Linnets fight hard for first point in the Conference

PUBLISHED: 12:13 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 10 September 2010

Greg Crane wins the header which led to Lynn’s opener. Picture: Dennis Bradbury

Greg Crane wins the header which led to Lynn’s opener. Picture: Dennis Bradbury

Mark Hearle

Burscough 1, King’s Lynn 1: King's Lynn began life in Conference North with a hard-fought point in damp West Lancashire on Saturday. Despite Simon Weaver scoring a debut goal for Lynn midway through the first half it was a lead they could not build upon and it came as little surprise to many present at Victoria Park when, with 17 minutes remaining, Tony Evans prodded home to ensure parity.

Michael Frew in action for Lynn at Burscough. Picture: Dennis Bradbury

King's Lynn began life in Conference North with a hard-fought point in damp West Lancashire on Saturday.

Despite Simon Weaver scoring a debut goal for Lynn midway through the first half it was a lead they could not build upon and it came as little surprise to many present at Victoria Park when, with 17 minutes remaining, Tony Evans prodded home to ensure parity.

Lynn boss Keith Webb declared himself satisfied with a point but not overly happy with his side's performance.

“We didn't play well today and we have a lot to work on,” he concluded. “They are a big side and we made life difficult for ourselves by allowing them too many opportunities to put the ball into our area.

“We continued doing this despite me telling at half-time and we were eventually punished. But we must also improve going forward. I thought today that offensively we were pretty average.”

Webb also urged for patience as the Linnets continue to find their feet at this new level.

“We will take a while to adjust, of that there is no doubt. Towards the end of last season we were winning games by four and five goals and that is simply not going to happen. We will be coming up against strong and well-organised teams just like Burscough week in, week out.”

Webb sprang one surprise in his opening-day selection when he opted to leave high-profile summer signing Julian Joachim on the bench in favour of midfielder Mark Camm.

With John Turner away on honeymoon Michael Frew was given a chance on the right and with Joe Francis lining up on the opposite flank Lynn had a compact look about them.

Webb handed full debuts to Weaver, Mark Peters and David Bridgwater.

The visitors were quickly on the back foot with Burscough quickest from the traps.

Firstly, Allan Smart and then his strike partner Evans had Scott Howie in action as the big Scot dealt uncomfortably with their efforts.

Smart was inches away from Evans' diagonal ball with the Lynn defence taken time to settle.

Finally, action reverted up field with Bridgwater and Jack Defty linking to allow Frew a driven shot from eight yards which cleared the angle.

That was to be Defty's only contribution of the afternoon as he was replaced by Joachim after suffering a back injury. This meant a re-organisation with Frew operating in a central attacking position and Joachim taking a right-sided role.

Soon afterwards Lynn were ahead. Frew won the corner which was delivered into Burscough's box by Francis. Greg Crane was on hand to knock the ball down to Weaver, who diverted past Zak Hibbert from close in.

The hosts, clearly stung by the opener, cranked up the pressure with the Linnets defending bravely. Smart headed wide when well placed and shortly afterwards his dangerous cross was collected by Howie.

Another silly Lynn foul, this time by Bridgwater, allowed home skipper Brian Moogan to drill in a stunning free-kick which saw Howie produce a world-class save to tip over his bar.

Just on half-time James Olsen's corner was headed over by Michael Grogan with Lynn grateful for the break.

Francis' route to goal was blocked by Moogan early in the second spell and the same player slammed a free-kick into Burscough's defensive wall as Webb's men saw more of the second half ball.

Burscough then had another good spell as Olsen saw his shot from long range scrambled away by some now desperate defending.

Wide man Chris Robinson came even closer as his driven shot smacked against the underside of the Howie's bar, and with the ball being scrambled away the visitors had again survived the danger.

Their luck, however, ran out with 17 minutes remaining. Robinson fed Smart who picked out Evans who simply tapped into an empty net with the visiting defence claiming the big forward was in an offside position.

Peters then denied Evans as he nearly took advantage of a Crane poor header.

Joachim toe-poked a half-chance at Hibbert and the keeper also reacted quickly to deny the onrushing ex-Darlington player moments later.

Deep into stoppage time substitute Danny Bloomfield spurned a great chance to give his side an unlikely victory but Hibbert again saved with his legs to ensure the opening day honours ended even.

t Burscough: Hibbert, Moogan (capt), Bowen (Roberts 63), Armstrong, Bowes, Grogan, Parry (Cass 72), Olsen, Evans, Smart (Brooks 88), Robinson. Unused subs: Roscoe, McCulloch.

t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver, Chapman, Peters, Crane (capt), Bridgwater (Fisk 72), Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty (Joachim 24), Camm, Francis (Bloomfield 80). Unused subs: C Defty, Murray.

t Referee: A Newell (Thornton Cleaveley).

t Attendance: 389.

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