Kings Lynn 2 Coalville Town 3
I had purposely left Kings Lynn alone in the quarter finals, my theory was that they were likely to beat Rye & I could pick up their ground in the semis.
I love it when a plan comes together, what could possibly go wrong? That would be the game being ticket only. I discovered this about a week before
the game. Cue frantic phone calls to the club, Emails & scouring of their internet site. I got hold of someone at about 3pm on the Monday before the game.
I couldn't attend the ticket office in person, there was no facility to use a credit card, so a postal application was my only route. I left work early, wrote
out a cheque (remember them?), knocked up a SAE & rushed to the post office. I then spent the rest of the week hovering around my letter box in hopeful anticipation.
The ticket arrived on Thursday, so once again I could relax.
A leisurely start on game day, a train to Cambridge, a 10 minute wait for the connection that went straight to Kings Lynn. Desperately easy & I was there in no time at all.
One of my pet loves when ground-hopping is to spot the ground from the train as you pull into the station. The pressure is then off. No scratching your head
wondering which way to go or searching for road names. About a 5 minute walk through a recreation ground and you're there.
A big crowd was expected so I decided to not explore the town and instead head straight for the ground. Lunch therefore turned out to be a cheeseburger from an
outside grill that wafted smoke across the pitch for the whole afternoon. Actually, it wasn't at all bad. Unfortunately, the other burger place went at an absolute snails pace &
I gave up waiting for a half-time cup of tea after only 5 people had been served in 15 minutes.
This ground almost looks out of place in the Vase, it's way to big. Obviously Kings Lynn's financial problems and folding are well documented and I hope they
quickly make their way up the pyramid. A huge, imposing stand that I loved towers over the pitch and the whole of the far side is also covered. The near end behind the goal has
terracing and rails, I couldn't get behind the far goal due to segregation. A smallish bar area is situated under the far end of the stand.
Fair play to Kings Lynn who made a real effort including face painting for kids and merchandise. The programme was okay but strangely basic for
this stage of the competition.
Coalville were 3-0 up after the 1st leg. However, not a single Kings Lynn fan I heard had any doubts that they would get back into this tie. I did laugh when
The great escape music was played over the tannoy at about 2:50. The programme also had details of the 10 greatest comebacks.
But Coalville were the better in this semi and have some superb strikers who could easily play at a higher level.
The wind was taken out of Kings Lynn sails when Coalville scored from a free kick on only 6 minutes. When the second came on 31 mins, it was no
surprise and was fully deserved. Incredibly, at half time, Kings Lynn fans were still talking about pulling the tie back.
When they scored 2 in 2 minutes I even got sucked into believing them for a minute and the place erupted. But then Lynn had a man sent off for two yellows
and the momentum was lost. Coalville scored again with a classic counter attack and it was all over.
Unfortunately, there were ugly scenes at this game which have no place in the FA Vase or any level of football. Crowd trouble on several occasions. Abuse
being hurled at players before the game even started. I twice witnessed the ball being thrown at Coalville players when it went out of play.
I can't comment on the Coalville supporters as i was up the other end. However, a minority of Kings Lynn fans were pathetic and don't deserve their club
to go anywhere near Wembley.
Disappointing scenes on an otherwise excellent occasion on a pleasingly warm afternoon.