LYNN v SUFC: Morias sees red in Linnets opener

Joe Rowley

Joe Rowley made an impressive debut for King's Lynn Town against Southend - Credit: Ian Burt

Junior Morias saw red as King’s Lynn Town lost their opening game of the new season. 

The summer signing was dismissed six minutes from time after stamping on Jason Demetriou. Referee Daniel Middleton was left with no choice and Morias held his head in his hands as he walked down the tunnel. A three-game ban awaits the former Peterborough striker – and in a thin-looking squad that will cause manager Ian Culverhouse major problems. 

Culverhouse was already without influential midfielder Cameron King, meaning a debut for recent signing Joe Rowley. Otherwise, his starting XI was pretty much as expected, with three central defenders protecting keeper Paul Jones. 

Rowley made a lively start and almost got into a decent position after good work by Morias and Gold Omotayo. A corner was scant reward, but Southend were ahead on eight minutes, Rhys Murphy turning in the area, crossing low and Sam Dalby banging it home from close range. 

Two minutes later Nathan Ferguson was given too much space on the edge of the box but dragged his right-footed effort a foot wide. 

It was the signal for the visitors to begin dictating play, although there was a brief respite when Rowley put a lovely low ball across the area without finding a team-mate. 

Tyler Denton headed a Ross Barrows cross just over the bar as Lynn began to settle down, Rowley looking lively in the middle and Morias giving the Southend defenders little peace. 

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After some good possession by Lynn, Morias tried his luck from distance on 33 minutes, but his effort sailed over. 

With half-time approaching, Lynn needed a leveller to perhaps reflect their first-half performance, but Southend managed the final moments well.   

Callan-McFadden came to Lynn’s rescue five minutes after the break when Rhys Murphy headed for goal after a sloppy ball out by Pierce Bird. The Southend striker could see the whites of keeper Paul Jones’s eyes, but the Lynn defender nicked the ball off his toe. 

Southend had come out looking like a team that wanted to get the result sorted as quickly as possible. Murphy had two more golden opportunities to sort that – volleying a dropping ball well wide and then denied by a brilliance point-blank stop by Jones. 

Lynn’s first effort on target came on 61 minutes, Barrows crossing for Omotayo, whose header was tipped away by a stretching Steve Arnold. 

Omotayo clipped Rowley’s header just over - the new man’s final contribution, with Michael Gyasi coming on. 

Jones came to Lynn’s rescue moments later with a fine stop to deny Abu Ogogo but it was Lynn who were more attack-minded. Bird glanced a header from a corner on to the top of the net before an Omotayo cross was cleared off the line. Sub Malachi Linton clipped one just wide as Lynn turned the screw. 

But Lynn’s hopes effectively disappeared six minutes from time when Morias had his rush of blood. 

Jones then did brilliantly to deny sub Matthew Dennis and then Nathan Ralph, but by then the damage had been done - although there was still time for Barrows to head against the bar. 

King’s Lynn Town: Jones, Barrows, Fernandez (Linton 63), Callan-McFadden, Bird, Denton, Coleman, Rowley (Gyasi 74), Clunan (Sundire 78), Morias, Omotayo. Subs not used: Bowry, Gascoigne. 

Southend: Arnold, Ralph, Ogogo, Coulson, Bridges (Hobson 82), Murphy (Dennis 82), Dalby, Ferguson, Phillips, Demetriou, White. Subs not used: Seaden, Egbri, Kargbo. 

Ref: Daniel Middleton 

Att: 2,683 

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