Rugby Town 1 King's Lynn 2
8th August 2009
THE Linnets concluded their pre-season programme with a rare victory at Butlin Road - not the happiest of hunting grounds for them in previous seasons.
Impressive midfielder Callum Lloyd struck the winner after Jason Ramsey had cancelled out Gareth Sheldon's seventh goal in six pre-season matches.
Linnets boss Carl Heggs said: "I know I've stressed pre-season is not about results, but it was important we won here so we go into the league buzzing and with confidence.
"We could have won the game by five and six. We had so many chances and I told the players about 60 per cent of the teams in our league will be the standard we have played in this one, but when it's 2-1 and you don't take your chances you are guaranteed a nervy ten minutes."
Lloyd's winner was worth the admission money alone as he danced round three players before letting rip just inside the box to leave home keeper Bell with no chance.
"Callum was excellent and like I've said before you'd be hard-pressed to find a better pairing than him and Matty Birley in the middle of the park."
Lynn had taken the lead when trialist Ben Algar delivered an inch-perfect corner for Sheldon to power home a header in the 21st minute.
Rugby levelled three minutes later when Ramsay took advantage of Andy Boyce's indecision to score at the second attempt after Jason White had parried his inital effort.
Bell kept the hosts in the game with a fantastic double save to foil Owen Story towards the end of the first period.
Former Chesterfield winger Algar's contribution lasted all of 45 minutes as Heggs replaced the wideman with Phil Green for the second half.
The ex-Aston Villa youngster again showed glimpses of his capabilities and Heggs said: "What unbelievable quality Phil has.
"He picked out players with 35-yard passes three times and dropped it on a six pence, but he lacks fitness.
"That is why I'm drilling him into the ground.
I've been embarrassing him in front of the lads, but this is a family club, we are all in it together, and if you let yourself down you let everyone else in the dressing room down.
"Once Phil is fit enough, that's it, I'm off his case and I'll pick on someone else."
Anthony Robinson, a half-time replacement for the in-form Sheldon, should have added a third soon after the restart, but mis-cued in front of the target.
A flurry of Lynn changes saw Rugby come more into the contest as the half wore on.
Neil Melvin struck the base of White's right post with the keeper well beaten, after Liam Murray had stood off his man, before the same player should have done better with a header at the far post.
Lynn substitute Darryl Rose fired into the side netting as both Robinson and Green waited for a pass in the box in the dying seconds.
(starting XI): Bell, Nicell, Donaghy, Herbert, Gordon, Thompson, Twigger, Grainger, Toggo, Kelly, Ramsay.
Goal: Ramsay (24).
: White (Whatsize 62), Magunda, Murray, Johnson (Webb 62), McAughtrie, Boyce (Martin 45), Story (Rose 62), Lloyd, Sheldon (Robinson 45), Birley (Smith 62), Algar (Green 45).
Goals: Sheldon (21), Lloyd (28).