Linnets short-change fans

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 2, Blyth Spartans 3: Lynn boss Keith Webb accused his players of short-changing the fans after Blyth ended their own Blue Square North away hoodoo.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn 2, Blyth Spartans 3

Lynn boss Keith Webb accused his players of short-changing the fans after Blyth ended their own Blue Square North away hoodoo.

Spartans arrived at The Walks with no win in 11 previous league trips this season, but the visitors cruised into a three goal lead with an hour gone.

Lynn's new ex-Norwich midfield recruit Andy Johnson must have been having second thoughts as Richard Pell and Marc Walton's brace either side of the interval put Blyth in control.

Jack Defty and Julian Joachim struck inside two minutes just past the hour mark to quell rising disapproval on the terraces before Lynn's comeback ran out of steam.

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Defender Greg Crane's straight red card in stoppage time for head butting Spartans' skipper Gareth Williams capped a miserable afternoon.

"At 3-0 down we decided to have a little run around - I can't put my finger on it," said Webb. "We turned up for 30 minutes and that is not good enough. The people who came to see that know it as well as I do. You can't defend that and there is no point trying to. I told the boys at full time they hadn't given their money's worth today. Players get opportunities from me because they have done reasonably well.

"As a manager I do what I feel is right and then it's over to them to make you look good or bad. Those players who represent this club have to look at themselves but at the end of the day I'm the manager. I have to take responsibility and I shall do."

Lynn face a daunting trip to leaders Tamworth tomorrow followed by second-placed Gateshead at home in a bid to end a wretched winless league run dating back to November 8. Webb admits the pressure is now on him and his under-performing squad.

"You'd have to ask the players if this has become a mental thing," he said. "The longer we go without a win it seems to be the case that is has got into their minds. I can't wait for a midweek match. The only problem is it's at Tamworth but in football there's always another game, another day.

"When you look at how hard we worked against Farsley I'm shocked we had a performance like this in us. Whether they've been knocked sideways by the two boys we let go this week I just don't know. You would think they would get a lift from seeing a player like Andy Johnson (below) come in and what he has achieved in the game. If anything it went the other way."

Former Canary Johnson - paired with fellow home debutant Gavin Hurren - gradually imposed himself on the contest after Lynn's no-show during the opening hour. Young keeper Rob Murray again deputised for Scott Howie (groin) while Defty was kept in reserve after suspension.

Murray had no chance with Blyth's trio of close range finishes. Pell towered above Ben Chapman to head home Robert Dale's hanging cross before Walton slotted a minute before the break and then sidefooted his second on the restart after Pell picked out the unmarked striker.

Half-time arrival Defty crashed an unstoppable header past Bell and turned provider with a perfectly timed pass Joachim coolly lifted beyond Bell. Lynn pushed for an equaliser but the game ended on a sour note - Crane sent off for head butting Williams following a melee sparked by his angry reaction to Pell's robust challenge.

"Brainless," said Webb. "He had done well up to that point but it was a total lack of discipline. He might find out it costs him more than he thinks because he will miss a lot of games. Stupid, stupid boy.

"I was pleased with Andy. He got better as the game wore on but it will take him time to get used to us and vice versa. Jack came on and gave us something different, but we lacked penetration. We couldn't get behind them and I have to re-assess where we go. The defending was poor for all three goals. We are still getting opened too easily for my liking."

King's Lynn: Murray, Graham (Francis 63), Chapman, Thomas, Crane, Hurren (Mitchell 53), Defty (Fisk 45), Johnson, Frew, Joachim, Smith. Subs not used: Camm, Howie. Bookings: Thomas, Mitchell, Francis, Smith. Red card: Crane. Goals: Defty (62), Joachim (64)

Blyth: Bell, Boyle, Brown, Williams, Pell, Leeson, Todd, Webster (Wright 68), Dale, Walton (Banks 65), Beay (White 90). Subs not used: Dalton, Farman. Booking: Pell. Goals: Pell (16), Walton (44, 53)

Referee: M Sutton (Derbys)

Attendance: 1,041