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King's Lynn 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0
31st August 1984
The glory days are back at The Walks. A brave battling effort on Wednesday sent the fans home happy and the Linnets into the FA Cup 1st round against Bristol Rovers.
It was a night to remember as the Linnets saw off the threat of Gola League opponents Kidderminster.
In a tense 4th qualifying round replay, skipper Clive Adams forced in the decisive goal just before half-time.
The Linnets really should have made sure in the second half when they had some glorious chances, but the accuracy which has brought 50 goals already this season was missing.
In the end it didn't matter and the Linnets players were mobbed by jubilant, excited supporters as they left the pitch.
Now it's is Bristol Rovers who are riding high in the Third Division, with the match to be played on Saturday, November 17. And manager Colin Foster is determined the linnets will be in fighting mood: "We will go there determined to do well and trying our hardest to win."
"Anything can happen in the cup. I remember a few years ago when I was at Mansfield and we were top of the Third Division unbeaten at home when Matlock came and beat us 5-2. So, who knows, perhaps we can do the same to Bristol."
Foster had seen the Linnets go close on Saturday when they led at Kidderminster, only to be held by an 85th minute equaliser.
Could the Linnets recover from that disappointment or would they "freeze" on the big occasion before a bumper crowd of 1,4000?
It was soon obvious that the Linnets were not showing cup-tie nerves and top-scorer Kevin Ready blasted in a free-kick which Harriers keeper Tim Garner touched away for a corner.
But the rhythm was upset when striker Martin Twigger went down with an ankle injury and was carried off in the 20th minute. Twigger is a key "target man" in the attack and it meant re-adjustment with substitute Mario Ippolitto coming on to play just behind the twin strike force of Ready and Coupe.
Kidderminster took advantage of Lynn's rather haphazard play at this stage and John Powell swept in a close range shot past Andy Claxton, but was ruled offside.
Gradually the Linnets got back into their stride with Steve Hines putting a header just over and Ippolitto forcing another good save from Garner with a well-struck 20 yard drive.
Then came the 42nd minute breakthrough which set The Walks alight. Hines swung a corner in from the right and Adams at the near post got up in front of Garner. The ball bounced off Adams and he turned to crash in the match winning shot past the covering defender.
At half time Foster's message to the Linnets was quite simple: "They will have to come out at us so we must keep hitting a long ball over the backs and get in behind them."
It worked to perfection. Except that the Linnets could not finish off even with the goal at their mercy.
In the 48th minute Coupe neatly flicked on for Ready who went round Garner and then hit the post when it seemed impossible to miss.
Later in the half Ready teed up a chance for Coupe who miskicked. Then Ready and Ippolitto both lined up in front of goal from a Coupe-Hines move and still the ball would not hit the net.
And cheers for a "goal" were stifled as Hines and Coupe were both unable to force the ball-in from close range after Ready had opened the way.
It was unbelievable that Kidderminster, who were made to look so ragged, were still in with a shout and only one breakaway themselves from drawing level.
But the Midlanders were not making any significant progress against a tight Lynn defence. Adam and Johnston were magnificent in the centre with Mercer and Easthall always backing them up. So effective was it all that Claxton's main work was in taking back passes.
As Kidderminster tried to push forward, they left themselves wide open to the counter-punch and twice Ready cracked in shots which had Garner at full stretch.
The minutes ticked away slowly and with gritty determination the Linnets blocked out the Harriers.
Foster, a key figure in the mid-field battle, was full of praise for his team: "We did well at te back, and we worked hard in mid-field and up front. All the lads were magnificent.
On the night we deserved to win even though we made it hard for ourselves by not putting those chances away."
Lynn: Claxton, Mercer, Johnston, Adam, Easthall, Gale, Foster, Hines, Ready, Twigger (sub Ippolitto 20 mins), Coupe.
Kidderminster: Garner, Horne, Martin, McGowan, Jones, Woodall, Powell, McKenzie, Rosegreen (sub Kavanagh 73 mins), Tuohy, Gavin.
Referee: A Ward (Sleaford)
Attendance: 1400.
Report by permission of the Lynn News