Linnets are left to curse costly errors

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor warned his players to cut out the gaffes after an encouraging pre-season display against Conference National big hitters Dagenham & Redbridge.

King's Lynn 1, Dagenham and Redbridge 2

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor warned his players to cut out the gaffes after an encouraging pre-season display against Conference National big hitters Dagenham & Redbridge.

Taylor played all 21 cards at his disposal on a stamina-sapping afternoon when only the impressive Adam Smith went the distance.

Last season's player-of-the-year teed up Matt Nolan with a typical poacher's finish on the half hour mark after Danny Foster had caught Lynn cold inside the opening seconds.


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The hosts were punished again after the break when beanpole striker Cliff Akurang powered a close range header beyond youngster Danny Knowles.

Lynn were largely untroubled for the rest of an even contest against a visiting outfit which can boast three top five Conference finishes since 2001.

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“We gave away two balls in our own half and conceded two goals,” said Taylor. “For the first one we still had plenty of bodies in the box but their lad reacted quickest. For the second we let the cross come in too easily but I don't think he would've scored against our big centre halves if they had been on the pitch.

“Dagenham were powerful and pacy, just as I expected, but although the result didn't go our way we can take a lot of positives. We've played a Conference side and not disgraced ourselves. Against Mildenhall I thought we passed it well and we carried that on. The better the opposition the quicker they close you down in possession but we held our own and scored a great goal.”

Taylor fielded four fresh faces in his starting line up. Former Norwich City youth product and Lynn old boy Lewis Blois slotting into a reshaped defence on the left alongside recent recruit Mark Warren.

Mark Camm was deployed in a holding midfield role behind ex-Cambridge City man Luke Kennedy with the dangerous Smith given licence to roam behind Nolan and new partner Michael Frew.

“Lewis is someone I'd like to get on board,” confirmed Taylor. “He asked to come along for pre-season and it allows us to release Smithy further forward.

“With his pace and quality on the ball he can be a key player for us. We just need to slot players around him who can pass it well.

“I was happy with the front two but we also have Paul Atkins who won't give defenders a minute's piece.”

Lynn mark one were certainly a match for their illustrious opponents despite the lax start - Sam Saunders skipping down the left to deliver a cross for Foster to despatch an acrobatic volley.

Smith clipped the crossbar after neat interplay between Frew and Kennedy before Matt O'Halloran's 20-yard free kick cannoned back off the angle.

Nolan slotted home Smith's inch perfect centre to draw the hosts level after Lynn carved open the Daggers with a slick midfield counter.

Taylor's radical second half surgery reduced an intriguing bout to a sparring session - ten home substitutions inside the opening 20 minutes.

Dagenham took advantage when Foster pounced on a loose clearance to pick out Akurang who soared above Stephen Harvey to plant a header past Knowles.

“I was going to make changes but the heat dictated how many - it was so warm out there,” admitted Taylor. “I took Coops and Warren off because they were both suffering with blisters.

“The young kid in goal did okay. He looked a bit uncertain on a couple of crosses but he needs a run of games to build some confidence.”

Taylor is still monitoring Shaun Marshall's situation after the Fakenham-born stopper appeared in a trial match for Torquay last week. The Linnets boss also revealed former Ipswich Town trainee Ashley Nicholls is due to attend training.

“I've invited him along and that's as far as its gone at the moment,” said Taylor. “He can have a look at us and vice versa. Ashley is a big, powerful midfielder with a nice touch.”

Nicholls rejected a reduced deal to stay at relegated Rushden & Diamonds last season after 30 appearances during a loan spell from Cambridge United. The 24-year-old briefly worked under Taylor at Darlington.

King's Lynn: Benstead (Knowles 45), West (Gusterson 60), Blois (Bailey 63), Cooper (Harvey 52), Warren (C Defty 45), Camm (Howlett 58), Kennedy (Peters 50), O'Halloran (Fell 50), Nolan (Atkins 45), Smith, Frew (J Defty 45). Goal: Nolan (30)

Dagenham & Redbridge: Overland (Hogan 80), Cole, Blackett, Uddin, Foster, Blewitt (Lettejallow 58), Saunders (Olayle 58), Southam (Toms 58), Akurang (Batt 58), Benson, Bruce. Subs (not used): Filletti, Laxton. Goals: Foster (2) Akurang (55).

Referee: G Sandell (Norwich)

Long serving club official Maurice Ebbs and his wife Jenny have been made life members.

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