King's Lynn 1 Gateshead 1
20th December 1980
"How do you fill a column reporting on a match like that?" asked the supporter as he walked past the press box. "With difficulty" was the answer.
"I could do a very short report for you," he said. And voiced a few choice words which went straight to the point.
His vocabulary was such that we cannot reprint here in the Lynn News, but most supporters were probably thinking along the same lines as they made their way home.
Lynn played poorly and only barely deserved to get a point. There were periods in the game when it looked as if Lynn were the team stranded at the bottom of the Northern Premier League and not Gateshead.
Manager Keith Rudd picked up this point afterwards: "I was surprised that they are as low as they are. Gateshead were a busy side and caused us quite a few problems but we were flimsy at the back".
He was also forthright about the Linnets: "That was the worst we have played in six or seven league games, in fact we have played better and lost, such as Witton.
Rudd, with back and leg reaction from Tuesday's game at Wisbech, had to sit and suffer for the 90 minutes on the touchline like the rest of us. "I felt depressed watching a game like that," he admitted.
The fact is that Rudd as a player is vital to the Linnets. He does not score so many goals now as he and we would like, but his thoughtful play and organisation of the team are really missed when he is not out there.
For all his verbal urgings from the side, Rudd could not get the best out of Duncan Wiles and Willie Rider who were the wide midfield players, while in attack Paul Chapman and Clive Adams were not making enough positive runs. With Chris Watts still suffering from flu, it was left to Mick Wright to shoulder the responsibility for putting together many of Lynn's attacks. Fittingly he played a key part in the Lynn goal.
Another dismal feature of the game was the number of misplaced passes - by both sides, but seemingly the Linnets more than Gateshead failing to find a colleague: the heavy pitch did not help in this facet it must be pointed out.
Surely it wasn't all bad, some people may ask, Well the endeavour was there, honest enough and on just a few occasions the game did spark into life.
Gateshead were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute when Wilson brought down Bartlett. Hulse took the shot, hit it low towards the corner and Algar got down superbly to stick out a hand and turn the ball round the post.
Then it was Dodds at the other end getting the applause for two excellent saves. He palmed away a shot from Duncan Wiles and from the resultant corner dived to stop a header by Adams.
Gateshead ended the half as they had started it, on the attack, and won four corners in succession which caused Lynn anxiety. Yet the Lynn defence was not doing too badly and the goal they conceded in the 62nd minute had some misfortune about it.
An attempted clearance from Moyes rebounded off a Gateshead forward and fell straight into the path of Mitchell who advanced a few yards then picked out his spot to Algar's right with a forceful shot.
The reaction of Rudd was to replace Adams with Pinkowski who went on to the left wing. Adams, to be fair, did not seem fully fit on his return to league action after an absence of seven weeks.
Lynn were galvanised into action and carved their way through the Gateshead defence in the 67th minute. Wright darted through on the right behind the defender and cut his shot across the goalkeeper. It looked to be going wide, then in steamed Watts to get the final touch . . . painfully as he collided with the post in the process.
A goal apiece now and in the final 15 minutes it was Gateshead who looked the more likely to score and should have done through the diminutive number nine Davis who twice wastefully put clear chances wide.
: Algar; Wilson, Moyes, M Wiles, Lockstone; D Wiles, Watts, Wright, Rider; Adams (sub Pinkowski 65 mins), Chapman.
: Dodds, Waterson, Boyle, Parnaby, Harrison, Creamer, Carver, Mitchell, Hulse, Bartlett. Sub Gill
: J McAuley, Leeds.