Striker Beardsley on Linnets' wanted list

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn boss Keith Webb is tracking Kettering striker Chris Beardsley. Webb confirmed yesterday he had opened talks with the Blue Square Premier play-off hopefuls after a scouting mission.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb is tracking Kettering striker Chris Beardsley.

Webb confirmed yesterday he had opened talks with the Blue Square Premier play-off hopefuls after a scouting mission.

The Linnets' chief ran the rule over the powerful 24-year-old in the Poppies' recent FA Trophy penalty shoot-out win over Tiverton.

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Beardsley was also on duty in Town's Setanta Shield cup exit on Tuesday at AFC Telford but the Derby-born striker's first team opportunities could be limited with the arrival of ex-Notts Forest frontman Jason Lee. The former Mansfield hitman has already had a two-month loan spell at Kidderminster earlier this season.

"I've had a look at him and he is one of our options," said Webb. "I've also spoken to Mark Cooper at Kettering to assess what the situation is. There could be an opportunity to sit down with the lad to see how he feels about it.

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"Obviously getting Gavin (Hurren) was one part of the equation but now we are looking at strikers. I was in Birmingham earlier this week checking out a couple and we're constantly scouring the market to see if we can find the right one."

Webb admitted he had drawn a blank after taking in Worcester's Blue Square South goal less draw with Newport.

"It was all crash, bang, wallop. They had to change the ball at half time," he said. "I haven't seen a game like that in the North or the Premier all season and that clearly has an impact in terms of the players who you think can come in and do a job at our level.

"I don't know if it was just those two teams but at the start of the season I wouldn't have expected to see that type of football played in the South."

Webb's latest squad makeover saw the midweek departure of defender Simon Weaver. The experienced 31-year-old former Boston United player became the fifth member of Lynn's first team pool to leave The Walks this season.

"It was always going to be a case of evolving the squad," said Webb. "I wasn't going to go up a level and make wholesale changes. It wasn't a case of saying, 'he can do it, he can't do it', I had to see how players could cope in situations.

"We've tried to do it in stages and maybe that leaves me open to criticism because people feel we haven't produced a good enough level of football. Maybe there's one or two who feel I have made mistakes about what this league is all about and what we need to do to compete."

The Linnets' boss has freshened up his playing staff with the arrivals of young Blue Square Premier trio Luke Graham, Bradley Thomas and recent Mansfield recruit Hurren.

"I have consciously tried to bring in younger players," he said. "I want to build for next season and the future of the club.

"At the risk of being na�ve people could rightly say, 'what about this season?' but I feel at this moment in time the group we have are producing a level of performance that is good enough to get us points. The boys are totally committed and I believe it will turn. It might be just a case of we need to fetch one player in who could be the catalyst.

"If we'd turned even four of those 13 league draws into wins we'd be eight points better off and right amongst it. Now we have to make sure we don't get dragged down into anything below and I'm confident we won't."

Back-up keeper Rob Murray could again deputise for experienced stopper Scott Howie in this weekend's Blue Square North home test against Blyth. Howie missed the weekend draw at Farsley Celtic with a groin problem.

"He didn't train on Tuesday so at this stage he must be 50:50," said Webb. "Considering Rob had not had any first team football I thought he did very well and I'd have no fears of putting him in again. That's what I'm trying to get within the squad here. If an experienced player goes out of the side we have a younger player who can come in and maintain the same level of performance you need in this league."

n Read Mark Hearle's latest exclusive behind-the-scenes club column today only on

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