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King's Lynn 1 Halesowen Town 1
29th August 1998
LINNETS manager Tony Spearing was relieved that Lynn lifted themselves from the bottom of the table and gained their first points of the season.
"We're up and running and on the board but I'm gutted not to get the three points," he said. "It was the worse we've played but we've got our first point with it."
Considering Lynn have drawn four out of five home games with Halesowen it was not a surprising result but this now makes it nine Dr Martens matches without a win. Lynn's last Premier Division victory was back on March 28 against Salisbury.
After Damien Hilton was handed an early goal on a plate this was cancelled out by a free-kick move
involving ex-Aston Villa midfielder Paul Birch.
Spearing said Lynn missed the big presence of Micky Nuttell, whose hamstring injury is not as bad as was once thought, but defender Glen Fuff was 'outstanding' on his return from injury.
"It wasn't too clever by us for their goal, we didn't react in time after the keeper parried the free-kick. Our passing has to be better," he added. Linnets had a dream start with a bizarre goal. The Yeltz's keeper Daniel McDonnell rolled the ball out to defender Robin Elmes inside the box. As Elmes passed, Hilton dispossessed him, rounded McDonnell and slotted into the empty net.
"The gaffer said if I was close, I should have a go. It's nice to get goals like that," Hilton said.
Fuff followed up with a vicious 30 yard curler which was well saved. Colin Hoyle picked up his second booking of the season after a flare-up with Paul Harding, who got away lightly after slapping Hoyle.
In the second half Halesowen twice went close, Steve Piearce's header hit the bar and Harding pushed a shot wide of the advancing Steve Lewis. A beautiful move saw David Puttnam beat two players and his cross-shot just eluded the stretching Matthew Wright at the far post.
Midway through the half Hoyle fouled Piearce and Birch's wicked free-kick was well blocked by Lewis, but Ian Reed got to the ball first and turned it in from an acute angle.
Halesowen had the only other chance on target as Lewis saved from a close range Piearce effort.
Lynn: Lewis, Wright, Puttnam,  Fuff, Hoyle, Spearing, Sterling, G Roberts, Hilton (Hardy 75), Cotterell (Gibson 55), Stringfellow.  Subs (not used) Oakes.
Halesowen: McDonnell, Crisp, Bradley, Wood, Elmes, Smith, Peters, Harding, Piearce, Birch, reed.. Sub (not used) Collins, Skidmore, Cooper.
Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn326123 G Roberts (36, kicking ball away)
Hoyle (45, Flare-up)
Halesowen 566515 Harding (45, Flare-up)
Wood (83 handball)
Lynn News Man of the Match - Glenn Fuff
Report by permission of the Lynn News