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Stafford Rangers 0 King's Lynn 1
27th January 2001
LINNETS performed their first double of the season thanks to the outstanding Simon Dakin's third goal of the season.
It enabled Lynn to pick up their first league away win since October, at Welling, in their first ever league trip to Stafford.
Linnets were under the cosh for long periods but they were carried through by the centre-back trio of Dakin, normally full-back but playing out of position, Dave Robinson and Craig Clark.
This 3-5-2 formation was forced upon caretaker boss Tony Spearing, who did not start himself, by Glen Fuff's one-match suspension.
"It was vital we got something out of the game, especially after being done with the last kick last week," said Spearing. "They were on a good run and don't lose many at home. We set our stall out and got the breakthrough at the right time.
"I thought we could have played better second half, but Simon's popped up again.
"Fuffy was missed, and I phoned Dakes Friday and asked him to do a job. But he's done it before against Cambridge so I had no hesitation in asking him. He's been outstanding the last few months."
Lynn were minus Emeka Nwadike, who was transferred to Ilkeston for a four-figure fee at the end of last week.
His replacement, loan signing Steve Lenagh, slotted in well, but did not look match-fit and was clattered numerous times which caused his premature exit.
A quiet first half saw Lynn. looking dangerous on the break.
In a typical counterattacking move midway through the first period, Tommy Wright crossed from the right and the hard-working Lyndon Rowland had a header blocked by a defender.
The Boro's composure in front of goal was woeful, highlighted on the half-hour mark when a throw led to a goalmouth scramble and Darren Middleton headed over a straightforward chance.
The lively Middleton then produced a low, diving save from Chuck Martini.
Linnets frequently lost their shape and the ball. Just 20 seconds into the second half, a mistake by Adie Hayes in his own box gave Anthony Eccleston an opportunity, but his effort screwed just wide of the far post.
Lenagh went down injured three times in 10 minutes, twice being the victim of over-the-top lunges by Eccleston, who was lucky to just escape with a yellow card.
Lenagh was replaced on the hour by Reserves midfielder Wayne Anderson, who had a good game.
Midway through the second period, Linnets relieved a spell of intense Rangers pressure when Anderson fed Rowland down the left. He centred for Jon Palmer to hold the ball up for Wright, whose 12-yard drive rose inches over the bar.
With 15 minutes remaining, Linnets grabbed the decisive goal.
Wright took a corner, which Rowland headed back across goal to Dakin, who had his back to goal. The defender turned and hooked into the net from close range.
Stafford immediately hit back. Joe O'Connor burst into the penalty area, evaded challenges from Robinson and Martini, and pushed the ball past the Moroccan keeper only to see it hit the post.
That man Dakin was on hand to clear off the line. Dave Puttnam came on for his first game for seven weeks and Lynn should have sealed the game in the final minutes when he and Robinson should have done better when well placed.
Then Wright delayed his layoff to Anderson, who was forced to shoot first-time and blazed over.

Lynn: Martini, Dakin, Clark, Robinson, Gibson, March, Lenagh (W. Anderson 62), Hayes, Palmer (Puttnam 77), Rowland, Wright. Sub not used: Spearing
Stafford: R. Williams, L. Everitt, S. Jones, J. Cartwright ht (D. Boughey 74), S. R der, D. Simkin, D.Middleton (D. Heath 82), C. Lovett, J. O'Connor, A. Eccleston, P. Kiely (D Shaw 74).
Att: 668.  

Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Stafford 49519 Eccleston (56, foul)
Lynn News Man of the Match - Smon Dakin
Report by permission of the Lynn News