Webb counts the cost after Farsley expose flaws

Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 1, Farsley Celtic 4: An abject Blue Square North defeat, two senior defenders injured and the rampant league leaders next at The Walks. All in all, a wretched weekend for Linnets' boss Keith Webb, his players and the die-hards who watched managerless Farsley Celtic inflict a first home defeat in a year.

Paddy Davitt

King's Lynn 1, Farsley Celtic 4

An abject Blue Square North defeat, two senior defenders injured and the rampant league leaders next at The Walks.

All in all, a wretched weekend for Linnets' boss Keith Webb, his players and the die-hards who watched managerless Farsley Celtic inflict a first home defeat in a year.


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Webb's first task is a roll call of his depleted squad ahead of tomorrow's Tamworth visit. His second to try and somehow stop the free-scoring Lambs.

Simon Weaver started the game at right-back after passing a pre-match fitness test and finished it en route to hospital with another head injury; a fresh battle scar added to two cuts suffered earlier in the season.

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Centre-half Mark Peters left the ground on crutches after damaging his right knee. Add in a car crash for experienced left back Ben Chapman as he drove to Mildenhall for a reserve run-out and you sense the gods were not smiling on the Linnets.

Thankfully Chapman escaped with nothing more serious than a battered motor on his intended comeback from a long term shoulder problem and Webb may be forced to fast-track the combative defender for the Lambs' visit and the Lynn chief admitted fresh recruits are now a necessity.

“I'll have to get on the phone to look at who we can bring in,” he said. “It's a case of seeing who played at the weekend and then making some calls but we need to get someone in on loan. Simon has got a really bad cut. The doctor couldn't stem it so we sent him off to hospital to get it checked out. Mark could be out for quite some time as he has picked up a bad one to his knee. But I'm not going to hide behind injuries as an excuse. Farlsey were a good side but we were poor from the first minute.”

Lynn stopper Scott Howie earned the man-of-the-match spoils, rightly so for superb early saves before James Walshaw's brace inside the opening quarter as Lynn struggled to re-organise.

The first - an acrobatic reaction to foil James Knowles - was good. The second - a Gordon-Banksesque piece of mid-air agility to spring backwards and tip over Matthew Jones' point blank volley - was truly world class.

Yet Howie's heroics have failed to mask an alarming defensive laxness creeping into Lynn's play. Knowles flashed a near post header past Howie on the hour-mark, before Jake Speight's stoppage time slot. Scott Mitchell's reply was scant consolation; 10 goals conceded in three league outings tells its own story.

“It's something we have to look at and cut out quickly,” said Webb. “We were doing the right things earlier in the season when we looked nice and solid. You can't afford to be as open as we are, make those sort of mistakes and not get punished. Even at Harrogate we started reasonably brightly before they go the first goal, whereas here we never looked at the races.

“I said after we got well beat at Harrogate, that I expected a reaction. We got that in the next match. Well, the next match is against Tamworth and I expect to see another one from this group of players.”

Webb admits it is now as much about heart and desire if the newly-promoted Linnets want to avoid a long, hard winter.

“It's not really about the quality of my players,” he said. “It's about their characters. I'm going to learn a few things and have a few things confirmed in my own mind about certain players in these next few games. I thought Jack Defty was magnificent. Maybe not in terms of what he did inside the box but he never stopped running and put in a real shift. There is a guy who in the week was laid up with a bug and not able to train. He came to the ground before the game and said, 'gaffer, I'm ready to give it a go.' I felt we'd get no more than 60 minutes out of him but he had to stay on with the injuries. I don't think there are some other lads in the team who could say the same thing - that they gave it everything.”

t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver (Fisk 18), C Defty, Peters (Kelly 25), Crane, Smith, Frew, Mitchell, J Defty, Bloomfield (Turner 58), Francis. Subs (not used): Joachim, Murray. Goal: Mitchell (73).

t Farsley Celtic: Aspden, Stabb, Serrant, Iqbal, Knowles (Price 64), Penford, James (Prendergast 80), Krief, Campbell (Speight 72), Walshaw, Tuck. Subs (not used): Jackson, Backhouse. Bookings: Tuck, Walshaw, Aspden. Goals: Walshaw (25, 26), Knowles (59), Speight (90).

t Referee: D Plowright (Notts)

t Attendance: 1,121

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