Southern Premier League – Tuesday 27th March 2018
Kings Lynn 2 – 1 Basingstoke Town Attendance 581
To the match;
As the Stoke players came onto the pitch to line-up, rumours were coming out that it took the Stoke coach almost five hours to get there and with Terry Brown hampered by further injuries to Michael Atkinson, his line-up was as follows;
In goal Colm McAdden, a back four of Tim Wohlfiel, Guri Demuria, Shane Hollamby and Dan Bayliss, in midfield Captain Charlie Kennedy, Dan Collier, Jack McKnight & George Bennett and upfront Callum Bunting and despite being ill on the way up to Kings Lynn Sam Smart.
The bench: Jordan Goater, Sam Deadfield, Braithwaite, McGuinness & MaCauley.
It was a mild dry evening, and with just the Fantastic Four Basingstoke fans, the only fans making the journey, the signs were ominous as we kicked off.
Very little action of note, but Kings Lynn were starting to press already and after 5 mins a hopeful long ball, which no Stoke player seemed to want, was picked up by a Lynn forward, who had time to bring the ball down turn and send a low cross in but Demuria (you will hear his name a few times tonight), made the clearance.
7 mins in we are finally in their half as we win back-to-back throw-ins, but that’s it. Lynn are back on the attack and are pressing again.
12 mins in and we finally enter their half as McKnight and Wohlfiel attack down the right, which ends with a cross but with no challenge from anyone, Lynn are able to clear. Then on 18 mins after a challenge in our goalmouth, Hollamby is down injured and after a two minute delay, Hollamby is helped off the pitch (Is his season over too?). Sam Deadfield is on and the game is back underway.
23 mins in and Kings Lynn break and create a shooting chance, but his shot is dragged two yards wide. This is followed by another attack, but this time with Bayliss now playing at centre back, he comes across and makes a timely interception and as he carries the ball across away from danger to the by-line a Lynn player comes flying in and takes Bayliss out from behind. That was a shocking tackle! Bayliss is now down injured and takes another minute before he’s back up but he’s hobbling down the sideline before he can come back on the pitch. The Lynn player was booked.
26 mins in and we win a free-kick down the right, but again the Bennett delivery is met by an unchallenged Lynn defender.
28 mins in and Bayliss brings down a Lynn forward down on the edge of the box. The crowd are baying for the referee to put him in the book and the ref after what seems an age, obliges and he goes in the book. The free-kick beats McAdden and comes back down from the bar, it’s bouncing around our penalty box, before Demuria finally does a Rob Dickie impersonation as he dribbles past 3 players, but his final pass unfortunately goes awry.
Further Kings Lynn attacks create no clear chances until one cross his punched clear by McAdden, it comes straight back in and this time McAdden is able to catch despite a lot of pressure on him.
32 mins in and Deadfield has the ball and breaks over the halfway line he delivers a lovely ball to Smart, who beats the defender and puts a deep cross in and but the keeper is out and catches it. 2 minutes later and we win our first corner of the game. Nothing comes from it though.
Then on 35 mins in, we win another corner. The corner is challenged by Demuria, it’s half-cleared to Deadfield, who takes a couple of touches to put it on his left foot and then hits a smashing curling shot, which takes a slight deflection but it’s too good for the keeper and hits the roof of the net. Stoke are one-up.
Kings Lynn are back on the attack and spend five minutes camped in our half. Every Stoke tackle is now being questioned by the Lynn players, they are not happy. The game is now getting a bit tasty and further tackles by both teams could have resulted in bookings by both teams. Demuria makes another timely interception from another Lynn attack, which is followed by a lovely tackle by Wohlfiel as Lynn break again.
Despite all the pressure from the home team, they are unable to create any more clear chances and with the odd attack by Stoke we seem to be holding on. Deadfield is looking good and is what we’ve been waiting for all-season, as he breaks again, delivers another sweet pass to Smart, whose cross is hoofed away desperately. A Kings Lynn attack on 41 mins, again doesn’t trouble McAdden and it’s pulled wide of the post.
