul Milson slotted the ball over the body of Martini.
Martini, Dakin, Clark, Robinson, Fuff, March, Nwadike, Hayes, Palmer (Gibson 83). Rowland, Wright. Subs not used: Bush, Spearing.
: M. Hervin. J. Rollo, A. Ball, M. Trought (D. Haines 12), L. Jefferies, M. Coupe, M. Palmer J Zabek, P. Milson, A. Mainwaring, M. Badman. Not used: T. Bennett, L. Groves.
Lynn News Man of the Match -
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