Redditch United 2 King's Lynn 2
31st January 1987
The Linnets still cannot win away and Redditch are still unbeaten at home in the Southern league.
That was the outcome of Saturday's match in the Midlands, played on a hard and frost covered ground.
After twice being behind, the Linnets will get some satisfaction from the result.
And there was personal delight for Mick Money who scored both goals - the second with just four minutes to go.
But how the Linnets could do with a three-point win. They are now the draw specialists in the Southern League with ten in all, and had just a couple of those matches gone the right way then the side would be five places higher in the table.
So the position still looks unhealthy, but the Linnets will have been pleased to have got some return from a potentially difficult match.
Redditch were buoyant after a mid-week win over Aylesbury, who are side many clubs are tipping for the title.
They could not have wished for a better start. After having a sixth minute let-off when a stinging shot from Chris Watts bounced off the bar, Redditch went straight down the pitch and scored to take the lead.
A centre from the left bounced awkwardly for David Massingham, the last defender, and in popped Colin Caddick to force home a close range header.
But the Linnets, showing commitment with a new line-up, took the game back to Redditch. Mark Howard was used as a central striking partner for Mick Money and these two combined well before Money turned the final shot wide of the far post.
Massingham was pushed into a left side mid-field role, allowing Willie Rider to take the left back spot.
With Gary Rider in particular getting through a lot of work in the centre of midfield, Lynn's efforts to level the scores were soon rewarded. It was in the 19th minute when Howard swung over a corner and Money powered in an accurate header which was punched off the line by a defender. A penalty it was and Money calmly slotted is shot home.
Money was in the action again later in the half, getting a knock-on from a free kick, which forced Redditch keeper Paul Heyward to stretch and save at the feet of Gary Rider.
At the other end, Lynn keeper Andy Claxton had little work to keep him warm, although he made one characteristic run from his line to head away a through ball with all the assurance of a central defender.
But a minute from half time Claxton was again picking the ball out of his net, this time after a cracking goal. The tall Redditch defender Kaleswki got up to a free kick and the ball fell to mid-fielder Mark Cunningham who swept in an 18-yard shot which was not going to be stopped.
Just as in Sunday's televised cup-tie between Watford and Chelsea, this was a match where difficult ground conditions helped provide an entertaining match where the unexpected could always happen.
Redditch should have scored a third goal just after the break when centre forward Mark Whitehouse found space right in front of goal, but when he stumbled there was the chance for Chris Watts to nick the ball away.
Money went close in the 62nd minute with a neat chip over Heyward which saw the shot bounce the wrong side of the net.
Lynn were now committing themselves to attack which obviously left home for Redditch to use, and Claxton continued to enjoy his role as the final covering player well outside the penalty area.
The Lynn pressure paid off in the 86th minute when Massingham curved in a free-kick from the let and Money reached first to put another firm header into the net.
At the end of it, both teams deserved praise for their whole-hearted efforts. And special praise to referee Rochell from Stourbridge who probably qualified for the "man-of-the-match" rating for the way he defused a couple of angry clashes and endeavoured to keep the play flowing. Could we please have him at The Walks?
|Redditch: Heyward, Chambers, Billingham, Ferguson, Kalewski, Bradley, Cunningham, Brosnan, Whitehouse, Caddick, McLaren (sub Tongue 72 mins).
Lynn: Claxton, Mercer, Warner, Bunting, W Rider, Watts, Hatch, G Rider, Massingham, Howard, Money. Sub Hootton.
Referee: T Rochell (Stourbridge).