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King's Lynn 0 Halesowen Town 1
20th August 2005
After the good against Gloucester, the bad of conceding a late equaliser at home to Rugby, it was the Linnets' turn to serve up the ugly on Saturday.
Tommy Taylor's side looked a patch off the team that outplayed Rugby four days earlier and produced a gutless and frustrating performance in front of another 800-strong crowd.
The inept Linnets were out-fought and out-muscled by a well-organised Halesowen outfit, and managed only one effort on target in the 90 minutes as they relied on the height of makeshift striker Jack Defty to get them out of jail rather than concentrate on playing the ball to feet.
Manager Taylor was left baffled by his side's latest display, saying: "It is almost as if the players are afraid to make a mistake.
"It isn't about making mistakes, it's about winning games and to do that you have to be brave enough to put pressure on sides.
"I don't understand the players. I know they are good enough at this level, but it took us a goal down before we started to play.
"Maybe that is why some of them are no longer with league clubs. We had a good first 10 minutes and a good last 15 minutes, but in between we didn't play anything up to their full potential."
The game was far from a spectacle in the first period with both teams involved in some niggly challenges and one or two off-the-ball incidents.
It was the returning Sam McMahon who carved out Lynn's only worthwhile effort on target of the match in the 34th minute when his stinging volley flew straight into the midriff of Halesowen keeper Chris Taylor.
Other than dangerous crosses from both Grant Cooper earlier in the half and Adam Smith in the latter stages of the first 45 minutes, goalmouth action was at a premium.
The main talking point arrived just before the interval when Jack Defty bundled Halesowen's Steven Pope to the ground in the box in the lead up to a free-kick, before the ever-popular referee Mr Wade from Boston consulted with one of his assistants and decided to book Dean West in a clear case of mistaken identity.
After the break it was Halesowen who showed the more attacking intent with John Higgs called into action to deny Nathan Lamey and then Howard Forinton in the space of one second half minute.
Halesowen eventually took the lead in the 65th minute through the lively Lamey after Mark Camm had been done like a kipper by Forinton on the right.
Lynn introduced Robbie Harris, pushed Camm into midfield and reverted to a back three as they tried to find a way back into the game.
Inevitably, it led to a late surge of Lynn pressure with Simon Clark heading over, Danny Bloomfield being denied a simple header by a fine intervention from Pope, who later deflected substitute Matt O'Halloran's cross-cum-shot.
Lynn's last opportunity fell the way of Defty, whose header brushed Taylor's upright after a deep, but telling, centre from West.
Lynn: Higgs, West, Camm, McMahon (Harris 70), Cooper, Clark, Kelly, J. Defty, Smith, Bloomfield, Anselin (O'Halloran 60). Subs not used: C. Defty, Benstead and McNeil. Booked: West, J. Defty and Anselin.
Halesowen: C. Taylor, I. Cooper (K. Johnson 85), S. Forsdick, N. Preston, S. Pope, S. Farmer, A. Cowley (R. Skidmore 74), N. Lamey (G. Hay 83), N. Smith, H. Forinton, N. Amos. Not used: A. Maguire and S. Pierpoint. Booked: Smith and Amos.
Referee: Mr C. Wade (Boston).
Attendance: 801.
FACTfileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Halesowen 526316
Lynn News Man of the Match - Grant Cooper
Report by permission of the Lynn News