The game is entering injury-time of the first half, when Bennett wins the ball just inside their half, but loses it and they attack down our right, only for Kennedy to come flying over and make a knee-high reckless challenge on the Lynn player right in front of the main stand. The ref is surrounded by Lynn players and the crowd have finally woken up and demanding a red card. To be honest it could be, but after what seems another age, the ref produces just a yellow and Kennedy is a lucky boy. We are now into 6 mins of injury-time and the ref blows for halftime. The ref receives a lot of abuse from the Lynn crowd as he finally goes down the tunnel, but Stoke are still one-up.
No changes at halftime as the game is underway 10 mins late.
49 mins and Kings Lynn are deep in our half and putting pressure on us, but Demuria and then Bayliss make back to back timely challenges. McAdden then makes another save from a fine shot and Demuria is able to hack it clear. This is now like the Alamo, with Kings Lynn being the Santa Anna’s army.
53 mins in and another Demuria tackle sets us away, Kennedy finds Deadfield who takes it 20yds into the oppositions half sends Smart away and his low cross beats everyone, we retrieve the ball by the corner flag, but the ref has halted play as a Lynn defender is down injured or so it seems? He hasn’t given a free-kick, but the game is restarted with a Lynn defender hoofing it 80yds down the pitch.
The next five minutes of Kings Lynn attacks results in them passing it from one side of our penalty area to the other until they create chance after chance. In this time McAdden makes a fine save, which is hoofed off the line by Demuria, another shot which Bayliss I’m informed clears from off the line. The crowd thinks it’s over the line, but the linesman is adamant it hasn’t and the ref waves play on.
61 mins in and Deadfield breaks over the hallway line again, links up with McKnight, who passes to Deadfield and a shot from his right boot flashes over the bar.
Yet more attacks from the home team, and in quick succession Kings Lynn make further substitutions as they look to break us down. Somehow we are holding on, numerous crosses are flying in from all angles, Demuria gets his head to most of them and we are able to hoof it clear each time. Two further bookings for each side, Bennett goes in the book for our team.
79 mins in and Deadfield who has been superb chases down the keeper, the keeper tries to trick him, but Deadfield is back on him and the keeper has to hoof it into the stands, Deadfield receives a huge cheer from the ‘Fantastic Four’.
We now enter the last 10 minutes of play and we are still holding on. Back to back corners are well defended by Stoke and another scramble in our goalmouth is hacked away by a Stoke defender.
Kings Lynn make their final change and we are straight back under pressure. Again Kings Lynn create more chances as they pass it swiftly around our penalty box. McAdden makes another save and Demuria a last minute sliding tackle come block, as we still hold on.
Then on 83 mins Lynn are back in our penalty box, the shot is initially cleared, but the follow-up shot is deflected off Demuria and past McAdden. 1 – 1.
After a minute of holding them on the halfway line they attack again another shot, another block by Demuria, but the follow-up is scrambled over the line. Shit we are 2 – 1 down.
Then on 88 mins we break only for Bennett to be dragged down, no advantage is played and Lynn are bale to get back to defend the free-kick.
We are now entering 5 minutes of injury-time as a hopeful ball by Lynn is met by a sliding-diving McAdden, but a Lynn forward comes sliding feet first straight into Colm’s upper body and face. He is far from happy and reacts as a melee is formed in our 6yd box. The ref takes an age, but seems to book no-one. Sorry but that should have been a red card for the Lynn forward as that was a simply unnecessary shocking challenge.
The last couple of minutes very little happens and the ref under pressure from the crowd finally blows the final whistle.
Final Score: Kings Lynn 2 – 1 Basingstoke Town
Points of note; An outstanding battling back to the wall performance by all the team, but Demuria (my man of the match), along with Bayliss, McAdden and the returning Deadfield were superb.
4 Stoke fans out-sang 577 promotion chasing Kings Lynn fans for most of the game, which resulted in Charlie Kennedy coming over and shaking our hands for the support. Our players were clearly disappointed with not being able to hold on.
This is going to be a long journey home for the team, and more injury worries for Saturday’s trip to St Ives, which I pass on the way home.
Match report by Martin French..