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AFC Sudbury 0 King's Lynn 0
21st October 2007
The Linnets can count themselves fortunate to get a second bite of the FA Trophy cherry after an awful display at AFC Sudbury on Saturday. Lynn had goalkeeper Scott Howie, who pulled off a tremendous, second-half penalty save, to thank in a game which saw defender Craig Fleming sent off for two yellow cards.
Fleming saw red for the handball offence which led to the Sudbury spot-kick, before receiving his second yellow for a foul on former Linnet Chris Bacon three minutes later.
Linnets' boss Keith Webb said: "Too many of our players were too relaxed. It was one of those games after about 30 minutes where I knew I'd be happy to go home with a 0-0 draw.
"The players owe me one and need to be sharper in all areas of the field.
"Sudbury played five in midfield and we were getting frustrated in trying to break them down.
On Fleming's dismissal, Webb said: "Craig was frustrated about the penalty decision as there was no handball intent on his part and although the tackle which led to his second booking was a foul, there's no way it warranted a booking. The referee was trying to make a name for himself."
Lynn made a number of changes to the side that crashed out of the FA Cup at Tamworth a week earlier.
Ben Chapman and Michael Frew were wrapped in cotton wool and left on the bench with niggles, while Mark Warren's thigh ruled him out of the tie completely.
Greg Lake replaced Chapman at left-back, Craig Fleming moved into the heart of the Lynn defence alongside Greg Crane, Charlie Defty started on the right-side of midfield, leaving Andrew Fisk to join Mark Camm in the centre of midfield.
But it was Bacon, who Lynn assistant Lee Glover once took on loan to Grantham, who showed glimpses of the ability that many Linnets fans failed to see during his time at The Walks, while ex-Histon player James Rowe was also a constant danger during an impressive AFC Sudbury display. Bacon headed over from eight yards in the opening exchanges, before Sudbury captain David Head glanced over from a Rowe centre.
Lynn failed to create a clear-cut chance in anger in the first 45 minutes - summing up their lacklustre display in Suffolk.
Bacon spurned another gilt-edged chance straight after the restart when he shot wide from three yards out.
Howie pulled off a fine point-blank save to deny David Heath's header, only for Head's follow-up to strike the arm of Fleming.
Fleming was booked for his protesting to the referee, but Howie was on hand to save Lynn's bacon when he superbly tipped the subsequent spot-kick around his right post.
Three minutes later, Fleming tangled with Bacon as both players went for the ball before the ex-Norwich City star was shown a second yellow.
The ever-reliable Camm, making his 200th appearance for Lynn, moved back into the back four, while Matt Nolan played deep in midfield for the last quarter of the contest.
Howie was then at full stretch to keep out midfielder Head's long-range punt as the hosts sensed that Lynn were there for the taking.
Fleming's early bath actually opened the game up, so much so that Lynn actually contrived to create a chance in the latter stages of the match.
Dean West struck the woodwork before Nolan fired the rebound over.
Nolan was then denied by home shotstopper Nathan Munson.
Sudbury had one more chance to snatch a deserved win, but Head screwed wide from five yards out with only Howie to beat late on.
AFC Sudbury: Munson, Driver, Wardley, P. Smith, Girling, Tracey (Stace 70), Heath, D. Head, Bacon, Rowe, Boardley (Cunningham 78). Subs not used: Hammond, S. Head, N. Smith. Booked: Bacon.
Lynn: Howie, West, Lake, Fleming, Crane, Camm, C Defty (Frew 57), Fisk, Turner, Nolan, Francis. Subs: Bloomfield, Frew, Chapman, Murray.
Booked: C. Defty and Fleming, sent-off: Fleming.
Att: 410, MoM: Scott Howie. Referee: N D West (Leighton).
Report by permission of the Lynn News