Norfolk End Chance

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Norfolk End Chance

Post  Boz1964 on Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:18 pm

Norfolk End Chance

It's a long way to Tipperary or so the song goes, but it must have seemed like a lifetime for Kings Lynn having to drive for over four hours to the murky cold Welsh Valley Town of Merthyr Tydfil in mid-week.

It would have been even longer having to listen to Alan Partridge and Radio Norwich too.

'Aha' I hear you say and 'knowing me, knowing you' would by now have realised that after the 6-1 home drubbing by Weymouth last Saturday,  the bellows of 'Alpha Papa' Manager Gary Setchell would still be ringing in their ears.

It was this resolve that the 'Linnets' brought with them from the flat lands of East Anglia.

Puffing and blowing up our drive, which must have seemed like a mountain to the Away Team, they arrived with the intent to restore some pride to their damaged reputation.

Now any top sportsman has to have a degree of arrogance about them, after all football is based on confidence and their Manager certainly looked the part.

He stood in his technical area dressed  in a woollen hat last seen on 'Benny' in 1970's TV soap Crossroads.

Despite taking stick from the home fans, he took it all in his stride as the 'ego had landed'.

He organised, shouted and directed from the sidelines, until he was blue in the face and was  the main reason why Kings Lynn got a result tonight.

They started better than Merthyr, much like their speedway team screeching away towards the Home Goal.

It was refreshing to see a side that were prepared to play two up front, rather than use a Gary Kasparov style chess Sicilian defence that most teams come with to stifle our creativity.

Lynn were solid in defence, had pace all over the park but seemed to me to be missing a 20 goal a season striker.

They comfortably beat a lacklustre Merthyr side to the second touch and their movement off the ball was fluent, energetic and purposeful.

However, as usual the first bit of quality came from the magic Ian Traylor, who flighted a pass over a third of the pitch, to the newly rechristened Wayne McLaggeron, who only had one defender to beat for an effort on the Lynn goal.

Sadly, it was not to be - Toby Hilliard that is.

The game ebbed and flowed like the tide on a Hunstanton beach, with Merthyr attempting to play football despite the physicality of the away side.

Captain Marble became a marked man after two cynical challenges caught  him in the groin area in quick succession and left him with more stud marks than a Jackie Collins novel.

Their midfield, consisting of Lee Stevenson and Jordan Yong took no prisoners.

Neither challenge was punished by a lenient referee, Mr Cockle, who clearly could seafood but not fouls and 'clammed' up when it came to talking to the Yong of-'FEN'der.

His assistant Will Payne, in view of his name, should have empathised more with Ashley Evans  for this rough treatment.

In fairness, he took it all with a cool head not once retaliating.

I can only assume he had been fed before the match.

I hope he doesn't experience any 'Great Ouse' from the injury.

The two teams were well matched, with a system of 'man-marking' in midfield and the wingers chasing back and doubling up on Traylor and Refell, so then they 'neutered' not only Ashley Evans but our two most productive 'assist managers' too.

Up front, the Prossiah was getting little change from his aerial battle with their 5 and with the card-shy official, less protection than a holed condom.

On occasion, I wondered if the visitors were using a crystal ball rather than a football, as on occasion they seemed to predict when they were about to be fouled and threw themselves to the floor in anticipation.

The referee bought this 'Sale of the Century' live from Norwich and on one such occasion resulted in the free-kick that led to the opening goal.

The theatrical tumble was preceded by a high pitched multiplayer appeal from the entire Iceni tribe, which the referee swallowed hook, line and sinker.

He was promptly 'Boo'd ....'Did you see her' ( Boudicca -Boz groans at his own bad joke) by the far stand, as 'She fell over' rang around the stadium from the less than 'chariot-able' Merthyr Faithful.

In fairness, the resulting free kick from Stevenson was 'bootiful' and shot under the Merthyr Wall quicker than an emaciated turkey from a Bernard Matthews battery farm.

Kings Lynn mob-handed all rushed over to the Cock of the Walk, Gary Setchell , so they could all crow together.

It was no less than they deserved at that juncture for their efforts.

As if galvanised by the insult of the Linnets scoring at Fortress Loadlok, the Martyrs were level inside three minutes when the 'free range' Traylor headed home another beauty to even the score.

The half ended on a high, as one instinctive thunderbolt shot from Merthyr Man of the match, Elliot Richards was superbly saved by Away keeper Alex Street.

True, the rising shot was hit straight at the keeper- and was therefore 'right up his Street' but to suggest it was an easy save would be to do him an injustice.

A bit like that one Norfolk Farmer Tony Martin suffered.

His shot deserved more too.

Half time came with the scoreline 1-1 identical to the reverse fixture in August.

As I looked down at my latest acquisition,  I was very proud of the beautifully crafted 'Forza Martyrs' scarf which is part of a line of merchandise designed to remember our most famous European night nearly two decades ago.

Over the coming months,after our football 'twinning' with our Italian cousins,  let's hope more items become available, such as Gamekeeper Dai caps with stuck-on blonde hair - to be called 'Monarch of the Glenn Strombergers' and red n green Christmas caps in honour of our Bristol contingent to be known as 'Hat of Santa Bergamo'.

Kings Lynn came out early from the break hoping to catch Merthyr cold and their plan nearly worked but for the every alert Oliver Davies.

In the first half, he made one strong handed save when their 7 was through on goal that was Schmeichelesque in its manner, when I asked how he had managed the feat, he modestly confessed that his glove and hand was just frozen solid.

Merthyr tried hard to play football but the physicality of the Lynn lot won the day and knocked Town out of their stride.

An out of sorts Prossiah was replaced by speed merchant Corey Jenkins and late on a home debut for Kyle Copp too.

13 minutes is too short a time to determine if he is to be a good Copp or a bad Copp but he isn't short of confidence, stealing the ball of Barrow for the solitary free-kick Mr Cockle (bless the bottom of his heart) had given us in the second half.

It fizzed over but at least it was closer to its target than a Trident missile off Florida.

Lynn didn't threaten that much from free play but did look dangerous from free-kicks and were a little unlucky not to score from another Stevenson 'Treasure' which struck the woodwork with the rebound smothered by the hardworking Davies.

Ashley Evans also confirmed that the Kings Lynn midfield were good at 'dead ball' situations too.

As referee Cockle checked his Fitbit watch, he realised he had done enough steps and ended the contest at 1-1.

All in all, there was Norfolk End Chance ( say it quickly to appreciate the pun) of a winner from the Home side, who like the Goldcrest film 'Revolution' with Al Pacino (set in Tuesday Market Place in Kings Lynn ) didn't produce enough quality on the night.

With our home undefeated record still intact ( thanks to Oliver & Co) we hope to make Banbury cross on Saturday and keep up our play-off ambitions.

Buy a scarf- Forza Martyrs.


Last edited by Boz1964 on Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos from my fat Bowyers sausage fingers)

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