King's Lynn 1 Stocksbridge Park Steels 3
15th August 2009
LINNETS boss Carl Heggs accused his players of letting themselves and the fans down after watching his side slump to an opening-day defeat to Stocksbridge Park Steels.
A furious Heggs blasted Lynn's display after Gareth Sheldon had given them the perfect start by firing them in front after only five minutes.
Heggs said: "I'm embarassed to be the manager of King's Lynn.
"That is the worst display any side has given me during my two years as a coach and I didn't expect it - I really didn't.
"We just crumbled to a side who, no disrespect to them, were absolutely shocking, so what does that make us?
"The players have let everybody down, it was just awful, awful, awful.
"The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves as they were an absolute disgrace.
"My team is as fit as they will ever be, has good players in it and we've had an excellent pre-season, but I saw none of that today.
"I cannot understand how my team, who have done so well in pre-season, puts on a performance like that.
"It was shocking."
Complacency appeared the only excuse for Lynn's performance against a newly-promoted side, whose manager admitted last week that UniBond safety was the only thing on their minds going into the new campaign.
Take the first five minutes out of the equation and Lynn showed no fight, precious little spirit and lacked ideas and invention all over the pitch.
Sheldon's first league goal for the club, from Owen Story's centre, looked set to light the blue touchpaper, but unfortunately it was the only bright spot in a forgettable 90 minutes.
Lynn sat back in front of a healthy four-figure gate and duly allowed Stocksbridge to win as they liked.
Stocksbridge's Brian Cusworth levelled matters six minutes before the break, before Andy Ring and Jamie Vardy - a target for a host of league clubs - made a mockery of a poor Linnets defence by deservedly adding further goals after the interval.
"Our defence was a shambles and we were all over the place," admitted Heggs afterwards.
"Joe Magunda was at fault for the first goal.
"He tries to beat three players, loses the ball in the process and vacates his area, which allows their lad to run through into the box and cross for his mate to toe-poke it home.
"Then we get beat with long balls over the top for the second and third goals, which was unbelievable."
: White, Magunda, Murray (Martin 82), Johnson (Smith 58), McAughtrie, Boyce, Story, Lloyd, Sheldon, Birley, Beswick (Green 58). Subs (not used): Webb, Whatsize. Goal: Sheldon (4).
: Scott, Green, Schofield, Dawson, Lovell, Hawes, Ring (Stirrup 75), Telling, Cusworth (Riley 48), Ward, Vardy. Subs (not used): Wilkinson, Cockerill, Hewitt. Goals: Cusworth (39), Ring (54), Vardy (81)
: I. Dudley.