King's Lynn 1 Wimbledon 0
24th November 1973
WELL THE Linnets didn't reach the 3-0 forecast of player-manager Frank Wignall, but they were still much too good for highly-rated Wimbledon.
And as Wignall said later: "It could have been three but we missed a couple of easy chances in the first half."
The Lynn boss may not yet be in the Mohammed Ali class in forecasting correct results, but how right he was in saying last week that the Linnets would get through this FA Cup First Round hurdle if everyone worked hard.
With a tight defence which only allowed Wimbledon one chance, solid grafting in midfield and hard running up front the Linnets always seemed in control.
Wignall commented: "We played exactly as I wanted us to. The hard work everyone put in training last week paid off.
"Keith Rudd and Malcolm Lindsay physically ran their legs off and our defence, well we didn't let them get a look in, did we?
"If we had taken those two first half open goals it would have been all over."
Wimbledon manager Dick Graham, a Cup fighter of renown who guided Colchester to glory over Leeds a few years ago, said: "From our point of view we never really got in this game, but we have had something lacking in the last two matches."
Graham then praised the Linnets: "They played the right sort of game in the second half, pushing the ball over us as we tried to move up.
It was that sort of move which almost gave Lynn a dramatic early lead. Wimbledon were caught wide open by a quick break and when Rudd pushed the ball wide to Ray Elliott he only had Richard Guy to beat, but the shot went straight to the keeper.
The next chance fell to Rudd, who banged his arms on the ground in frustration after reaching Tony Woolmer's centre first and then heading wide of the post.
Lynn always had players spare, with Wignall's new tactics of a loose 4-4-2 formation paying off. The idea was for Rudd and Lindsay to keep well up with the midfield players Wignall and Clive Adams in the centre and Woolmer and Elliott on the outside quick to move up as the play dictated.
Wimbledon initially had four players up front, but had to change their tactics. It was left to full back Brian Hall and Bob Stockley to pose threats with overlapping runs and twice Hall (the ex-Colchester stalwart) cracking in 20 yard drives past Garry Steel's left hand post.
Rudd again went so close on the half-hour when he neatly flicked on a centre from Brooks and Guy was beaten but the ball skidded past the far post.
Then came the unfortunate trouble with the irresponsible hooligans and as fighting spilled on to the pitch referee John Parsons - who had an excellent match - had no alternative but to take the players off the field for ten minutes.
When play resumed a lot of the Cup atmosphere had gone, but Linnets warmed up with a 39th minute shot from Malcolm Lindsay which produced the best save of the match, Guy twisting backwards to turn the shot over for a corner.
Wimbledon's best chance fell in the 54th minute to winger Bobby Moss who
collected a rebound and fired in from 15 yards which Steel stopped with a great
save. If he was feeling the effects of his knee injury he didn't show it then.
Twice in as many minutes Trevor Painter was felled by heavy tackles, the first a kick in the stomach. he was in obvious difficulties, but must have forgotten the pain when the free-kick for the second foul produced the vital goal.
David Brooks put the centre over, with Lindsay getting good control and turning to his right to pass straight to the unmarked Ray Elliott who cracked in a low shot which beat Guy and went in off the boot of Hall who was guarding one corner of the goal.
After the celebrations for this 61st minute goal, Painter went off, with substitute Dave Clarke going to full back and Nigel Smith partnering Wright in the middle. Previously there had not been a weak link in the defence and after these changes Wimbledon still could not find a way through.
In the end they were reduced to pumping high centres into the penalty area which
Wrlght and Smith dealt with easily.
The best chances fell to the Linnets who made several penetrating breaks, once Lindsay watching as his delicate shot
go agonisingly inches across the goal, Clarke moving up with a hard centre which only needed a touch and finally Rudd hooking wide after a superb move by Wignall and Brooks.
The Linnets finished as they started - well in control, and Wignall reserved his last words for the youngest player on the field, 16 year-old Clive Adams. He
commented: "In my book Clive Adams will be a great player in the future. He did everything he was asked to do."
Deserved praise for Adams who had previously only made one senior appearance this season and was playing in his first-ever Cup-tie.
: Steel, Brooks. Smith. Adams, Painter (sub Clarke 62 mins). Wright,
Woolmer. Rudd. Lindsay. Wignall. Elliott.
: Guy. Hall, Stockley, Brown. McCready, Langford, Moss, Cooke, Lucas. Gadston (sub Larkin 68
: A. J. Parsons (Kempton. Beds). Attendance