Day of frustration for Webb and Linnets

Rugby 1, King's Lynn 0Lynn boss Keith Webb praised his weary promotion battlers after gifting Rugby their win.

Rugby 1, King's Lynn 0

Lynn boss Keith Webb praised his weary promotion battlers after gifting Rugby their win yesterday.

Jason Taylor pounced from point blank range early in the second half after former Scotland Under-21 keeper Scott Howie failed to grasp David Stone's rasping strike on the baked playing surface.

Webb's men - playing their third match inside five days - looked dead on their feet in a lacklustre opening period, but the soft goal stung them into action.

Rugby had to survive an aerial and set-piece bombardment for the rest of a one-sided contest. Lynn showed plenty of heart, but the visitors' blunt cutting edge on the road was again painfully evident.

Solace came at full-time with defeats for play-off rivals Hemel Hempstead and Chippenham, leaving Webb's side still in third spot behind champions elect Bath and tenants Team Bath.

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"This result feels like the biggest kick in the teeth I've had for a long time," said Webb. "I'm a bit lost for words. It's the best we've played in these three matches and we come away with the worst result.

"We threw everything at Rugby. I can't remember them having a shot.

"The goal was just one of those things. Funnily enough I had looked at the penalty area before kick-off and the bareness was a worry - it just reared up in front of Scott.

"I feel sorry for our lads because I couldn't ask any more. You can't speak highly enough of the effort - it's just that final thing of putting the ball in the net.

"They never gave up and I'll go home upbeat because we are still very much in the shake-up. We haven't lost any ground and we need to keep the faith."

Webb admitted Lynn's growing casualty list is the biggest threat to an all-out promotion push.

Hitchin match-winner Jack Defty missed out with a recurrence of his recent thigh injury while skipper Mark Warren (groin) was also a frustrated spectator alongside long-term absentee Sam McMahon. Webb withdrew Steve Melton (hamstring) in the first half as a precaution but replacement Mark Camm and Michael Frew both hobbled away after a bruising encounter.

"It's a matter of making sure we've got enough players now," said Webb ahead of this weekend's home double header against Tiverton and Chippenham. "Melts felt his hamstring again with playing two games in two days so we took him off rather than take any chances. Wazza was the same with the number of games and Jack was struggling.

"I took Matt O'Halloran off as well because he looked to be tiring and I wanted to shore up the midfield. Cammy took a bang near the end so we'll see how it settles down. It was a clear foul as well but the referee missed so many things. That is where the frustration comes in. Frewy was battered from pillar to post - he was different class."

Frew was paired with the fit again Matt Nolan after the tall target man missed Saturday's Hitchin victory with a virus. Danny Hammond partnered Greg Crane in central defence with Jamie Gould given the nod in a re-shaped midfield.

Lynn old boy Dave Staff - on loan from Nuneaton - lined up for the Valley.

Rugby: Afandiyev, Stringfellow, Commander, Okai, Tullin, Breward, Gearing, Francis, Taylor (Adaltown 89), Stone (Kolodynski 80), Staff. Subs not used: Skubala, Lynn. Bookings: Francis, Commander. Goal: Taylor (51)

King's Lynn: Howie, West, Hammond, Crane, Blois, Fisk, O'Halloran (C Defty 71), Melton (Camm 23), Nolan, Frew, Gould (Bloomfield 58). Sub not used: Marshall.

Attendance: 326

Referee: M Amphlett (Staffs)