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King's Lynn 1 Tiverton Town 1
30th April 2005
The Linnets could not finish the season with a win – but they did extinguish any faint play-off hopes Tiverton may have had with this ill-tempered draw.
A typical end-of-season game saw each side convert their only shot on target of the game in the first half.
Tivvy's hopes were raised when going ahead but once Lynn equalised (Danny Bloomfield with his 29th goal of the season) the visitors' tactics have to be questioned.
A robust Tiverton needed to win, but were content to sit back, scrap and niggle. They took as much time over their free-kicks and corners as Peter Ebdon has over his shots in the snooker World Championships.
Lynn manager Tommy Taylor said: "They were a team of bullies. They wanted to bully us, that's the best they could do.
"I was pleased with the performance, we had quite a few chances to finish them off."
The question was, with Lynn having nothing to play for except pride, would the match mirror their season, in other words a poor start and a strong finish?
Well, sort of. Sure, they went behind in the 13th minute and did have the better of the game after they levelled.
Tiverton's strike came when the ball was half-cleared to Steve Winter just outside the Lynn box and he hit it to keeper John Higgs' right. Higgs got a touch on it and perhaps should have done better, but perhaps he was unsighted.
Lynn, missing Jack Defty at the start with a virus, equalised just after the half-hour mark.
Matt O'Halloran crossed from the right, Darran Hay nodded the ball back across goal and Bloomfield scored with a close-range diving header.
It was a good day for the Bloomfields as Danny's brother Matthew scored a rare goal for Wycombe Wanderers in their League Two win over Leyton Orient.
Simon Clark headed over a free-kick and James Mudge wasted a great chance for Tivvy before the break, but then between the boxing and handbags a game of football threatened to break out – ex-Wisbech keeper Mark Ovendale was one player lucky to stay on the pitch when taking a swing at Bloomfield.
Mark Angel was stretchered off with concussion and there were frequent stoppages for treating players.
Taylor added: "Mark went off with concussion after a head-butt. There was a lot of that type of thing out there, but the boys looked after themselves."
Lynn turned on the pressure in the final quarter but hesitancy on front of goal cost them the win.
In stoppage time came a flurry of activity. Winter fluffed another opportunity, and Hay fired high and wide at the other end.
An astonishing sequence capped the afternoon: Ovendale came up for a free-kick which was poorly delivered, home sub Ludo Quistin raced down the left, looped a cross to O'Halloran who briefly had an empty net to fire at before Ovendale galloped back.
But O'Halloran cut inside and blazed over. Lynn: Higgs, Jones (C. Defty 27), Setchell, Hammond, Clark, McMahon, Camm, O'Halloran, Hay (Forshaw 78), Bloomfield, Angel (Quistin 64). Subs not used: J. Defty, McAnally.
Booked: O'Halloran 27.
Goal: Bloomfield 31.
Tiverton: Ovendale, Winter, Vinnicombe (Goff 79), Milsom, Rudge, Cousins, Wills, Harvey (Yetton 70), Nogan (Goff 79), Hambly, Mudge. Not used: Walker, Nott.
Booked: Rudge 39, Milsom 80, Ovendale 85. Goal: Winter 13.
Attendance: 951. Referee: M. Blackledge (Peterborough).
FACTfileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Tiverton 133320
Lynn News Man of the Match -
Report by permission of the Lynn News