King's Lynn 0 Fisher Athletic 3
29th February 1984
FISHER Athletic exacted sweet revenge on the Linnets at The Walks on Wednesday and installed themselves as title favourites for the Southern league title.
When the teams met in London in January, the Linnets stole a 3-2 win, but the chance of a repeat success slipped away.
Fisher grabbed the lead in the 4th minute with the first shot of the game, got a penalty just before half time and finished it off with a third late on to the delight of their supporters.
The Londoners. with a vastly experienced squad to call on, have gone above the Linnets into second place and will go into next Tuesday's crunch
game with leaders Dartford full of confidence.
Mathematically, of course, the Linnets can still take the championship but realistically the race is now between Dartford and Fisher, who have both shown far more consistency through the season.
It was a disappointed Keith Rudd who left the dressing room after the match. "Fisher had four or five players always a yard faster than us," he said.
"We had a bad start giving a goal away so early and in the first half we squeezed play down the middle which made it easy for Fisher to defend.
"If we had only been a goal down at half time that would have kept the game within reach, but the penalty was a bad blow.
"In the second half we showed we could play and the Fisher manager agreed that if we had got a goal back anything could have happened. We were denied a blatant penalty for handball which came at a
time when Fisher were looking shaky.
"The third goal was quite academic because at that stage we had so many players forward there was always the danger of giving a goal away.
Lynn's pre-match instructions had been about the need to keep tight on the Fisher front men, but after four minutes Derek Brown was given lime to turn and steady himself for a fiercely driven shot into the corner of the net past the right hand of Andy Claxton.
Although Lynn forced a succession of corners they could find no gaps themselves. The shots at goal went in at the other end by Fisher & David Sansom - brother of Arsenal's international Kenny - could have done better with two efforts.
Then it all got too frantic with football almost forgotten in the heat of physical exchanges. Jim Kabia was often at the centre of it as the Fisher players let him know they could mix it.
Mark Denneny was booked for a late tackle and must have been perilously close to being sent off when he clattered into Kabia. The referee instead lectured him at length.
When it had all quietened down, Fisher broke away and top scorer Paul Shinners was brought down by John Cockerill, which gave full back Jeff Sault the chance to put away a 40th minute penalty.
Lynn did not consider it a lost cause in the second half and three shots in the opening minutes were more than they had previously achieved. Chris Watts (twice) and Martin Coupe did not have the necessary accuracy but it gave hope for an improvement.
Keith Alexander was effective on the left flank and Kabia was now in a forward role. In the 55th minute Alexander put Wiles through on the overlap and when the centre bounced into the penalty area Lynn appeared to have valid claims for a handball, but the referee would not have it.
If Fisher have any weaknesses it is in defence, but on the night the back line did an effective job although in the crucial stages of the second half when there were a number of goalmouth incidents the Linnets were close: to getting that last vital touch.
With 15 minutes to go Lynn won their ninth corner and Paul Bartlett picked out Chris Watts on the edge of the area. Watts cracked in a right foot volley which dipped over the bar with the keeper comprehensively beaten.
Just after that, Alexander set up a half-chance for Coupe who was blocked out -and that was really the end for the Linnets.
But Fisher had the final say in the 86th minute. Johnston and Shinner challenged for a high ball and, when it dropped free, Claxton hesitated which gave the ;initiative to Sansom who casually toyed with the goalkeeper and Wiles before slamming home his shot.
: Claxton: McJannet, Cockerill, Johnston. Wiles: Bartlett, Walls (sub Adams 83 mini), Foster, Kabia; Coupe, Alexander.
: Bowtell, Sault, Boulter, R. Shinners, B. Shinners. Hodgers, Brown. Denneny (sub Murrock 78 mins), P. Shinners. Sansom, Bayram.
: T Hodgett (Desborough). Attendance