King's Lynn 2 Dartford 1
23rd August 1958
Lynn made a winning debut in the Southern League at the Walks on Saturday when they beat their old F.A. Cup rivals, Dartford by the odd goal of three - and it was a beautifully headed goal by Bobby Brown, one of four newcomers in the team, which did the trick.
To open a season in a new league with a win is a good thing for moral, but Lynn will need to play better than they did on Saturday if they are to make a big impression this season.
For much of the game Dartford were the more purposeful combination and Lynn may count themselves fortunate to have finished the winners.
As a first match of the season, it was a eventful one, full of good football, and the crowd of 4,223 showed more enthusiasm for the game than has been known at the Walks for quite a long time.
Lynn did not play badly - far from it - but they fell short of the standard set by the visitors, whose quick passing frequently had the Lynn defenders on the run.
Lynn's half-back line showed up well, but the attack was disappointing on many occasions. There was a tendency to hold on to the ball too long rather than make it do the work by passing it quickly to a waiting colleague. This gave the strong Dartford defence time o position itself and rob Lynn of any advantage they could gain by their slicker midfield play.
It is perhaps too soon to be too critical of the team, but if they pass the ball more quickly near goal and shoot more readily they can be far more effective than they were on Saturday.
The game opened with some attractive raids by both sides, and soon it became evident that the Dartford attack could be the more dangerous. Nevertheless it was Lynn who put in the first telling goalscoring efforts, shots from Lay and Dixon bringing Underwood into action.
Foulkes came to Lynn' rescue at the other end when he checked Swiggs close in after a particularly smart attack.
Some of the Lynn moves, in which Brown figured prominently, bought cheers from the crowd but these fell down through indecisive play near goal.
As Dartford settled down they became more and more dangerous. Streten saved magnificently near the angle of the woodwork a header from Huckstepp - a prelude to a ten minute spell in which the ball was netted three times, but resulted in only one goal, to Lynn.
In the 20th minute Swiggs beat Streten with a fine shot but another forward was offside; a minute later LUKE netted from the penalty spot after an infringement in the Dartford area; and in the 26th minute Dartford had another goal disallowed for offside, the marksman on this occasion being Adams.
However, in the 42nd minute Dartford deservedly equalised when HUCKSTEPP pounced on to a loose pass close in to hook the ball past Streten as he advanced to cover up.
They nearly took the lead just before the interval when a rasping shot from Prosser struck the underside of the bar. It rebounded in front of goal and Streten was able to gather it and clear.
Lynn made the running on the resumption but their spell of ascendancy was short lived for Dartford, moving the ball well, gradually got on top. Lynn's defence by now was playing quite well and Streten was not seriously troubled though he had a number of shots to deal with.
Lynn were always fighting hard and reward came to them in the 72nd minute when BROWN jumped to meet a neatly paced lob from Baxter and head in.
This goal acted as a great tonic to Lynn, and up to the final whistle they fought keenly to consolidate their position. However, some magnificent goal keeping by Underwood - one save from Dixon being easily the best of the match - denied them a further goal. From a corner kick Brown put in a fine shot, but Engefield, standing in the goalmouth chested the ball down and cleared.
It was a good match - one which should have whetted the appetites of all those who watched it.
: Streten: Henderson, Lay; Tennant, Foulkes, Neilson; Baxter, Luke, Dixon, Brown, Williams.
: Underwood: Vetch, Englefield; Hill.Smailes, Goodfellow; Golding, Huckstepp, Swiggs, Prosser, Adams.