Folkestone Invicta 2 King's Lynn 2
27th March 2004
A HALF-time ticking-off from the Linnets' managerial team had the desired effect as their side came within a minute of ending Folkestone's four month unbeaten run.
But for the second time this season The Walks outfit were foiled by a late Folkestone equaliser after David Staff had been dismissed for deliberate handball.
Lynn were out of sorts in the first 45 minutes, but were a different proposition after the break as the Eastern Division title race continues to produce most twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel.
"A draw was a fair result and if you had offered me that before the match I would have been quite happy," said joint boss Darren Bloodworth, whose side slipped to second in the table after Tonbridge's 1-0 win at Burgess Hill.
"In the first half we didn't pass it, didn't play, lost a lot of second balls and looked like a mid-table side playing the season out and that s what we based our half-time team talk on.
"We looked a better side after shuffling things around and 1 was delighted because the players let themselves down, the supporters down and me down in the first half."
Bloodworth refused to criticise Staff, whose handball led to Folkestone's equaliser from the penalty spot.
"David was bitterly disappointed, but he did exactly the same as I would have done in that situation," said Bloodworth.
"He stopped a certain goal with his hand, but at least it gave us a second chance with the penalty.
The Linnets, who were without new signing Jermaine Brown because of family reasons, failed to muster a solitary effort on target in the first 45 minutes and the signs looked ominous when the home side took a sixth minute lead.
A suicidal back header from Glen Fuff was gratefully accepted by James Dryden, who slotted the ball past Steve Wilson.
Anthony Hogg saw a deflected shot rattle the Linnets bar and Richard Woodrow was on hand to clear the ball off the line as Folkestone threatened to run riot.
Mark Burrows limped off to be replaced by Charlie Defty, while Daniel Hammond switched to centre back.
The' introduction of Robbie Harris and a new 4-3-3 formation eight minutes into the second period which saw Lynn camp in the Folkestone half.
Staff had a shot bundled off the line, but two minutes later Carl Holmes was fouled outside the box and Staff stepped up to curl home one of his trademark free-kicks.
Mark Camm and Lee Stevenson both went close, before Stevenson's pass found Dale Watkins, who chipped the Folkestone keeper to give Lynn a 75th minute lead.
Seven minutes later Holmes struck the bar with a header from Harris' cross.
Just as it looked like Lynn would get three crucial points, Staff stopped a certain goal with his hand and Martin Chandler stepped up to fire home a real hammer blow.
: T. Kessell, M. Everitt, P Lamb, A. Flanagan, J. Guest, S. Lindsey, M. Chandler, D. Watkins (L. Blackman 73), A. Hogg. Subs not used: J. Walker, S. Lawrence, D. Winfield and P Egan.
Goals: Dryden 5, Chandler 90.
: Wilson, Jones, Hammond, Burrows (C. Defty 35), Fuff, Stevenson, Camm, Holmes, Staff, Watkins, Woodrow (Harris 53). Subs not used: Nobes and Fishlock.
Goals: Staff 60, Watkins 75.
Sending-off: Staff 90. Referee
: I. Gosling (Ashford). Attendance
: Daniel Hammond.