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King's Lynn 2 Stafford Rangers 2
29th November 2008
A stirring second half fightback could not quite secure a win for the Linnets as Stafford levelled with David McNiven's 84th minute penalty on Saturday.
Lynn were 1-0 down at the break, but goals from Simon Weaver and Michael Frew had put them in the driving seat.
Lynn boss Keith Webb said of the second half: "I said to the players 'that's the level we want.'
"If we play like that every week, we'll be a match for any team in this league. But you make mistakes and you'll be punished.
"We played some great football in the second half, there was only one side in it and the supporters got their money's worth.
"Their first goal was a pearler - sometimes you've got to hold your hands up. It's changed the game, and they've got their tails up.
"You could see I needed to change it at half-time. We got two goals, had things off the line and scrambles.
"For their equaliser, we had the ball in their half and should have been a bit more cute.
"Their fella is a clever player and I had my fears when Chappers was chasing him. He was clever to cut in front of Chappers, and I've no complaints about the penalty.
"Joe Francis came on and looked sharp. If he can vary his service then people will find it difficult to deal with him."
After a quiet opening period, in the 19th minute Jimmy Phillips broke the deadlock with the first effort on target of the match.
He cut in from the left and curled a superb 20-yard shot into the opposite corner of the net which gave Lynn goalkeeper Scott Howie no chance.
The Linnets almost levelled two minutes later from a similar distance when Ben Sedgemore pounced on a defensive header and sent it back with venom, but Stafford keeper Danny Alcock did well to tip it around the post.
This was the closest Lynn got to a chance in a lacklustre first half, with Stafford in control and unlucky not to score again.
Just before the half-hour mark a bad underhit backpass from Ben Chapman let in Mark Magee, whose shot was blocked by the diving Howie.
Louis Briscoe's follow-up was chested off the line by Luke Graham. Stuart Pierpoint was booked for dissent by the referee for leading the protests that Graham had used his arm.
On 40 minutes visiting right back Andre Francis sent a fizzing effort just wide.
Two minutes before the break, a dangerous right wing centre by John Turner was superbly headed away by Pierpoint to deny Julian Joachim a goalscoring chance.
Bringing Jack Defty and Adam Smith on at half-time brought Lynn's game to life and it was no surprise that they levelled three minutes into the second half.
Smith's free kick from the [Stafford] left was headed back across goal at the far post by Defty and Simon Weaver bundled the ball over the line.
Defty fired into the side-netting, then Defty's shot was blocked by Pierpoint and Scott Mitchell's shot was blocked by visiting captain Wayne Daniel.
In another goalmouth scramble, Andre Francis cleared off the line from Defty.
For Rangers, Bobby Wilson fired inches wide before Lynn went ahead on 76 minutes.
Linnets' substitute Joe Francis crossed from the left and Michael Frew powered a header into the net.
However, with six minutes remaining Stafford rescued a point as another goal came through a sub.
McNiven fired home from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Chapman, who earned a yellow card. Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Graham, Thomas (Defty h-t), Camm, Turner (Smith h-t), Mitchell, Frew, Joachim (Francis 60), Sedgemore. Subs not used: Fisk, Murray.
Goals: Weaver 48 mins, Frew 76. Booked: Chapman.
Stafford: Alcock, Francis (Cullingworth), Moult, Pierpoint, Daniel, Wilson, Palmer, MacPherson, Briscoe (Proffitt 81), Magee (McNiven 81), Phillips. Not used: Ingram, Allen.
Booked: Pierpoint, MacPherson, Wilson, Moult. Goals: Phillips 19, McNiven 84.
Referee: L Betts (Norwich) Attendance: 924
Stats, Lynn first: shots on target 7,3; off target 2,8; corners 7,3; offside 3,1; free kicks 19,8.
Report by permission of the Lynn News