Merthyr Tydfil 3 King's Lynn 1
20th April 2002
THIS was a disappointing display from the Linnets in a game that was crucial for their hopes of avoiding relegation to the Eastern Division.
Against a Merthyr Tydfil outfit who had already suffered relegation from the Division the opportunity was there for Peter Morris' men to claim three points after the Welsh club had parted company with seven of their highest paid players during the week in a cost cutting exercise.
However, Lynn were unable to raise their game above mediocre throughout.
A dire opening half from both sides saw a couple of half chances go begging before the visitors were denied good claims for a penalty when Paul Watts was brought down on 42 minutes.
Referee Andy Williams waved play on despite the protestations and only two minutes later Lynn went behind.
Andy Mainwaring got clear on the right but when his cross came in Martin McNeil
, looking as though he was going to clear comfortably, somehow only managed to nestle the ball in the corner of the net past the stranded Steve Wilson.
Following referee William's retirement at half-time due to injury Merthyr almost increased their lead after the break but saw chances through Mainwaring and Jamie Edwards go begging.
Then, on 64 minutes the Linnets had a stroke of luck when a Dave Staff
free-kick from 25 yards took a wicked deflection to wrong foot home goalkeeper Neil Thomas and bring the teams level, and for a moment they looked like going on to win the game.
Only a minute later Watts almost put them ahead with an angled shot that was blocked and Merthyr scrambled the ball away.
Soon after Merthyr began to exert pressure and after a couple of near misses Grant Thomas
put them ahead once more with a good finish from a tight angle after a good four man move down the right.
Another great move saw Danny Haines fire just wide at point blank range for the home side on 81 minutes before Merthyr's Grant Thomas was dismissed a minute later for a second foul.
Instead of igniting a Lynn fight-back Merthyr sealed the game late on, Mainwaring
latching on to a stray back pass to go past Wilson and slot into an empty net.
: N. Thomas, Clarke, Rollo, Staton, Lima, G. Thomas, Needs, Edwards, Mainwaring, Carter, Haines. Subs not used: Williams, Elliott, Morris.
: Wilson, Staff, March, McNeil (Anderson h/t), Fuff, Clark, Stanhope, (McNamara 75), Rowe, Clarke, Watts (Hudson 70), Hayes. Lynn News MoM