King's Lynn 2 Blyth Spartans 3
24th January 2009
Linnets defender Greg Crane saw red in an ill-tempered finish as Blyth picked up their first away win of the season.
Uninspired in attack and defensively inept, Lynn were 3-0 down after 55 minutes. But goals from Jack Defty and Julian Joachim set up an exciting finish.
Lynn manager Keith Webb was shell-shocked by his players' performance after the game, and said: "At full-time I said I didn't think they've given their money's worth. You can't defend that, and there's no point in defending that.
"Greg was a stupid boy. He'll now be suspended for three games from Solihull (on February 7). I've got no qualms about the sending-off.
"After they worked so hard last week, whether it's the players being knocked by the two people leaving and bringing two midfielders in, I don't know.
"Andy Johnson took time to get used to the players but after that he did alright.
"I took off Gavin Hurren because I wanted a bit more energy with Scott Mitchell, and he did that.
"We got opened far too easily for my liking. We can't keep clean sheets - we've had just five this season. The last time was Burscough (December 20).
"Before I put Jack Defty on, Frewy and Joachim did alright up front, but we lacked penetration. We couldn't get behind them."
The early warning signs were there when in the eighth minute a ball over the top bisected three defenders, but Blyth's Adrian Webster tamely spooned over.
The hosts' defence was again asleep when Spartans went ahead on the quarter-hour mark when a quick free-kick led to Richard Pell heading in a cross at the far post.
Michael Frew had Lynn's best chances of the first half. Midway through he fired over when a deep cross from Crane rebounded off the post.
Then his follow-up from Crane's free-kick was inches over.
Shaun Beay blazed high and wide following more weak defending by Lynn.
However, the visitors doubled their lead two minutes before the break when a bad pass from Smith to Chapman let in Marc Walton.
Webb made a change at half-time with Fisk, played on the right wing to little effect, making way for Defty.
But Walton got his second from close range seven minutes after the interval when Crane missed a low cross from the left.
Frew, like Lynn overall, was frustrating, but the forward persevered and his cross sparked Defty's 62nd-minute headed reply and Lynn's comeback.
Just two minutes later Lynn were inexplicably back in the game when Defty squared for Joachim to slot over the keeper.
The crowd at last had something to lift them, and the team was fired up ' too fired up. The game got niggly and ugly as yellow cards flowed and the referee struggled to keep a lid on affairs.
Crane capped a frustrating day with a brainless moment in injury time, reacting to a challenge by Spartans skipper Gareth Williams by first shoving, then butting him, to earn a straight red card.
Blyth's Pell was booked in the resulting melee.
It meant an end to Defty's record of never being on the losing side when scoring for the first team.
|Lynn: Murray, Graham (Francis 63), Chapman, Thomas, Crane, Hurren (Mitchell 53), Fisk (J. Defty h-t), Johnson, Frew, Joachim, Smith. Subs not used: Camm, Howie.
Booked: Thomas, Mitchell, Francis, Smith. Sent off: Crane. Goals: Defty 62 mins, Joachim 64.
Blyth: Bell, Boyle, Brown, Williams, Pell, Leeson, Todd, Webster (Wright 68), Dale, Walton (Banks 65), Beay (White 90). Not used: Dalton, Farman.
Booked: Pell. Goals: Pell 16, Walton 44, 53.
Referee: M. Sutton (Belper, Derbyshire). Attendance: 1,041.