King's Lynn 0 Halesowen Town 2
19th August 2006
THEY say that 90 minutes is a long time in football and the Linnets faithful probably couldn't agree more after this horror start to the new British Gas Southern League Premier Division season.
Tommy Taylor's side suffered a hangover from their poor end to the last campaign with a performance which lacked any passion, urgency or creativity to leave even the most die-hard supporters shaking their heads in disbelief from the stands.
An ordinary Halesowen outfit, who continue to be a bogey team to Lynn, were good value for the three points in their 2-0 Southern League Premier win at The Walks and should have returned home with an even more emphatic win to their name.
Furious Linnets manager Tommy Taylor said: "I have never seen a display like that in all my time here.
"There wasn't one positive to take from the game and in truth we could have been on the end of a real hiding.
"We had nothing up front, nothing in midfield and defensively it was schoolboy stuff.
"We've given the ball away too cheap and didn't play with any pride whatsoever.
"We played some great football on the floor during pre-season, but as soon as the new season starts we try smashing balls up to a 5ft 3 centre forward.
"Halesowen were sharper than us and wanted it more."
Before the weekend, Lynn had failed to score in more than six hours of football against The Yeltz, and that statistic rarely looked like being broken during an awful 90 minutes from the hosts.
Matt Nolan looked uninterested throughout, while fellow strike partner Paul Atkins, the smallest player on the pitch, was always fighting a losing battle with too many high balls arriving in his direction.
Lynn's midfield were out-ran and out-fought, while it was a comedy of errors at the back.
Halesowen carved out a string of excellent chances.
Lee Williams missed a sitter in the 19th minute when side-footing wide in front of an open goal after a delightful interchange between Matt Lewis and Paul Szewczyk.
Szewczyk then robbed the lethargic Lynn defence on the left in the 27th minute and squared the ball for Alex Cowley to drive wide from just ten yards.
Lynn's fragile rearguard tamely gave way a minute later when Simon Forsdick smashed home from 12 yards after Williams' initial shot had cannoned back into his path.
A last-gasp tackle from Adam Smith on Lewis spared Lynn further punishment 11 minutes into the second half.
Alex Cowley was then denied by Shaun Marshall and Lewis was crowded out by Mark Camm and Dean West before Lewis turned Smith inside-out to add a second goal in the 63rd minute.
Halesowen continued to dictate, as and when they wanted, Cowley blasting over from six yards in the 76th minute, while Lewis fired inches wide from a narrow angle six minutes later.
Lynn's best chances came from long-range efforts from Jack Defty and Smith, with Halesowen goalkeeper Mark Gayle a virtual spectator for most of the game.
: Marshall, West, Smith, Hyde (Toms 69), Camm, McMahon (Kennedy 71), J. Defty, Carey, Nolan, Atkins (Frew 59), O'Halloran.
Subs not used: C. Defty and Brooks.
: M. Gayle, R. Warner, D. Haywood, N. Preston, G. Knight, G. Beckett, A. Cowley (N. Smith 84), M. Lewis, P. Szenczyk (S. Didwell 79), L. Williams, S. Forsdick (I. Cooper 64).
Subs not used: C. Brindley, S. Pierpoint.
Bookings: Beckett and Haywood (Halesowen).
: M. George (Norfolk). MoM
: Lynn fans for putting up with a horror 90 minutes.