Defensive crisis for Linnets

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb faces a major central defensive crisis ahead of tonight's Southern League, Premier Division trip to in-form Halesowen.

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb faces a major central defensive crisis ahead of tonight's Southern League, Premier Division trip to in-form Halesowen.

Skipper Mark Warren (calf) is joined on the sidelines by Grant Cooper (food poisoning) while Norwich manager Peter Grant recalled defensive loan recruit Andrew Cave-Brown yesterday.

Greg Crane is the only senior centre-half available for Lynn's crunch visit to The Grove. Webb has added youngsters Sam Gaughran and Luke Fell to the travelling party. Versatile midfielder Mark Camm is also an option after being deployed as an emergency centre back over Lynn's festive period.

“I've no fears about pitching the young lads in,” said Webb. “They have ability - anyone watching the recent cup games can see that. Wazza's chances of playing are zero and Coops has gone down with food poisoning since the weekend. It's a challenge for us because we know Halesowen is a tough place to go. I look on it as a positive - if we get a result that gives everyone a boost.”


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Webb is desperate to get Saturday's sluggish Cheshunt draw out of the system.

“I asked the boys after the game, 'do I need to give them a rollicking before kick-off?' just to get us going,” he said. “We started well against Bath for the opening 15 minutes, but it was the same at Northwood and I can't put my finger on it. We almost need something to happen. If we can raise it in the second half there's no reason we can't do that from the off.

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“At the moment we look very tentative. I could understand it if we were in the bottom four but I'm not putting any pressure on the players and neither is Shaun (Carey). A few supporters expressed their opinions at the weekend - it was quite vociferous and I understand the frustration because I feel the same.

“People are going to be passionate about King's Lynn, but no one wants it more badly than me. We need everyone pulling in the same direction.”

Webb could turn to the creative midfield talents of Sam McMahon to halt Halesowen's play off charge. McMahon has not started since limping out of the New Year's Day victory over Rugby Town with a hamstring injury.

“I might look to freshen things up and Sam could perhaps give us that bit of quality,” said Webb. “Let's not forget we're on a decent unbeaten run ourselves at the moment. If we keep working hard then the performances will come and that breeds confidence. The biggest disappointment for me against Cheshunt was we got into a winning position without playing well and conceded an equaliser more or less straightaway.”

King's Lynn (from): Crichton, West, Blois, Crane, Fisk, Camm, Melton, McMahon, O'Halloran, J Defty, Notman, Nolan, Frew, Gaughran, Fell, C Defty.

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