King’s Lynn Town 0 Blyth Spartans 1
06:49 10 March 2014
Archant © 2014
Both teams could find themselves in hot water following angry scenes at the end of this Northern Premier Division fixture at The Walks on Saturday.
Robert Dale’s header midway through the second half gave the visitors all three points condemning the Linnets to a third consecutive defeat for the first time this season.
However, on the final whistle, a member of the visiting coaching staff entered the pitch appearing to make gestures towards the home fans massed behind the goal at the Seven Sisters end of the ground. Chaos ensued with players and coaching staff involved in heated exchanges before order was restored by club stewards as the players left the pitch.
Match referee Sean Feerick later confirmed that he would be sending a report to the football association on the incident but declined to comment further. It is understood that the whole incident was captured on video and the club may use this as evidence if needed were any charges to be made.
The match itself began well for Spartans with Matt Wade producing a fine save from Ashley Timms in the opening minutes and the home keeper denied Nathan Buddle from a yard out as the hosts just about coped with a nervy start. Jason Lee’s stunning long range ball found Massiah McDonald but the striker could only fire weakly past Conor Grant’s post and Sam Mulready fired wide as Town responded.
The Linnets began the second spell on the front foot with McDonald’s blocked shot falling invitingly to David Bell whose exquisite chip fell inches wide of Grant’s back post with the keeper rooted to the spot. George Thomson tried his luck from 12 yards, this time Grant producing a diving save to deny the home side.
The game’s only goal arrived in the 68th minute and was a real body blow for Lynn. Striker Daniel Maguire’s initial shot vibrated the home post with the ball falling to Lewis Horner who crossed the ball back into the box presenting a headed chance to Dale who converted cleanly from six yards.
Mulready missed a golden chance to equalise as he directed a header wide of the angle from two yards following Bell’s delivery and the same player hit a ferocious effort over following a Thomson pass.
Afterwards, Boss Gary Setchell insisted there was some positives to take from the game for his side. “We have matched a team today for long spells who are right up there battling for a play-off spot,” said Setchell. “It was another game of very fine margins and half chances. We have worked hard all over the pitch and the effort and commitment all over the pitch has been there to see, the performance was much better than Ashton and Wroxham in the week.
“I was down to the bare bones today with no Jake Jones (suspended), Ryan Fryatt (injured) and now Gary Mills’ season may be over due to a knee injury. However, one thing I don’t want is the season to fizzle out, I want to finish as high up the league table as possible.”
Asked his thoughts on the scenes after the game Setchell replied: “I thought it was a disrespectful thing to do, I certainly wouldn’t have done it and it’s something we didn’t do up there when we won earlier in the season. It could have been nasty.”
King’s Lynn Town: Timms, Bore (Ewan Clarke), Yong, Lee, Ryan Clarke, Thomson, Hall (Sanders), Quigley, McDonald, Bell, Mulready.
Unused subs: Stocker, Frohawk, Street.
Bookings: McDonald, Bell
Blyth Spartans: Grant, Mullen, Watson, Parker, Buddle, Horner (Hubbard), Wearmouth (Davis), Hooks, Maguire, Wade (Robinson), Dale.
Unused subs: Kendrick, Purewal
Goal: Dale 68
Referee: Sean Feerick Peterborough.