King's Lynn 1 Marine 2
30th January 1985
MARINE had done their homework and dumped the Linnets out of the FA Trophy on Wednesday.
In this much postponed 1st round tie, the Northern Premier League outfit got the tactics right as they opened up a two-goal lead.
Although Martin Coupe gave Lynn hope with his 25th goal of the season, Marine kept it firm grip on the game and have the reward of a plum 2nd round home tie against Enfield.
Marine's long-standing manager Roly Howard later explained: "We knew we had to keep the three Lynn strikers quiet if we were to have a chance. And we thought there could be weaknesses in the defence to exploit."
How well his players put the plan into operation in the first 20 minutes. Danger-man Martin Coupe and Kevin Ready were starved of possession as Marine set off at a hot pace and the visitors continually attacked down the left flank against Steve Mercer.
Marine could have been two goals up even before Tony Quinn drilled them into a 12th minute lead. After McClatchey had shot wide and Edwards hit the bar, Quinn made no mistake with a superb turn and shot from 20 yards which Andy Claxton reached but could not stop.
It was 22 minutes before O'Brien in the Marine goal was tested, .he needlessly conceded an indirect free kick for "steps", but then won applause for a flying save from Ready's shot.
Ready, in fact, injured his foot as a tackle went in which reduced his effectiveness for the rest of the game.
When Marine took a breather the Linnets at last got some attacks going but were hit on the counterattack in the 42nd minute. It was Quinn again with some more excellent close control who opened the Lynn defence and when his shot was blocked by Claxton the ball ran kindly for Derek McClatchey to score.
Martin Twigger had a half chance to cut the arrears before half time, but his reflex chip over O'Brien went too high.
But two minutes into the second half Lynn were back in with a chance. Ready drove in hard and low into the goalmouth and when O'Brien couldn't hold the ball Coup as there to force in.
The Lynn crowd, quiet for so long tried to urge Colin Foster's team forward. and the Marine defence which had looked so solid in the first half now showed signs of weakness.
Mario Ippolitto went as close as a anyone with a first time right foot shot which zipped over the turf and inches wide of the far post.
Foster rang the changes when winger Mark Howard was brought on for defender Steve Mercer. Almost immediately Howard's speed nearly put him through, but a last-gasp tackle prevented a shot. Marine weathered the storm and as the minutes ticked away Lynn were unable to create any goalmouth chances. As Foster said afterwards: "I was always hoping: we would nick an
equaliser but honestly that would hove been an injustice, to Maine, They played well and deserved to win.."
This was the first defeat the Linnets have suffered against a non-League side since Fisher Athletic beat them 24 games ago.
In keeping with the on-off nature. of the cup-tie the match, itself was, a atop-go affair with
innumerable offsides and fierce challenges which prevented any continuity. Six players were booked
- three from each side - as the Linnets hopes of making progress were ended.
: Claxton: Mercer (rub Howard 70 mins), Wait%, Adams, Easthall, Gale, Porter; Ippolitto: Ready. Coupe. Twigger.
: O'Brien, Coleman, P. Edwards, Smith, Johnson, T. Edwards, Williams, Scott. Quinn, Meachin, McClatchey.
: T. Hill (Lincoln).