Bath City 2 King's Lynn 0
22nd August 1998
LINNETS boss Tony Spearing is predicting his strike partnership will take the league by storm.
Despite no goals at Bath on Saturday, Ian Stringfellow and Micky Nuttell looked dangerous and linked up well during a dominant second half performance. .
Nuttell signed on Friday from Kettering has a wealth of non-league experience and is a big, strong handful for defenders while we all know the talents of Stringfellow. It was good to see him back and fit enough to last the 90 minutes. .
Despite the defeat - Lynn's first on the opening day for ten years Spearing was not downhearted and said: "Micky's come in and looked dangerous. Him and Stringy will be one of the best attacks in the league.
"I now know we've got a chance in this league. I have not been sleeping easy but the people who have come here can play.
"I'm not just talking hot air - we battered them in the second half. I'm so gutted for the lads. It's the first time since I've been here we have battered a team for the majority of the match.
“It was lovely to play in. We played so me great football and showed a great attitude. I think we deserved the three points.
"We're away from home and played in a positive manner. People who have seen us today will go home thinking we're not a bad side.
We sat on a coach for nearly six hours and then ran them ragged. On another day, with another bobble and another referee, we could have won.
"Worrell (Sterling) tore them to threads and I must have the catch of the day with Micky. People had written Stringy off but I hadn't and Gary Oakes showed what he can do.
"Dave Puttnam's wife was due to have a baby but he came from Leicester. That shows commitment.
"I'm looking to get another couple of players in and people have got nothing to worry about."
Lynn went into the game without Glen Fuff and Glyn Roberts was forced to call off on Saturday morning with sickness and diarrhoea, despite starting his journey. He had to pull over on the side of the road and knew he could not make the match.
Damian Hilton was one of six Linnets players to make his full league debut, lining up alongside Spearing and skipper Colin Hoyle in the back three.
Dave Puttnam, Sterling, Oakes, Nuttell and substitute Coren Hardy were the others to play their first league game for Lynn and it was not surprising that, with so many new faces, the visitors started slowly.
After just two minutes, a long ball from Garry Wotton bounced off the back of Mike Davis' head as he ran for the pass with Hoyle.
The ball then dropped perfectly for Davis and he slipped the ball under the advancing Steve Lewis to put Bath ahead. Hoyle had a chance to equalise five minutes later but his header from Sterling's free-kick went just wide.
The home fans were angered by some fierce tackling from the Linnets and mistimed challenges saw Oakes and Matthew Wright go into the book. Puttnam was also shown a yellow card after a flare-up with Stuart James
Wotton was stretchered off after a hefty clash with Nuttell and, although he returned for a few minutes had to
be replaced in the first halt'.
Jimmy Fraser sent a header wide for Bath and substitute Rob Skidmore blasted a shot over after Lynn's defence failed to clear a free-kick.
Bath then had penalty claims turned down when Hoyle appeared to have taken out Martin Paul before Fraser got away with what looked a blatant punch on Puttnam.
In first half injury time, Lynn were awarded a penalty only to see the referee's decision reversed. Stringfellow got in front of his marker but the linesman's flag immediately went up for offside.
The referee did not spot the flag and play continued until Stringfellow was brought down in the box. A penalty was given but a Bath player drew the referee's attention to the flag and offside was given.
After the break, Lynn - cheered on by healthy travelling support - took control and Stringfellow shot just over from Nuttell’s knockdown.
Puttnam should have scored, sneaking in at the far post, from Stringfellow’s cross, but hit his effort into the ground and straight at the keeper.
At the other end, Lewis pulled off an amazing save from Paul. The Lynn keeper, who had been challenged by Fraser,
Was down on the ground but somehow got a fingertip to Paul’s drive and diverted the ball for a corner.
Nuttell and Stringfellow linked up well as Lynn hunted an equaliser but Stringfellow’s shot on the turn went wide. From just outside the box, Stringfellow then sent another effort just past the post.
The game was killed off in the 84th minute when Hoyle fouled Paul. Paul Bodin sent in a free kick and the unmarked Fraser headed home.
: Lewis, Wright (Hardy 87), Puttnam, Hilton, Hoyle, Spearing, Sterling, Oakes, Nuttell, Cotterell, Stringfellow. Subs (not used) Williams, Gibson
: Hervin, James, Bodin, Wotton (Skidmore 29), Towler, Elsey, Vickerman, Praser,Paul, Davis (Colbourne 74), Harrington. Sub (not used) Loydon
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
||Oakes (5, foul)
Puttnam (24, handbags)
Wright (31, foul)
Hoyle (83, foul)
|| James (24, handbags)
Fraser (81, foul)