Webb wants killer instinct from Linnets
King's Lynn 2, Droylsden 2: The Southern Premier champions versus last season's Conference Premier basement boys had draw written all over it for pools' punters. Only Danny Bloomfield's predatory instincts wrecked a coupon-busting away win.
King's Lynn 2, Droylsden 2
X marked the spot between the Blue Square North's draw specialists.
The Southern Premier champions versus last season's Conference Premier basement boys had draw written all over it for pools' punters.
Same points, same goals for and against, same results in the opening week of the new campaign ahead of the Mancunians' visit to The Walks.
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Only Danny Bloomfield's predatory instincts wrecked a coupon-busting away win.
Lynn's supersub pounced in stoppage time after Jon Kennedy failed to grasp Greg Crane's towering header.
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Keith Webb's men were inching towards a maiden Conference win - courtesy of Jack Defty's close-range slot before the break.
Defty's withdrawal alongside the battered Simon Weaver after a sickening clash of heads between the Linnets' duo tilted the contest in the visitors' favour.
Droylsden's football was pleasing on the eye. Patient, pretty passing from back to front. But the Bloods' best work foundered on the defensive rock that is Mark Peters.
The former Cambridge United centre half might lack the pace to trouble Usain Bolt, but Peters displayed all his nous and positional sense to marshal Lynn's defensive ranks.
Scott Howie was largely a spectator. Until the normally reliable Scottish stopper reluctantly moved centre stage.
Lynn had already gifted Kevin Townson an equaliser - the re-deployed Mark Camm's under-hit header dropping woefully short of his intended target.
Howie raced from his line minutes later to punch fresh air as Carl Lamb arrived a split second earlier to divert Neil Sorvel's hanging cross into an empty net.
Lynn's collective heart helped soften the blow of a self-inflicted double whammy. Webb will now implore his squad to use their heads after preserving the club's unbeaten league start in dramatic fashion.
“They looked aggrieved to go away with a point. We looked happy to get one,” he said. “Danny proved what he is all about at the end and did what he's paid to do. I felt we dropped deeper and deeper at the back, and to be fair you could see them scoring in the second half. Even so, the defending is schoolboy at best. You can't really work on that or legislate for them sort of things happening.
“If you look at the second goal then you have to say perhaps Scott was at fault. When keepers make mistakes they usually get punished and it's a goal, but he has certainly kept us in plenty of other games.”
Lynn's defensive naivety rubbed uneasily against fresh clear cut chances spurned in attack. David Bridgwater planted a close-range free header over seconds after his half-time introduction before Droylsden skipper Steve Halford acrobatically denied Defty following Kennedy's walkabout.
“We have to learn to kill teams off. At the moment we are not doing it,” said Webb. “It's such a fine dividing line but we've played a team which was in the Premier last year and not got beat. Scott didn't have a save to make. We'd have taken three games unbeaten before the start.
“Last year we started fairly average and I know we'll be alright. It might be time for me to look at what I do at the break with the boys because I felt we handed them the initiative. It's a case of lessons being learned on all sides at the minute.”
Julian Joachim outsmarted Mike Byron tight to the byline to tee up arguably Defty's easiest goal of his Linnets' career.
Defty smelt a second when his ambitious lob sailed over with Kennedy in no man's land.
Bridgwater powered Michael Frew's inswinger behind in a sign of positive intent after a cagey opening stanza.
Halford's heroics foiled Defty who exited moments later with gashed head and blood-stained shirt after tangling with team mate Weaver.
The ex-Boston United man also made way with what Webb confirmed afterwards was a separate forehead cut to his recent Redditch wound above the right eye.
Lamb drilled into Howie's side netting as Droylsden probed for a weak point in Lynn's re-shuffled line up.
Webb's men imploded in the final quarter - Townson latching onto Camm's miscued header to lift over the stranded Howie.
Lamb then glanced past Howie after the Linnets' stopper had raced from his line to gather.
Droylsden were seconds from a successful smash-and-grab raid until Bloomfield snaffled up Kennedy's parry from Crane's knockdown.
Bridgwater's fizzing strike whistled over in the final meaningful act as Lynn hunted an improbable comeback victory.
t King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver (Melton 63), Chapman, Peters, Crane, Camm, Frew, Sedgemore, J Defty (Bloomfield 63), Joachim, Francis (Bridgwater 45). Subs not used: C Defty, Murray. Goals: Defty (33), Bloomfield (90)
t Droylsden: Kennedy, Roache, Newton, Byron, Halford, Sorvel, Burbeary (Brown 64), McGuire, Gedman (Townson 57), Lamb, Burns (Brownhill 84). Subs not used: Meadowcroft, Clancy. Booking: Gedman. Goals: Towson (70), Lamb (77)
t Referee: A Newbold (Leics)
t Attendance: 1,035.