An outstanding piece of strategy by King's Lynn player-manager Paul Todd, together with weakness in a depleted Grantham forward line, was largely responsible for Lynn's 1-0 victory over Grantham in Monday's Midland League game at London Road. It was his system for playing the home side's prolific goal scorer Mike Bosnell out of the game which won the day.
It was soon obvious that this was the plan of action for Todd teamed up with centre half Whitaker to completely seal off Bosnell's way to goal. It was a bold plan for inside right Harrison spent a good deal of his time doing Todd's work at left-half and consequently it was often a four-men visiting attack - although Harrison was quick in moving into position when the occasion demanded it.
So it was - and this was in contrast to the Gingerbreads' attacking powers - that Grantham goalie Hewitt could almost have the night off; he was never once tested throughout the whole match and the ball which found the net came from a scrimmage with Lynn's reserve inside-left McIlwain taking the credit. This goal came in the 64th minute.
After a prominent opening spell the visitors had to give way in face of greater speed in the tackle by Grantham and were almost constantly under pressure.
First breath-taking moment for Lynn supporters came when Bannister put back a badly directed pass to Capewell, and there was a scrambled clearance.
Best effort for the visiting forwards came from Heagren when he first-timed a shot which went a foot wide of the post and at the other end Williams had similar luck. In the 30th minute Clark had the ball in the net, but was adjudged offside.
Good shots by Morley, Hatton and Clay drew applause, and one felt that a goal for Grantham must come.
But it was not to be, and although the Gingerbreads maintained their pressure in the second period and were awarded two free kicks dangerously near to the 20-yards line, the all important goal did not arrive.
By now the match had a tinge of a goal-either-way decision, and the odds were in favour of Grantham.
They nearly did it when Bosnell took one of the free kicks, and his rasping drive seemed to connect with a diving Capewell's fist and an upright at the same time and it shot out to a corner flag.
Certainly Lynn did not look like making the grade, but Todd's idea was a winner all the way. Their one and only chance came in the 64th minute and it was taken.
Though, perhaps, because of changes in both sides the game lacked polish, the players made up for it by fighting hard all the way.
Both defences are to be complimented on their performances while in attack Grantham paid the penalty for lack of finishing power - and then of course there was Paul Todd!
Lynn were without three of their regular players in Downie and Morris, not available, and Hartnett, who was unfit. This brought Todd in at left-half, Heagren on the left wing and McIlwain at inside-left. Harrison played at inside-right with Murray on the right wing.
Grantham were without inside forwards Harrison and Hainsworth, both unfit and their places were taken by Morley and Clark with reserve player Clelland coming in on the left wing.
|Grantham: Hewitt; Ramsden, Haynes; Hatton, Martin, Clay; Williams, Morley, Bosnell, Clark, Clelland.
Lynn: Capewell; Henderson, Bannister; Robinson, Whitaker, Todd; Murray, Harrison, Edwards, McIlwain, Heagren.