Late chances fail to mask King’s Lynn Town’s below-par showing against Trafford

Action from King's Lynn Town v Trafford at The Walks - Frustration for Lynn Town as they lose 1-0. Picture: Matthew Usher. Action from King's Lynn Town v Trafford at The Walks - Frustration for Lynn Town as they lose 1-0. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Monday, September 1, 2014
10:24 AM

Even the most ardent Linnets fan would do well to believe their team didn’t deserve to taste defeat at the weekend.

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Don’t let the hosts’ late pressure fool you. Yes, the facts state that had Sam Mulready scored one of his two late opportunities – the latter of which was a sublime effort that crashed against the upright – or Dan Quigley’s injury-time header been not straight at Thomas Read, Lynn would have preserved their unbeaten home start.

However, the reality is Trafford should have been home and dry long before Gary Setchell’s side made for a nervy final quarter at The Walks. A 1-0 lead, courtesy of a 40th-minute free-kick from Shelton Payne, should have been extended on more than one occassion.

The goalscorer spurned at least three further inviting moments while Nia Bayunu, Rees Walsh, and Michael Oates, twice, did their wasteful best to set up a tense finale. But they weren’t made to pay for their lack of ruthlessness on a day where Town failed to reach the heights of their opening three matches.

Setchell said: “I think we deserved to lose. Forget the late pressure, you’re always going to bomb on, but they could have buried the game. Their lad (Oates) should have scored to make it 2-0 and the number 11 (Payne) probably should have had one or two more.

“I’ve got no complaints with the result, I’ve got complaints with my own team’s performance it’s as simple as that.”

While the men in yellow started off brightly enough, with Steve Spriggs shining on his first start of the campaign, they failed to take a full stranglehold of proceedings or make the most of the sighters they got. The North moved the ball about expertly at times and were a constant threat on the counter.

The loss was Lynn’s second in a week which has undone their excellent start. Going into Saturday, nine points from 12 was decent, the same amount from a possible 15 looks slightly less impressive. But nobody needs to tell Setchell that.

“Trafford trusted their players with the ball and I felt, because the crowd gets on our back a little bit, when the pressure was on we didn’t trust our players enough,” said Lynn’s boss.

“When we’ve got ball-players in midfield I think we’ve got to use them. We went back-to-front into Frewy (Michael Frew) and George (Thomson) far too often. The loss was a real kick in the cans for us after the start (to the season) we had.

“I can’t hide my disappointment from not losing a football match. I wear my heart on my sleeve. But football’s hard, as (Louis) van Gaal is finding out. We hit our levels first three games of the season and won all three. But we didn’t second half against Stamford, or on Saturday, and that’s when you get found out.”

- To read a match report, and see a gallery of pictures, from Saturday’s game, click here.

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