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King's Lynn 1 St Leonards Stamcroft 1
21st February 1998
FLU-stricken Lynn again failed to find the key to unlock a relegation battling defence as their Conference ambitions suffered another blow on Saturday.
'The Linnets have now gone seven games without defeat but the last three, against teams from the wrong end of' the table, have reaped only three points, although a defeat for Merthyr keeps the race open.
Captain Colin Hoyle and prolific scorer Brett McNamara called of sick on matchday morning although Steve Williams, Simon Mead, Martin Matthews and Leo Cotterell were pushed into action despite their own flu symptoms.
Manager Peter Morris refused to blame illness for his side’s dismal showing as they let two more points slip from their grasp.
"We gave the ball away too easily and never looked comfortable - maybe we’re just not good enough to go up. We needed composure and it just wasn't there."
But he had harsh words for a section of the home support who barracked 17-goal marksman Steve Williams throughout the game.
"Steve did a lot of things badly today and was as poor as he was at the start of the season. But you can't forget all the goals he's scored and booing him won't improve things. This is when he needs support not barracking."
A dismal game failed to entertain and it was hard to tell whether the chorus of boos that greeted the final whistle were for the lack of quality on offer or the fact that the referee had woken spectators from their slumbers .
The first half brought only three noteworthy incidents - bookings for two St Leonards players and a Martin Matthews shot that flew over.
Indeed the Linnets, up against a team that has still to claim a win on their travels this season and which had conceded 71 goals, had to wait until the 68th minute to register their first on-target effort, Julian Delicata forcing Tony Lange to parry his effort.
By that time the bottom club were a goal ahead from their first shot of any description. Julian Delicata lost the ball just inside the St Leonard’s half and, with the home defence ragged, Paul Ruddy sent a 25-yard drive past James Hollman’s despairing dive.
Tony Spearing was virtually the only Linnet who looked determined to avoid embarrassment with a typically wholehearted display.
Williams pulled a cross along the goal line before he had the chance to answer his critics in the 8Oth minute when Lee Hudson was fouled in the penalty area. But his spot kick proved to be the ideal height for Lange to turn the ball away.
It was left to Glyn Roberts to spare home blushes when he rifled in his first goal for the club two minutes later from the edge of the area.
Williams missed another chance to redeem himself when Hudson's glorious cross picked him out but he headed the ball wide.
But it was all too late and Lynn desperately need to add some craft and guile to their armoury if the season is not to peter out into mid-table anonymity.
Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Cotterell, Pascoe, Ellis, Spearing, G Roberts, Hopkins, Williams, Mead (Delicata 45), Hudson. Subs (not used) Frary, D Roberts.
St Leonards: Lange, Burt (Brown 88), Gatting, Parris, G Ruddy, Llanagan, P Ruddy, Norman, Ndunduma, Miles, Willard. Subs: (not used) Stein, Ramsden.
Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn454510 Pascoe (foul, 83)
St Leonards 211217 P Ruddy (19, foul)
Norman (22, foul)
Report by permission of the Lynn News