It's lift-off for Linnets
Paddy Davitt Burscough 0, King's Lynn 4: Lynn boss Carl Heggs revealed he was already plotting the next phase of his Linnets squad makeover within minutes of achieving Unibond Premier Division lift-off at Victoria Park.
Burscough 0, King's Lynn 4
Lynn boss Carl Heggs revealed he was already plotting the next phase of his Linnets squad makeover within minutes of achieving Unibond Premier Division lift-off at Victoria Park.
Heggs could have been forgiven for savouring the moment following back-to-back league defeats after watching new strike force Gareth Sheldon and debutant Anthony Robinson destroy Burscough.
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But the Lynn chief moves quicker than Robinson when it comes to tinkering with his playing staff in a bid to bed down a promotion-winning side.
Defender Jason Smedley is poised to sign ahead of tomorrow's latest home test against Worksop and an unnamed attacker is also in Heggs' sights - arrivals that could trigger departures.
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Tamworth's former Conference North title-winning captain Craig McAughtrie remains part of Heggs' squad. For now.
But a first clean sheet of his managerial reign was built on the central defensive rock of teenage skipper Andy Boyce and 23-year-old Liam Murray.
McAughtrie sat alongside assistant player/boss Andy Johnson in the away dug-out. Both can expect to settle for another watching Worksop brief, Heggs reiterating he will do it his way.
“I would rather have young, athletic, fit players than experience - it's the Unibond against Burscough in front of 200. Not Man United,” said Heggs. “Craig is still part of the squad and it really wasn't about blaming him or just one player for the goals we have let in.
“I said to the chairman that giving Boycie the captaincy would go one of two ways - either he stuck his chest out and showed what a good player he is or he went into his shell.
“But he played like I hoped he would. He's 6ft 4, 19 years of age and I want him to go up the football pyramid. He can do that here with us.”
Ex-Leicester and Notts Forest junior Smedley will provide extra youthful defensive competition. Smedley played for Hucknall in the Conference North last season - featuring in Lynn's 2-1 away win.
“We've definitely one coming in with Jason,” confirmed Heggs. “He's a centre-half, right-back who played a lot of games for Hucknall and he's a good addition to the squad - a whole-hearted versatile lad.
“I'm also looking to bring in another striker. I've got my beast in Anthony Robinson - he's my Drogba. Then I've got Shelly who is my Gary Lineker and Jordan Smith has that raw, powerful energy you need.
“I just haven't got someone who makes darting runs along the line like a Michael Owen. Someone who can drag a defender out and then spin them. We've got a centre forward in mind who I'm speaking to so hopefully we can do something. He's a lad who was with Phil Green at Aston Villa. If we do bring one in, then one will have to make way.”
Heggs admits his young brigade now aims to put things right in front of their home fans against Worksop after a Stocksbridge opening-day horror show.
“I want the fans to give us another chance and turn out in big numbers because the lads are buzzing now,” he said. “Let us show you what a good side we are because not too many teams will come to Burscough and do what we did. I'm made up. Not for myself but for the chairman, Michael Chinn and the supporters.
“I honestly believe we are capable of doing good things in this league and this result was a step in the right direction. I never doubted myself and my players.”
Sheldon notched his second of the campaign with a dead-eye free-kick from 20 yards but Lynn should have been out of sight before half-time.
Ryan Beswick and Matty Birley were both denied with only Mark Halstead to beat after rapier counters through midfield.
Lynn doubled their lead on 54 minutes when Robinson's goal-bound shot was parried by Halstead into luckless home defender Darren Brookfield before dropping into his unguarded net.
The all-action Robinson was full value for a late brace - bursting onto Sheldon's through-ball to slot past a grounded Halstead before springing Burscough's offside trap to calmly round Halstead.
t Burscough: Halstead, Ryan (Field 84), Roberts, Parry, Kilbane, Moore, Brookfield, Kay (Byers 56), O'Donnell, Mitchley (McCulloch 64), Bowen. Subs not used: Daley, Connolly.
t King's Lynn: White, Magunda, Martin, Birley, Boyce, Murray, Story (Smith 65), Lloyd (Webb 79), Sheldon, Robinson, Beswick (Green 72). Subs not used: Johnson, McAughtrie. Bookings: Birley, Martin, Magunda. Goals: Sheldon (22), Brookfield og (54), Robinson (70, 87).
t Referee: SN Davies (Notts)
t Attendance: 226