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Merthyr Tydfil 5 King's Lynn 1
9th October 2004
THE Linnets could not manage a second victory for an English team against a Welsh one in one day as Robert Taylor suffered a baptism of fire in his first outing as an on trial boss.
Taylor was faced with an even more depleted team for a noon kick-off after an overnight stay. And the way they started, some of Lynn's players mentally must have still been in the hotel bedroom.
Midfielder Mark Angel withdrew from illness and did not travel; while striker Tony Battersby was released by the club for financial reasons and turned out for Grays Athletic on Saturday; and skipper Craig Fishlock was carrying a knee injury as well as the sidelined Daryl Sutch.
Robert Taylor, who read the riot act during the interval, said: "The damage was done in the first half by conceding three goals in the opening 20 minutes. We had four young lads in the team and it showed.
"Some of the defending was comical. We did a lot better after the break and had we put our chances away it could have finished six each."
Like former bosses, Darren Bloodworth and Kevin Boon earlier in the season. Taylor was confronted by angry Lynn supporters on the final whistle - the club has revoked the recent ban on three fans.
Taylor said: "I went over to the fans to tell them the situation I'm in at the club. They must remember we've got so many injuries and I've been forced to get rid of players.
"They were taunting and swearing at me, but I told them not to do it because they don't know me yet and that I want the best for this football club."
Taylor started with a bold 4-3-1-2 formation, with Robbie Harris behind the front two, one of which, Chris Bacon, made his first senior start of the season.
But the gamble backfired with two home goals in the first ten minutes.
Merthyr's pacy front two Gary Shephard and Greg Steins gave Lynn problems in the first half, with Shephard firing home Chris Holloway's knock-down, then Jeff Eckhardt headed home off the post Paul Keddle's-free-kick.
Three minutes before the break Lynn keeper Steve Wilson cleared the ball past Shephard towards Nicky Blake.
The version of events accepted by the referee was that Blake then played it back for the waiting Shephard to pounce and score, although Wilson protested that it was a Merthyr player who had nipped in and fed Shephard, who was thus offside.
Either way, Lynn had a mountain to climb in the second half and acquitted themselves well but, as is the case with things are against you, had little luck.
Carl Holmes and Danny Bloomfield were denied by good saves, and Bloomfield glanced with his head just the wrong side of the post.
Lynn changed to 4-3-3 after sub Gary Setchell made a first appearance for a number of weeks, but Shephard released Steins to chip home against the run of play.
Jack Defty hit the bar from 30 yards before Harris deservedly scored off the post from Blake's cross.
Late on, Wilson went to punch the ball out and ended up decking Steins, and was penalised with a penalty (but no card), which Shephard used to claim his hat-trick.

Merthyr: Morris, Williams, Keddie, York, Jones (Witcombe 22), Eckhardt (Dorrian 55), Bale, Holloway, Shephard, Steins, Clarke (Carter 85). Subs not used: Griffiths, Eaton. Goals: Shephard 3, 32, 89 pen. Eckhardt 11, Steins 61.
Lynn: Wilson, Camm, Blake, Defty, Jones, Stone, Holmes, Fishlock (Setchell 58), Bacon, Bloomfield, Harris (Harvey 82). Not used: Sutch, Foley, White. Goal: Harris 76.
Referee: Andy Williams (Herefordshire). Attendance: 355.

FACTfileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Lynn News Man of the Match -Mark Camm
Report by permission of the Lynn News