Merthyr Tydfil 0, King's Lynn 0
Merthyr Tydfil 0, King's Lynn 0: This goalless draw in South Wales on Saturday ensured the Linnets' place in the end of season play-off lottery that begins a week tomorrow.
Merthyr Tydfil 0, King's Lynn 0: This goalless draw in South Wales on Saturday ensured the Linnets' place in the end of season play-off lottery that begins a week tomorrow. The final piece of the jigsaw will be completed this week on home soil. Lynn have two chances to collect the single point they now need to guarantee home advantage for a play-off semi-final on May 1 with matches against league runners-up Team Bath on Wednesday evening and a regular season finale with basement battlers Wealdstone to follow on Saturday.
After watching his side gain the precious point manager Keith Webb was pleased with his side's afternoon's work. “I am absolutely delighted with the point he declared. We have worked very hard today and have tried to play football in conditions that were far from perfect.” Webb reserves most of his comments for the Penydarren Park pitch which looked in awful condition. “I can honestly say that all my time in football this is the worst pitch I have ever seen. This surface was very uneven and resembled a beach. The goalmouths were basically sandpits which made it very difficult for goalkeepers and attackers alike.
The Linnets made two changes to their starting line-up from the side that defeated Tiverton last week. Steve Melton slotted into midfield to replace the recently departed Sam Gaughran and Matt Nolan was preferred in attack to Danny Bloomfield who reverted to the bench.
Lynn began brightly but the hosts created the better chances and the best effort of a poor half fell to impressive midfielder Chris Holloway whose shot rippled Scott Howie's side netting following the busy Craig Steins persistence. Good visiting chances were few and far between throughout the game with Nolan shooting wide on the half hour and the same player inches away from connecting with Danny Hammond's acrobatic kick in the billowing dust in the second spell. In truth the home side were worst with only Holloway adding culture to the home outfit. Deep into second half stoppage time there were loud appeals to referee Steve Rushton for a home penalty as Steins disappeared into the sand following Hammonds' tackle which was waved by the official.
It would have been rough justice on Hammond who was praised by Webb afterwards. “Danny has came in and done a good job over the past week. We have collected seven points from a possible nine and although obviously it is not all down to him he has more than played his part in it.” One downer for Webb on a afternoon of positives was an injury picked up by influential striker Michael Frew early in the second half. “Michael got a kick on the top of his foot so we got him off immediately. Steve Melton has also picked up a dead leg so we will wait and access the pair of them in the week and then take it from there.”
Lynn will be running the successful “Kid for a Quid” scheme for Wednesday evenings' Team Bath match (7.45 kick-off). One child of the age of 15 years and under will be admitted to The Walks for £1 when accompanied by a full paying adult.
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Merthyr: Morris, Collins (Thomas 75), Davies (Clark 83), Phillips, Warton, Rewberry, Smothers, Holloway, Bird, Steins, Lima. Subs: Diamond, Bowley.
King's Lynn: Howie, West, Blois, Hammond, Crane, Camm, Frew (Gould 52), Melton, J Defty (Bloomfield 73), Nolan, C Defty (Fisk 70). Subs: Marshall.
Referee: Steve Rushton (Stoke).