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King's Lynn 2 Crawley Town 2
27th April 2002
THE Linnets were relegated when they failed to win their final eight games after being top of the table after the first three games of the season.
If they had played like they did in the second half for the season, when they twice came from behind. they would not have ended third from bottom.
In the end only one of the "are they up are they down?" variables worked in Lynn's favour.
Hednesford beat Newport loW, so mission accomplished there for Lynn. but Bath unexpectedly won at Worcester.
So whatever happened at The Walks did not matter.
Because of a ten-mintute delay caused by an injury to the referee, Lynn already knew they were relegated at 2-1 down. so credit to them that they finished the stronger team and deserved to win.
"We conceded a poor second goal but a lot of credit goes to the way the lads came back," said Lynn coach Peter Morris. The Walks outfit had the first chance of the game when Jamie Clarke volleyed over from 20 yards Paul Watts's knock-down on the quarter-hour mark.
Soon after, Wayne Anderson had the ball in the net but the referee ruled there had been a foul on keeper Andy Little.
Ian Payne and Dave Harlow went close for the Reds midway through a usual quiet opening half at The Walks.
Lynn had the territorial advantage after the break and forced 11 second-half corners. After their sixth in succession Clarke screwed wide, while
Paul Watts' effort was blocked by a defender.
Their pressure had seemed to have gone to waste when Crawley scored a scrappy goal, sub Even Abbey's shot trickling into the net on 75 minutes.
Wayne Anderson hit back a minute later his speculative effort getting a freak deflection over Little's head.
Then came the delay, after which David Staff's 20-yard free-kick hit the inside of one post and the ball went through Lynn sub Simon Bush's legs, across the face of goal and came off defender Marc Pullen.
But a superb run and curling shot from Stewart Holmes regained the lead for Crawley with five minutes to go.
But Lynn were not be denied, and Clarke headed his first goal since December 8 from a Paul Raynor corner in injury time.
Lynn: Wilson, Staff. March, Anderson, Fuff. Clark, Stanhope (McNamara h-t), Hayes. Clarke (Defty 90). Watts (Bush 53). Raynor.
Crawley: A. Little, M. Ottley, Payne. S. Holmes, M. Pullen, K. Sharman, D. Carroll, D. Harlow (F. Vines 80), D. Stevens (W. Waugh h-t), R. Collins (B. Abbey h-t). L. Doherty.
Att: 861. Referee: P. Kirkup (Northants). Bookings: none.
Stats, Lynn first: Shots on target 6, 5; off target 6, 4; corners 14, 2; offside 8, 7; free-kicks 16, 15.
Report by permission of the Lynn News