King's Lynn 1 Boston United 2
26th December 1998
On-loan striker Lee Allen impressed on his Linnets debut - but finding goals is still the main worry for boss Gary Mills.
Allen, with Lynn for a month from Leicester City, looked sharp and he will be a big asset over the next few weeks.
In Linnets' last match of 1998, he beat players, created chances and generally linked up the play well. But his neat skills were lost as the two teams battled through the mud on a rain-soaked Walks pitch, writes sports editor RICHARD WILLNER. Mills said: "It was a battle. You couldn't play any football out there because the pitch was a quagmire. "It is dreadful - but we're not using that as an excuse. We've got to keep battling to try to get the results. "We're losing by the odd goal week in. week out, and it's frustrating. Boston didn't score - basically they were given two goals. But we've got to persevere and roll up our sleeves.
"Nobody likes losing but we've gut to hope and aspect our luck's going to turn."
Lynn were. without doubt, worthy of at least a point. They created some good opportunities while Boston scored from the penalty spot and through an own goal.
But finding the back of the net is still a big problem that Mills needs to deal with. He said: "When you're dominating you've got to take your chances and we didn't.
And on new striker Allen. the manager said:" Get it to Lee's feet and he'll cause problems. We wish the pitch was a bit better for quality players like him. I thought he did well and opened them up."
Allen was one of a three-pronged attack with Dave Puttnam and Jon Palmer working the flanks.
Mills pushed himself into midfield along with Leo Cotterell and Mark Turner as Paul Ramsey was out injured and Colin Hoyle reverted to centre half alongside Glen Fuff. That switch was enforced as Dave Robinson went down with tonsilitis on Thursday.
The changes did not seem to faze Lynn as they started well, Leo Cotterell's free kick the first on target. Allen then took advantage of
poor kick by Paul Bastock to play in Turner, who cut inside but shot wide.
Len Curtis also shot wide in Boston's first real threat before his side were lucky to escape a penalty box scramble.
Again it was Allen who started the move by sweeping a glorious pass out to Palmer. He drilled the ball low into the box but Turner's run was well blocked by a defender.
The ball ran to Puttnam and he had a penalty claim turned down when it appeared he was tripped by Curtis. The referee waved play on and Cotterell's shot was blocked. Richard Follett then found Allen with a superb ball into the box but the little striker couldn't squeeze his shot under Bastock.
Chuck Martini, who had his best game for the Linnets, saved Fars
blushes when diving bravely at the feet of David Venables after a mistake by the Lynn centre hack.
But the keeper could do nothing in the 33rd minute when Boston were awarded a penalty. Tony Spearing sent ex-Linnet Andrew Stanhope flying and Martin Hardy fired home from the spot. it was to be a match to forget for Spearing as four minutes later he put through his own goal. Gareth Jellyman easily beat Follett and sent in a dangerous cross that the diving Spearing could only head into the top comer.
In the 72nd minute Lynn were given some hope of collecting a point. Puttnam skipped past two defenders and crossed for Turner who scored with a delicate finish. And Puttnam himself and Palmer also went agonisingly near.
: Martini, Follett, Spearing, Fuff, Hoyle, Cotterell (McGinty 83),Turner, Mills, Palmer, Allen, Putnnam Subs not used: Lonergan, Clark,
: Bastock, Gowshall, Curtis, Stringfellow, Hardy, Jellyman (Mason 90)), Stanhope, Charles; Carmichael, Venables (Watts 78), Costellow. Sub not used Walters.
: C. Gawthrop (Impington, Camb). Attendance
: 915 MoM
: Lee Allen