Linnets boss in mass clear-out threat

King's Lynn 0, Halesowen 2King's Lynn manager Tommy Taylor threatened a mass clear-out after this inept British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division opening day defeat.

King's Lynn 0, Halesowen 2

King's Lynn manager Tommy Taylor threatened a mass clear-out after this inept British Gas Business Southern League, Premier Division opening day defeat. The bookies' title favourites suffered a swift reality check, with strikes in each half from Simon Forsdick and Matt Lewis scant reward for Halesowen's dominance.

Taylor's side had no urgency, no appetite for the battle, no creativity - in truth, no idea.

“In my time here I've never seen a display like it,” he said.

“To turn up like that for the first game was absolutely ridiculous. I can't think of one positive.

“We had nothing up front, nothing in midfield and defensively it was schoolboy stuff.

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“Even a draw would've been disappointing. Why do we always seem to make things hard for ourselves? We always seem to be climbing that hill.”

Lynn get an early chance to establish base camp at Hitchin tomorrow, with Taylor admitting his squad are now on borrowed time.

“I've told them they've two games to liven up or else,” he said. “The lads have let themselves down - big time.

“They need to take a look and ask how many balls did I give away? How many tackles did I win? Perhaps it's why they get released by professional clubs, because they don't seem to be able to do the A, B, C - the basics of the game.

“We've got a 5ft 3in centre-forward and we tried smashing balls on to his head. There was no zip, no penetration.

“Halesowen looked sharper but I don't accept they were fitter - we've been back since June. Our two centre-halves might've been missing, but it's too easy to use that as an excuse.”

Lee Hyde and Mark Camm replaced suspended duo Grant Cooper and Mark Warren. Paul Atkins got the nod alongside Matt Nolan up front, with Adam Smith passed fit after a pre-season injury scare.

Smith's strapped ankle got an early test when Alex Cowley clattered into Lynn's player-of-last-season within seconds of the start.

Yeltz skipper Nick Preston glanced a sharp header wide before Atkins' deflected chip dropped at Nolan's feet but Rob Warner nipped in to bail out his jittery keeper Mark Gayle.

Smith curled a wayward free kick into the Tennyson Road end after Nolan had been clobbered.

Lee Williams posted an early contender for miss of the season when he sidefooted wide six yards out with the goal at his mercy, Lewis skipping clear of Lynn's outpaced midfield to fashion the chance.

Smith's venomous long-range strike flew over but Paul Szenczyk pounced on further hesitation in the Linnets box to tee up Cowley whose bobbler failed to test Shaun Marshall.

Lynn's luck ran out on 28 minutes, Forsdick poking home inside the area after the hosts made a hash of clearing Williams' speculative shot.

Jack Defty's howitzer whistled off target as Lynn tried to up the ante on the restart, but only Smith's perfectly-timed last-ditch challenge spared Dean West's blushes with Lewis ready to strike.

Hyde directed a far post header over the top on the hour mark after rising through a crowd scene before Cowley's grass cutter tested Marshall.

Preston intercepted Nolan's attempted step-over to trigger a Halesowen counter-attack expertly finished by Lewis - the tall wide man cutting inside Smith to drill a deflected effort past Marshall via the diving West.

Taylor introduced Frazer Toms for his league debut and the former Barnet midfielder's towering flick sprung Defty whose right footer sailed wide.

Halesowen coasted to the final whistle, contemptuously running down the clock with a sustained bout of keep-ball in the corners.

Cowley blazed over at the back stick late on after Lynn failed to cut out Warner's throw-in.

King's Lynn: Marshall, West, Smith, Hyde (Toms 69 minutes), Camm, McMahon (Kennedy 71), J Defty, Carey, Nolan, Atkins (Frew 59), O'Halloran. Subs (not used) C Defty, Brooks.

Halesowen: Gayle, Warner, Haywood, Preston, Knight, Beckett, Cowley (Smith 84), Lewis, Szenczyk (Dowdell 79), Williams, Forsdick (Couper 64). Subs (not used) Brindley, Pierrepoint.

Bookings: Beckett, Haywood.

Goals: Forsdick (28), Lewis (63).

Referee: M George (Norfolk).

Attendance: 769.