Worcester City 3 King's Lynn 2
26th September 1998
New Linnets manager Gary Mills was both hero and villain as he became the second Lynn player to be sent off in successive games.
Right-back Mills, making his debut, had a hand in both goals as Lynn were cruising 2-0 up at Worcester, who were booed off at half-time. But he was dismissed for the first time in his career for handball, which completely turned the course of the game.
This dashed Lynn's chances of gaining their first away point this season while you have to go back to Ashford on February 28 to find the last win on their travels.
Mills was adamant it wasn't handball, saying: "I was hit on the shoulder. The disappointing thing was the referee was only ten yards away but he's given it.
"When you're down these things happen. We did fine until then, the lads really responded well. It's encouraging when I look at them (Worcester). They're in the top five and no better than us."
Lynn can have few complaints about the referee as he was extremely lenient with some of their tackles and Lee Gibson can count himself lucky not to get sent off.
Their bad luck had continued when Duncan Roberts was ruled out after he burned his foot in a work accident on Thursday so fit-again Steve Lewis started.
Another debutant was Paul Ramsey, who played 14 times for Northern Ireland. An early Worcester penalty appeal for handball on the hard-working midfielder was rejected.
However Mills surged forward and his long cross-shot was tipped over by Shane Higgs for a corner taken by Dave Puttnam. Mickey Nuttell's spectacular diving and glancing header at the near post converted it.
Lewis escaped twice in a minute, dropping a cross at Ian Cottrill's feet, then his kick was charged down by Sam Bowen but the ball lobbed wide.
In the fifth minute of injury time Mills sent a long ball which led to a throw in that was flicked on by Nuttell. Glyn Roberts ran on and his 20-yard shot deflected off Heeley and looped over Higgs.
On the hour came the turning point . Lewis blocked Evron Wrights' effort and Bowen's shot appeared to be handled on the line by Mills. After he trudged off Jason Burnham converted the penalty. Five minutes later Ray Woods crossed and Colin Hoyle, making his 100th appearance for Lynn, headed out only for Paul Chenoweth to fire in.
With Lynn in disarray Wright fed Steve Hillman through the middle, closely shadowed by Hoyle. However, he turned the Linnets skipper and a skidding shot beat Lewis at his near post. If not for Tony Spearing clearing off the line three times the recovery would have been more complete.
In the most comical aspect of the game referee Tim Curtis dropped all his cards on the pitch where they remained for a few minutes. How Mills must have wished he lost them earlier.
: Lewis, Mills, Spearing, Fuff, Hoyle, G Roberts (Stringfellow 77), Gibson, Ramsey, Nuttell, Sterling (Wright 66), Puttnam (Delicata 84).
: Higgs, Sandemann, Burnham, Richards, Heeley, Cottrill, Woods, Wright, Bowen (Owen 89), Chenoweth, Hillman. Subs (not used) Wood, Jones.
|Shots on |
|Shots off |
||Gibson (30, foul)
Fuff (57, foul)
Mills (60, handball)