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King's Lynn 2 Ashford 1
31st January 1998
RICHARD SKELLY delivered a magnificent parting gift to the Linnets faithful as he bade farewell to The Walks on Saturday. The popular wing-back, made captain for the day, hammered home a stunning free-kick to revive Lynn's hopes in an unspectacular game which marked his last at home for the club before his move down south.
It was left to Lee Hudson to rise out of a mediocre display to fire an injury time winner after James Hollman's early mistake had given the relegation-haunted team the advantage.
A lack of invention, coupled with the absence of strike pair Steve Williams (suspended) and Brett McNamara (injured after only 17 minutes) and a blanket visiting defence meant there was little to excite the 900-strong crowd.
But the result was the main thing certainly as far as Skelly was concerned.
"I couldn't have dreamed it any better - I really enjoyed it," said Skelly who starts a new job in Croydon next week.
But his powerful 20-yard swerving free kick brought a typically modest explanation.
"Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't but everything went perfect today," he said.
"We needed a goal and 1 was just lucky to be the one to get it.
"I was told I'd be captain just before the game and the reception I got from the fans was brilliant - I didn't want to come off at the end," he added.
Skelly admitted his destiny is still in doubt although Crawley Town look favourites.
He has already spoken to the Dr Martens League Premier Division side and is due to visit their ground on Thursday.
But he has also been approached by Dagenham & Redbridge and Boreham Wood and will not make a decision until he has spoken to them all.
"I've got to go and it's best to leave on a high," said Skelly.
"I couldn't have asked for any more but moving away and I need to start a new life"
Manager Peter Morris paid tribute to Saturday's man of the match and revealed he could yet add to his Linnets appearances.
With injuries and suspensions hitting hard, Skelly could be in line for final farewell next week at Dorchester.

"Stranger things have happened and Richard could play depending on how things go this week," said Morris.
The manager admitted he did no think Lynn would ever score on Saturday and was relieved to see Skelly's free kick breach the visiting defence after 74 minutes.
"We didn't treat them with an respect and we were woeful for the first 20 minutes," he blasted.
Keeper Hollman said he was responsible for the Ashford goal after allowing a cross to slip from his grasp to the feet of Matt Bower.
"I was too complacent. 1 should have been more positive but to be truthful I didn't see the player coming in until it was too late," he explained afterwards.
Ashford had started brightly with Michael Trotter heading onto the top of his own net in the first minute and Bower pulling a shot wide from a good position a minute later.
A flurry of early activity was completed when Tony Spearing released McNamara. He picked out Hudson and his cross was, headed narrowly over by Trotter.
But it was the visitors who took the lead when Hollman failed to gather Paul O'Brien's cross.
Lynn's replies were limited to a string. of long-range efforts from the hard working Jason Pascoe. His first ended up in the car park with his follow-ups crashing on to the terracing!
"At least he gets into these positions and keeps battling away," said Morris.
Delicata provided Lynn's only inspiration but he had no support until Hudson shook off his lethargy to claim the points with his 15th goal of the campaign.
He was fouled for Skelly's magnificent equaliser and then latched on to Martin Matthews' pass to fire in the winner in injury time.
Skelly's corner was headed goalwards by Colin Hoyle and appeared to hit Dave Scott on the arm but, with Ashford's players denying the offence, the ball fell to Matthews whose cross made the incident immaterial.
By that time Ashford were down to ten men after losing Stuart White for an apparent stamp on Pascoe. Tony Eeles had earlier launched a two-footed tackle on Pascoe and the second foul saw the Lynn player booked for retaliation.
News on McNamara was not good with the 15-goal marksman saying he could he out for at least three weeks with a hamstring problem.
"It's frustrating because I've only just got over my last injury," he said.
Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Skelly, Hoyle, Trotter (Roberts 45), Spearing, Pascoe, Cotterill, Hopkins, McNamara (Delicata 17), Hudson. Subs (not used) Mead.
Ashford: Munden, Bower, O'Brien, Donn, Scott, Reynolds, Griffiths, White, Harrison (Parkes 90), Eeles, Miller (Ross 82). Sub (not used) McRobert.

Shots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn71110113 Hoyle (foul, 38)
Pascoe (retalliation, 82)
Ashford42539 O'Brien (foul, 73)
Eeles (foul, 78)
White (foul, 82)
Report by permission of the Lynn News