Nine out of 11 proves not good enough for Heggs
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 1, Kettering 2: Lynn boss Carl Heggs admits recruiting an experienced keeper is now his top pre-season priority after Kettering cashed in on youngster Daniel Whatsize's shaky display.
King's Lynn 1, Kettering 2
Lynn boss Carl Heggs admits recruiting an experienced keeper is now his top pre-season priority after Kettering cashed in on youngster Daniel Whatsize's shaky display.
Poppies' marksman Gareth Seddon lobbed the ex-Mansfield trainee inside the opening minutes after the teenager went walkabout before catching out the Linnets' stopper with a long range pot shot.
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Gareth Sheldon's late penalty - his third goal of Lynn's pre-season campaign - papered over some glaring cracks for the no-nonsense Heggs.
"If I had a decent left winger and a top drawer keeper we would have won that game, no doubt," he said. "I was absolutely fuming after the game.
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"Nine of my players were outstanding in terms of the endeavour, work rate and organisation but two let us down. Now, do I sweep it under the carpet or do I address it? If I improve those two areas we have got the best side in the Unibond by a million miles.
"If I tried to say what a good display to lose 2-1 against a side that finished eighth in the Conference National last season I wouldn't be doing my job. I looked every player in the eyes when I signed them and promised I would not let them down. If I want to win the league, which I do, I have a couple of areas to address."
Heggs insisted Whatsize (below) and ex-Aston Villa academy wide man Phil Green still have a future at The Walks - but revealed he is prepared to off-load another member of his new look squad.
"One of them will definitely be leaving because their standards are nowhere near as high as mine," said Heggs, echoing David Galbraith's swift exit from the club after Lynn's pre-season opener at Redditch. "It would be unprofessional to say who it is until I have spoken to them. I like Phil but he is coming back from a bad injury and he needs to get fit. It's as simple as that. My season starts in three weeks time so he has three weeks to get fit or he'll be another one who gets custard pied.
"As for Danny, I'm not saying he isn't a decent keeper. He has a big future but ultimately when you let two goals in like that questions are asked.
"That's not me, that's the rules of football. I can't wave a magic wand over him to give him the confidence he needs. It has to come from within but I'm not getting rid of an 18-year -old who has made two mistakes.
"What I'm saying is an experienced keeper does not come out of his area and get chipped for a ball he has no chance with and then someone hits a shot from 35 yards that sneaks in at the near post."
Sheldon's quick thinking teed up Owen Story with a sharp first half chance to cancel out Seddon's opener but the pacy winger dragged wide.
Sheldon then tried his luck with a trademark free-kick that had Lee Harper scrambling across his line before Seddon embarrassed Whatsize from distance two minutes before the interval.
Heggs introduced teenage triallist Michael Emery for Whatsize at the interval. Francis Green struck the base of his base after cutting inside Liam Murray before Sheldon reduced the arrears from the spot on 85 minutes after being upended by Ryan Beswick.
"I don't want easy friendly games," said Heggs. "What is the point of beating someone 5-0 and getting a pat on the back. I want to test my players. I'm 90pc there at this stage of pre-season.
"I just need to look at two different areas and we'll be as good as you'll find in the Unibond. With an experienced keeper we'd have gone in at the break 0-0.
"They had one shot all second half that hit the post and Shelly scores the penalty - so we would've won 1-0."
King's Lynn: Whatsize (Emery 45), Magunda, Murray, McAughtrie, Boyce, Lloyd, Story, Johnson (Robinson 66), Sheldon, Birley (Smith 71), Green (Edwards 54). Subs not used: Edwards, Webb, Martin, Emery. Goal: Sheldon (85)
Kettering (starting XI): Harper, Eaden, Jennings, Taylor, Geoghan, Dempster, Green, Fowler, Seddon, Spencer, N'Boussi. Goals: Seddon (8, 43)
Referee: S Ross (Lincs)