Grantham Town 0 King's Lynn 1
24th April 1999
HE tried to hide it, but this was a special win for Gary Mills.
In an emotional return to the club he spent two successful years managing, and one which he controversially left last year, the Lynn boss helped to set up Mark Turner's second half winner.
It also extended Lynn's sequence to eight clean sheets and 13 hours and 13 minutes without conceding a goal.
"It's special for me to come here and win at my old club, but I'm glad to get the three points," beamed Mills, who got a better reception from the Gingerbreads than their previous clash. "I had two magnificent years here. I took them up from the Midland Division and almost took them to Wembley, so God forbid it if I got them relegated."
Also making his return was Dave Robinson and watching from the sidelines were fellow Grantham old boys Lee Wilson (suspended) and Paul Ramsey (injured).
Lynn, up one place to eighth, have a chance of' matching Mills' top six target if they beat Ilkeston in their last game on Saturday.
"It's great to get a clean sheet and fingers crossed next week we'll be playing to be in the top six," Mills continued. "It's like winning the league.
"It was quite slippery, sticky and heavy out there but we passed it around well and were solid at the back. The front three did well while Steve McGinty came in and was Mr Reliable. The lads were a credit and we're looking forward to the last game."
Mills praised scorer Turner: "It's what he's good at. To get 12 goals is phenomenal from midfield."
On a difficult pitch and considering the occasion, the game had few chances and one of those came to the hosts in the second minute, Chuck Martini making a routine save from Robert Pell. Martini showed why he has now matched Steve Lewis's individual seasonal clean sheet record of 17 by pulling off the save of the match. He dived in mid-air to turn Darren Gwyther's effort round the post.
Micky Nuttell had two excellent opportunities, but headed Tony Spearing's cross just over and blazed wide a McGinty centre.
Turner fed Dave Puttnam, whose threatening run was checked by a Scott Goodwin tackle. Then Turner should have done better when he had the ball twice in the Grantham box.
Lynn scored with the first chance of the second half, which came in the 70th minute. Mills squared to Puttnam, whose shot was blocked by keeper Gary Germaine, but Turner nodded into an empty net. Mills then rolled back the years by switching to right-back after Robinson was injured.
The much-improved Craig Clark blocked a half-chance on the line and the closest the hosts got to breaking Martini's record was Emeka Nwadike's bullet header smacking the bar from Goodwin's cross.
Linnets, who trained before the match in their 'Great Escape' T-shirts, signed off their away campaign by performing their Klinsmann dive to the away fans, who numbered half the crowd.
: Martini, Robinson (Cotterell 76), Spearing, Fuff, Clark, Mills, Turner, Goss, Nuttell, McGinty, Puttnam. Sub (not used) Palmer, Simpson.
: Germaine, Dakin, Goodwin, Nwadike, Speed, Andrews, Bowman, Martin, Pell, Stahlberger, Gwyther (Kirkham 77). Sub (not used)Glasser, Samuels.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
|| Dakin (77 foul)