King's Lynn 2 Gateshead 0
31st January 1998
The Linnets fully deserved to register heir first win in nearly three months by upsetting second placed Gateshead at The Walks stadium.
They gave the division's leading scorers barely a shot at goal and kept quiet hot-shot Lee Novak, who looked a forlorn figure.
The visitors had a chance to overtake league leaders Tamworth, who did not have a game this weekend.
It was difficult to believe that Gateshead were the high-flying side and that Lynn were struggling, and facing a relegation battle if they did not pick up a win.
That they did on Saturday afternoon was in no small measure down to the return to the starting XI of Mark Peters from an injury lay-off stretching back to October.
With Peters commanding the area and the aerial battles, and Mark Camm in front protecting the defence in his usual tidying-up role, Lynn looked their most robust for a while.
It seemed that one goal would win it. Peters shut the door on a Gateshead attack in the first quarter-hour, after which Lynn took a grip of the game.
Immediately a sublime through ball from Scott Mitchell found Julian Joachim, who blazed over from the right-hand side of the box.
Camm's 25-yarder was deflected to safety, Joachim was denied by a last-ditch tackle from away skipper Kris Gate, and Jack Defty headed over when off-balance at a corner.
Lynn ended the half with a Mitchell flick-header being saved.
Three minutes into the second half, Defty produced a save from former Hull City stopper Paul Musselwhite.
A switch from wing to wing by Mitchell and Frew, with the latter going to the left, paid off within five minutes with the opening goal on 56 minutes.
Frew's centre hit James Curtis then went to centre-back Matt Hocking, who headed it into his own net.
Frew and Defty were inches wide before midway through the half came Gatehead's best chances. Novak beat Lynn keeper Rob Murray to the ball then squared back to strike partner Graeme Armstrong , whose poor first touch allowed Murray to gather.
Armstrong then screwed wide. The stretching Defty just could not convert Joachim's inviting cross.
But on loan defender Luke Graham sealed Lynn's first league victory since November 8 six minutes from time by deftly glancing in Frew's left-wing free-kick with his right boot.
|Lynn: Murray, Graham, Chapman, Peters, Thomas, Camm, Frew, Johnson, Defty, Joachim, Mitchell. Subs not used: Hurren, Smith, Francis, Fisk, Howie. Booked: Mitchell.
Goals: Hocking og 56 mins, Graham 84.
Gateshead: Musselwhite, Baxter, Smith, Gate, Curtis, Hocking (Holloway 60), Harwod (Francis 76), P Turnbull, Armstrong, Novak, Phillips (S Turnbill 60). Not used: Brackstone, Norton). Booked: Gate
Referee: N Guest (Grimsby) Attendance: 966. MoM: Mark Camm.
Stats, Lynn first: shots on taret 4,0; off target 6,3; corners 7,6; offside 2,2; free kicks 16,11.