Gloucester City 2 King's Lynn 3
29th December 1984
MARTIN COUPE saw off 1984 with a timely match winning hat-trick.
The young striker's coolness and accuracy was too much for a laboured Gloucester defence.
And with Coupe teasing Gloucester, a defensive gamble by player- manager Colin Faster also paid
Foster gave a lot of thought to the problem when he lost defenders Richard Johnston and Clive Adams through injuries.
He decided to give reserve team manager Steve Bunting his full Southern League debut and pulled himself back as cover.
Reserve team watchers will know that Bunting is a 100 per cent player and he came through the game with credit, earning praise from Foster.
There was only one period in the second half when City stretched Lynn. As the Linnets squandered their two goal lead Gloucester suddenly looked a threat.
Then Foster, leading by example, steadied the play down which gave Coupe the chance to steel in for his dramatic winner.
Coupe had given Lynn a surprise third minute lead, getting free from his marker to receive Mario Ippolitto's measured pass, and then leaving the keeper stranded.
And Gloucester were caught out again when Martin Twigger used his strength to bustle through and then cleverly set up Coupe with an easy chance.
The City fans were critical of their tram's efforts, but were given more hope when Kim Casey headed just wide and Kevin Trusswell smacked a shot against the bar.
The better attacking moves were by the Linnets, who were following Foster's pre-match advice to get the ball behind the defence and not play in front of them.
Twigger was inches away from getting the third goal, his shot being half stopped by keeper Neil Hards
and then sticking in the goalmouth mud.
Lynn ended the half firmly in control and Coupe was denied by the safe hands of the keeper.
It was important that Lynn did not give anything away at the start of the second half but those plans went sadly astray.
City won a free kick which the tall Kalewski knocked on and top scorer Kim Casey finished off with a close range shot.
Kevin Ready, keen to end his goal drought, should have done so when Claxton's long clearance put him away only for Hards to block his shot.
It was a vital miss, especially as City snapped up a 70th minute equaliser. Freddie Easthall was caught in possession by Longford who put the ball to the far post where Casey did the rest.
City perhaps thought they had done enough, but Coupe had other ideas. He took a neat pass from Ready, turned his man and drilled a shot into the goalmouth. Full back Tanner, trying to clear, deflected it into the net.
"I am claiming it as my goal" said Coupe afterwards. A decision backed by Lynn officials.
After this 76th minute winner, the unlucky Ready found that goal he needs was still elusive.
In injury tune City gained a number of corners and Claxton made a superb save from Trusswell's header to protect the lead.
City had Tanner, Kalewski and Vassallo booked, while Foster and Bunting were also cautioned alter a late flare-up.
: Hards, Shipley. Tanner, Stokes, Elliott, Trusswell, Waite. Casey, Kalewski, Vassallo,
Langford: Sub: McCoy
: Claxton. Mercer. Bunting. Foster. Easthall, Ippolitto. Watts, Hines. Ready, Coupe.
Twigger; Sub: Howard.
: Mr R. Coaten (Cirencester).