Webb insists Linnets will bounce back
Paddy Davitt King's Lynn 1, Kidderminster 5: Lynn boss Keith Webb insists he will handle the first big test of his managerial career at The Walks after this crushing FA Cup fourth qualifying round exit.
King's Lynn 1, Kidderminster 5
Lynn boss Keith Webb insists he will handle the first big test of his managerial career at The Walks after this crushing FA Cup fourth qualifying round exit.
Kidderminster coasted through to a home first round tie against league rivals Cambridge United to cap a miserable week for the Linnets after back-to-back Blue Square North home defeats.
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Safe to say the majority in Lynn's biggest crowd of the season knew it was an uphill task. There's no shame in being dismantled by a club laying the foundations for a genuine promotion tilt at Coca Cola League Two.
There's no shame in being picked off by quality, mobile strikers spearheaded by the Blue Square Premier's leading scorer Justin Richards.
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There's even no shame in highlighting the injuries that have left Lynn badly exposed in recent games.
Webb had two senior defenders sat in the Main Stand with more than 300 Football League appearances between them. New permanent midfield recruit Scott Mitchell failed a pre-match fitness test - then top scorer and attacking pivot Jack Defty limped out with a back problem after five minutes.
The worry, yet again, for Lynn's league campaign was the uncomfortable air of inevitability once Matt Barnes-Homer lashed Kidderminster in front.
Michael Frew and Jack Defty had both gone close inside the opening seconds during the high octane start Webb demanded in the build up.
But when Russell Penn doubled the Harriers' lead on the half hour the only question was how many Kidderminster would score, not if they would win.
“Up until this week it has been a positive experience in the job,” said Webb. “I've been here since December 2006 and if people think losing three games is a major crisis then there is nothing I can do about that. We've lost three games of football and there'll be plenty of opinions as to what has gone wrong. Expectation levels are high here. Quite rightly. That is why I came to this club but right now we have got a reality check.
“I'm not worried about the criticism. I have my opinions and I am in a position to work on them and the players are in a position to work on them. We will do our best to make sure they are sorted out.”
Lynn's collective mood of early season optimism has evaporated. The same personnel who came from behind to grab points in four of their first five Conference games have now shipped 11 goals in a week.
“We haven't got bad players. It's a matter of getting that confidence back up,” said Webb.
“It summed it up for me when Joe (Francis) couldn't wait to come off near the end when he thought it was his number on the board. But this squad is certainly good enough to stay in the league. We'll keep them going. The season starts again for us on Saturday and we have to make sure they are ready.
“I don't think it is a big job to pick the lads up. This was a cup game. It was difficult and we shipped some shocking goals but we have to dust ourselves down and get back to the league. That is the most important.
“We've conceded 11 in these last few matches. Clearly, that is something we need to address collectively as a group. Maybe injuries have played a part with having to chop and change but we have to say we are not defending well enough. We've two training sessions this week and we will work on putting that right.”
Francis' diving header on 67 minutes was cold consolation.
Kidderminster had already downed attacking tools after being reduced to 10 men following Luke Jones' crazy tag team wrestle on Frew right under the referee's nose just past the hour mark.
Martin Brittain had fired a third past the exposed Howie before the interval. Brian Smikle toe-poked a fourth on the restart after Howie's attempted punch dropped at his feet before top gun Richards raced clear of a harassed Lynn back line to slot between the keeper's legs.
“You have to say they were clinical,” said Webb.
“The way they put the ball in the back of the net is the difference the higher you go. Obviously when the third went in everyone is shell shocked - even the crowd was deathly silent.
“We came in, tried to rally the troops, and then give away a goal from a corner that has killed us.
“They had players who were solid and did their jobs. They are in the Premier for a reason and we weren't able to match them. We were a bit naïve at times.”