Merthyr Tydfil 0 King's Lynn 0
21st January 2006
The Linnets returned from South Wales with all three points after a powerful first half performance secured a very welcome result for Tommy Taylor's men.
Welcoming back Mark Camm into the starting line-up for the long visit to South Wales, Lynn set about their hosts from the first whistle and after only two minutes, Matt Nolan saw his shot from 10 yards blocked inside the box.
Jack Defty forced Merthyr's on-loan goalkeeper Lee Worgan, who is on the books of Cardiff City, into a superb stop on seven minutes after cutting inside on the right and hitting a low angled shot.
A poor goal-kick from Linnets goalkeeper Aaron Benstead gave The Martyrs their first chance of the game on 19 minutes, but proved to be Benstead's only mistake in a superb performance.
He made amends for that error in turning over a blistering effort from 17-year-old Merthyr Tydfil striker Craig Moses.
He also dived full-length to save from a Dale Griffiths header from the resultant corner and then some 10 minutes later went on to set up Matt Nolan for what would turn out to be the eventual winner.
His long kick upfield found its way straight to Nolan whose control allowed him to run into the box before firing past a despairing Worgan.
That goal was only what Lynn deserved at this point of the proceedings but that did seem to spur the Welsh side into action and just five minutes later they squandered the chance of the game when Dane Williams mis-hit a shot from just six yards when an equaliser looked a certainty.
Defty was again causing problems for the Merthyr defence shortly after, another angled drive initially halted by Worgan before being scrambled clear but it was Benstead who had the final touch of the first half, turning another Griffiths header onto the roof of the net.
If the Linnets had the better of the first half then Merthyr certainly had the second although there was a
stubbornness about the Lynn defending that had not been present at recent away games.
Mike Fowler, Moses and Griffiths for a third time, saw efforts fail to hit the target although a sparking move on 75 minutes produced a fine chance for Danny Bloomfield to seal the victory only to be denied by Worgan.
Benstead saved superbly again to keep out Fowler's curling free-kick with four minutes remaining as Merthyr reverted to a 4-3-3 in an attempt to gain some reward from the game.
However, Griffiths once again headed wide from a corner before Steve Williams saw Merthyr's last effort, a low drive from 25 yards, scrape the outside of the post in the dying seconds.
Merthyr Tydfil: Worgan, S. Williams, Robison, Needs, Eckhart (Welsh 80), Griffiths, Fowler, D. Williams, Moses, O'Sullivan, Dorrian. Subs not used: Loss, Jones, Steins.
Bookings: Needs, Eckhardt.
Lynn: Benstead, Jones, Smith, West, Cooper, Camm, Anselin, McMahon, Defty, Bloomfield, Nolan (Heath-Preston 82). Sub not used: Peters, Hammond, Harvey, Fell .
Goal: Nolan 29.
Referee: A. Smith (Bridgwater). Attendance: 442.