JOINT Linnets boss Gary Setchell admitted his side had been left with a mountain to climb ahead of Saturday’s second leg at The Walks.
Coalville striker Jerome Murdock struck twice in the second half after Lee Miveld’s first half opener to leave the Linnets with an uphill, but still achievable, task for the return meeting. But The Walks outfit only had themselves to blame after contributing to their own downfall with some shoddy defending against a razor- sharp Ravens attack.
Deflated joint Linnets boss Gary Setchell said: ’We have given ourselves a mountain to climb.
"The standard we have set is nowhere near the mark where we needed to be.
"Seven or eight of our players weren’t up to the standard required, whereas the Coalville players worked extremely hard. They outworked and outbattled us and caused us more problems than we did them." "For the first goal, we could have stopped the cross coming in. For the second, the lad has run past three or four tackles and the third goal was just calamitous.
"The centre half has let the ball bounce, totally missed the flight of the ball and the lad has gone through and scored.
"Whether you are UCL level, FA Vase semi-final level or schoolboy level you can’t give goals away like that."
Ravens chief Adam Stevens refused to get carried away despite his side having one foot in their first-ever Wembley final.
Stevens said: "I asked my players to do a job before the game and they stuck to it to a man. As a team and a squad it was an outstanding performance but we are not getting carried away as it’s only half-time in the tie.
"We are massive underdogs in this competition but we have given ourselves every chance of making the final.
"It’s about what we do as a team now We’ve put ourselves in a great position but need to do a professional job in the second leg."
The Ravens grabbed the advantage just before the break with Miveld’s towering front-post header, flashing past Alex Street in the visitors’ goal.
Steve Spriggs came within inches of levelling matters from Luke Thurlborne’s cross within minutes, but Coalville comfortably maintained their one-goal lead until the interval. The Linnets had the half-time break to re-group but their defence went completely missing as the hosts assumed the control in the second half, with Murdock taking centre stage.
First the striker was on hand to gleefully tap in Coalville’s second in the 55th minute following a goalmouth scramble in which the Lynn defence had ample opportunity to clear the ball.
Coalville’s third goal was a simple one from the home side’s point of view. Murdock latched onto a high upand-over and, with the Lynn defence in no-man’s land, he planted a cool finish underneath Street.
Lynn’s second leg task might have been made a little easier had a late goal from Robbie Harris not been disallowed with strike partner Jack Defty deemed to be in an offside position.
|Teams and player marks
Coalville Town: Bowles 8, Everitt 8, Brown 8, Goodby 8, Costello 8, Miveld 8, Woodward 9, Wells 8, (Attwood 80, 7), Moore 9 (Gardner 83, 7). Murdoch 10. Robbins 9 (Carney 72, 7).
King’s Lynn Town: Street 7, C. Defty 6 (Harris 61, 7), Alsop 5, L. Thurlbourne 6, Buhlemann 5, Watson 5, Bexfield 6, Doherty 5. J. Deity 5, Spriggs 7, J. Thurlbourne 6. Unused Subs: McNeil, Bacon. Fryatt, Hails.
Referee: 0. Langford 5.
Entertainment value: 3.
Shots on target: Coalville 4, Lynn 3.
Shots off target: Coalville 2, Lynn 5.
Corners: Coalville 3, Lynn 8.
Free kicks: Coalville 11, Lynn 10.
Offside: Coalville 5, Lynn 3.
Yellow cards: Coalville Woodward, Lynn: C. Defty. Watson and Bexfield.