Whitby Town 0, King's Lynn 2
King’s Lynn boss Carl Heggs accused top scorer Anthony Robinson of letting the club down after his third red card of the season marred a brave FA Trophy second round qualifying win.
King's Lynn boss Carl Heggs accused top scorer Anthony Robinson of letting the club down after his third red card of the season marred a brave FA Trophy second round qualifying win.
Robinson's petulant arm into Denny Ingram's face right under the official's nose forced Heggs' men into a sterling rearguard action for the best part of an hour.
Peterborough loanee Kwesi Appiah had already broken the deadlock when Robinson reacted angrily after a posse of Whitby players pleaded for a home spot-kick.
Lone frotman Appiah doubled Lynn's lead on 51 minutes from the penalty spot at the second attempt to book a hard-earned place in the third qualifying round draw.
Robinson, however, will now miss out on a potential tie against the likes of former club Redditch as he begins his fourth ban of the campaign later this month.
The abrasive striker could even land an extended FA rap given his recent track record after this latest dismissal for violent conduct.
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“I didn't say anything to him after the game, I just ignored him,” said Heggs. “I shouldn't have to tell a 28-year-old what he has gone and done. He knows that himself. It's unacceptable, full stop. He has put his hand up off the ball, no doubt about it, whether it's a punch or a slap in the face doesn't matter - he let everybody down.
“We have a deal in place that means he won't get paid until his suspension is up. If he misses six games and six weeks he won't get paid for six weeks. It's as simple as that - that is the agreement. I've said it before but nobody is taking me or my football club for a ride.”
Heggs' patience with his talented but errant striker is clearly wafer-thin.
“We can't have a player who is in and out of the side because it's hard to get that consistency and build up partnerships between players,” said Heggs. “The bottom line is he has done it to himself. That wasn't two yellows he got sent off for, he raised his hand and on a football pitch you can't do it. Whatever comes his way now is his own fault.
“I'll maybe have to throw myself back into the mix when he is out and we've got Danny Spencer as well who can do that role. It's not ideal, it's not what you want but if we play this well I might just start with ten in the next game in any case.”
Heggs was less reticent when it came to heaping post-match praise on Robinson's team mates.
“I told them in the changing room I'm so proud of my players and to be the manager of this football club,” he said. “We had to go 4-4-1 and at half-time I sat them down and told them we had some shift to put in second half. We stayed patient and if anything we had some great chances on the break even with ten men. Ben (Muirhead) and Owen (Story) were electrifying and carried the fight.
“We had the two lads in the centre of the park breaking everything up, the defence were so solid and Kwesi ran himself into the ground. Let me tell you, that lad has a great chance of making it if he keeps working at his game. He has come to us and he really, really wants to play for me and King's Lynn.”
Heggs has only one wish from today's third qualifying round draw which heralds the introduction of the Conference second tier clubs.
“I'm desperate for a home tie,” he said. “Let's get our supporters to turn out in force and really get behind the lads. We're not far away now from landing one of the big non league boys the round after this one so there's some huge games out there for our club. To go away from home three times in the cups this season already has been tough.
“When I first got the job I don't think we were ready for the FA Cup tie at Bury. I had players who weren't really happy to be at the club but after this fantastic result I'm over the moon and I'd love a decent cup run.”
t Whitby: Campbell, Lyth, A Gildea (Charlton, 46), Ingram, Burgess, Leeson, Hussan, Hackworth, Reay (L Gildea, 69), Beadle, Scott (Dalton, 61).
Subs (not used): Hanson, Woodhead.
t King's Lynn: Gay, Webb, Rowe-Turner, Palmer, Boyce, Aisien, Story, Magunda, Appiah (Smith, 69), Robinson, Muirhead.
Subs (not used): Spencer, Murray, Heggs, McAnally.
t Referee: G Hart (Darlington)
t Attendance: 251