City v King's Lynn

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Saturday 4th March 2000: Meadow Park

  CITY vs. King's Lynn 

Dr Martens League Premier Division


City's Team

With Hughes gone and Tommy Callinan in temporary charge the first questions of the afternoon were which of the players would still be left to face King's Lynn. Niblett came back from injury, whilst Devlin came in at left back for the suspended Wayne Thorne. With Abbott shifted to centre-back Neil Griffiths found himself not only at right back, but also wearing the captain's armband at 19. Up front loan returnee Karl Bayliss partnered Jimmy Cox, with the parole tagged Jamie Smith finding a place on the bench.

City started with determination and it was apparent that even this much dilapidated City side were capable of going through the Lynn defence, with keeper Martini erratic in clearing his lines. However it was equally obvious that City's defence was also not that sound, and when Lynn ran at them at pace they more often than not got through. An early scare in the first few minutes saw Devlin and Niblett mix-up, and only a series of desperate blocks stopped a clear shot.

While City did create openings there was little in the way of clear chances. Bayliss and Cox both worked hard, but the best chance for City came from a deep Wyatt corner when Callinan went close with a header. Despite a lot of hard work and grit City looked like a side without confidence, the ball went long rather than creating openings through the midfield. 

Lynn were adding pressure on the City goal, but did it seem that they were a little goal shy. A good cross from City's left should have led to an opener, but a weak header went comfortably to King. A 25 yarder tested King more severely, but he was equal to the shot and tipped it over the bar at full stretch. Lynn also had a goal from Fuff ruled out for offside.  However eventually King's Lynn went ahead, a deep diagonal ball from their keeper caught City sleeping, and despite a late lunge from Abbott Lyndon Rowland had time to volley into the far post.

The second half saw a more lively performance from City with Callinan replacing himself with Cairns. The fans played their part with a good noisy attempt to lift their team, and continue the protests against the board.  The players seemed to respond and managed several prolonged attacks, with Wigg in particular keeping the attacks alive with incisive probing passes. City's best chance of the match fell to Cairns after a good Cox cross was flicked on by Baylo, but the shot whistled just past the post.

Despite the improvement in passing City's main threat was still the pace of Jimmy Cox who worked well down the flanks. The threat was exacerbated when fallen wonder kid Jamie Smith came off the bench, and although not sharp his pace added a further attacking option. Cox took several tumbles in the area as the Lynn defence failed to cope with City runs, and one of those looked like it was a strong shout for a penalty. Wyatt had a good last minute chance after a run down the right, but his near post shot was too weak. Ultimately City were probably unlucky not to get a point, but the result deepens the troubles and the odds on relegation shorten. 

Of course the on-pitch action is only part of the story at Meadow Park at the moment, and the end of the match saw an extended occupation of the T-End by supporters noisily demanding that Colin Gardner's offer is accepted and McGurk and Newport resign. The board have also somehow managed to get a dozen police to protect them against God only knows what, I hope the city's taxpayers ask questions about the disgraceful waste of their money.  Ultimately of course the board did nothing to answer the questions once again, but rumours exist of a supporter's meeting Thursday evening. Lets hope the accounts are laid open.

Lastly, thanks to the King's Lynn fans who joined with the City fans in their protest and were a credit to their club and the spirit of supporters generally. I hope our board can have some sort of conversion to get as close to having their understanding of what the game is about.


King L0-1
Griffiths  Half-time
Devlin 0-1
Abbott Att.
Niblett 429
Wigg City Scorers
Wyatt -
Cox Bookings
Bayliss -
Callinan Position
Casey 19th

Cairns (for Callinan, HT) LLDLDL
Jamie Smith (for Casey, 65) Report
Hickey T.Towel

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