King's Lynn 2 Forest Green Rovers 2
20th December 1997
A STUNNING 83rd minute strike from Steve Williams rescued a point for the Linnets after they failed to build on an awesome first-half display.
Lynn ran their title-chasing visitors ragged for the first 30 minutes but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping restricted them to a single goal.
The Gloucestershire side, playing in Lynn's away shirts due to a colour clash, snatched an equaliser in first half injury time and then took the lead and knocked the confidence out of their hosts.
But up stepped Williams to smash in a glorious 15-yard volley to mark his return front suspension in style.
"It was nice to come back with a goal like that," said Williams who took his tally for the season to ten.
"It was the only chance I had in the game and I don't think I've scored one better than that.
"I tried to stay at the far post to head the ball back across but it came too low and I just tried to keep it down and it flew in," he said modestly of his rip-roaring blast.
Manager Peter Morris introduced two new signings and both settled in well as Lynn tore apart Rovers in the opening stages. Phil Brown added quality to midfield while wing-back Leo Cotterell looked impressive.
Keeper Justin Shuttlewood seemed an immovable object as Lynn laid siege to the Rovers goal in the opening stages. He managed to catch Lee Hudson's seventh minute shot between his knees, tipped Brett McNamara’s bicycle kick wide two minutes later and then blocked Hudson’s effort with his shins.
Hudson and Cotterell were both denied before Lynn earned their reward. Brown’s corner was flicked across goal by McNamara for Hudson to head in.
Rovers’ first real chance did not arrive until the 44th minute when Steve Lewis, in for flu-victim James Hollman, got down well to save Chris Honor’s close-range header.
But the visitors were soon level. Matthew Wright failed to clear on the wing and Paul Hunt nipped in to deliver a perfect cross for the unmarked Winter to head in.
Colin Hoyle raced back to clear off' the line when Paul McLoughlin slipped the ball past Lewis after beating the offside trap but the striker soon found the target, heading in Don Forbes corner.
Shuttlewood pulled off the save of the match to paw away Hudson's fierce shot before he had a let off when he dropped Hudson's shot at Delicata's feet but the substitute fired high and wide.
Temperatures became frayed and a challenge on McNamara by Winter sparked a 14-man scuffle, the Rovers player being booked.
With time running out, McNamara found space on the left and delivered a deep cross for Williams to blast home in style.
Lynn keeper Lewis said they could have had the game sewn up by half time. "We should hive buried them in the first half but we needed more composure ."
He admitted he was disappointed with the two goals conceded on is return to action after an eight-match absence.
"It was like coming back after pre-season training and with a bit more match practice I don’t think I would have gone out for the corner for their second goal."
He also felt the first goal should have been prevented but the forward was not picked up by a defender.
: Lewis, Cotterell, Hopkins, Wright (Delicata 68), Hoyle, Ellis, Brown, Matthews, Williams, McNamara, Hudson. Subs (not used) Mead, Skelly.
Forest Green Rovers
: Shuttlewood, Honor, Dicks, Smart (Jackson 68), Kilgour, Cook, Winter, Sykes (Coupe 84), McLoughlin, Hunt, Forbes. Sub (not used) Boyle.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
|| Kilgour (foul, 17)
Dicks (foul, 32)
Winter (foul, 67)