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King's Lynn 1-2 Pilgrims

Dr Martens League

Match Report by Chris Donkin

Under leaden skies and with a steady drizzle falling King's Lynn kicked off the Boxing Day fixture against local rivals Boston United. The Linnets ground staff had done well to get the pitch playable but conditions were very wet and it was clear that the surface would deteriorate during the course of the match.

The home team dominated the early exchanges but although they enjoyed most of the possession they did not really threaten Bastock's goal too often. The "Great Bald One" was however pressed into action in the 25th minute when he made a point blank save to keep the scores level. Boston's best efforts in the first half hour had come from Venables and new boy Costello. Venables was clean through but was unable to bung the ball into the net and Costello shot wide after being set up by "Super" Matt Carmichael. In the 33rd minute the complexion of the match changed when the Pilgrims took the lead. Andrew "Stan the Man" Stanhope played a neat one-two with Carmicahel and was subsequently upended in the box for his troubles. Martin HARDY dispatched the spot kick with supreme nonchalance : a run up of two paces preceded a clinical finish. Four minutes later United were two ahead. Jelleyman worked a trick on his marker and found himself in splendid isolation as a result. He made quick progress down the left flank before firing in a dangerous cross from the left touchline. The supply ball was headed athletically and skillfully past the stranded King's Lynn custodian.

Surprisingly the scorer was Tony SPEARING, the Linnets left back, who must now be in the running for Own Goal of the Season. The second half opened as the first had done - with the home side in control of the play without looking particularly threatening. At the back for the Pilgrims, Gowshall, Hardy and Curtis looked comfortable. Young Jelleyman had wobbled in the first half but now seemed to have settled. As the game moved into the final quarter Venables and Costello seemed to be anonymous. So completeley had Dave Venables disappeared from play that rumours were circulating in the crowd that he had run away and joined the Jehovahs Witnesses - as for Costello it seemed more likely that we would see Elvis in the midfield action. Just as the large and vocal travelling Pilgrims support were beginning to mentally mark up a two-nil away win the Linnets scored, TURNER notching from close range. Evans reaction to this was to send on a forward! Paul Watts replaced Venables. In the 80th minute Martini, the Kings Lynn keeper, proved that he was shaken but not stirred when he made an incredible double save to deny first Watts and then Carmichael as the Pilgrims went after a killer third goal. In the final minute Richard Mason replaced the impressive Jelleyman as United worked a series of corners and throw-ins to run down the clock.

United team: 1. Paul Bastock, 2. Joby Gowshall, 3. Len Curtis, 4. Ian Stringfellow, 5. Martin Hardy, 6. Gareth Jelleyman, 7. Andrew Stanhope, 8. Gary Childs, 9. Matt Carmichael, 10. David Venables, 11. Peter Costello, 12. Richard Mason, 14. Gary Walters, 15. Paul Watts