Linnets boss refuses to panic

Stamford 1, King's Lynn 0: King's Lynn boss Keith Webb refused to panic after slipping to Boxing Day derby defeat. The new Linnets chief is still waiting for his first point and goal since taking charge as Lynn's festive hangover deepened.

Stamford 1, King's Lynn 0

King's Lynn boss Keith Webb refused to panic after slipping to Boxing Day derby defeat.

The new Linnets chief is still waiting for his first point and goal since taking charge as Lynn's festive hangover deepened.

Brad Pearcewright's header in first half stoppage time inflicted a fifth straight reverse on the Southern Premier Division title favourites.

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Lynn's finishing yet again failed to match some of their early approach play after Webb's men dominated the opening stanza.

The visitors' fragile confidence visibly seeped away on the resumption. Lynn's new boss accepts his immediate priority is rallying the troops ahead of Saturday's trip to Wealdstone.

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“We need to keep our heads,” he said. “Now is not the time for doing anything silly. We won't panic or get carried away. Of course I'm disappointed how it's gone. I would've liked to hit the ground running but if the team were not creating chances I'd be worried. We did enough in the opening 15 minutes to be three up.

“Confidence is a massive part of the game. We hadn't done a lot wrong and then they score right before half-time. You could see the lift it gave Stamford - whereas we come in with our heads on the floor.

“The quality and ability is in the squad - it's my job to bring that out. We've arranged a training session on Thursday and that will be our first real opportunity to work on things.”

Webb's new look front pairing of Matt Nolan and Michael Frew were unable to avoid a third consecutive league blank.

“Our strikers can't buy a goal,” he said. “It'll probably take a lucky one to go in and that'll get us back on a run. It's something I have to seriously think about moving into the New Year. We need to have a striker who can put the ball into the back of the net on a regular basis. I might have one or two decisions to make - that includes maybe looking to freshen it up. At times we are guilty of trying to walk the thing in. It's not just down to the front men - we need goals from all areas.”

Nolan partnered Frew up front with Frazer Toms handed a rare start on the left in place of Alex Notman as Webb shuffled his pack from the weekend Maidenhead defeat.

Dean West's first-time effort slammed into Daniels' skipper Martin Matthews in a vibrant start for the visitors after Frew had pressured Scott Taylor into a rash clearance.

The bustling striker kicked air seconds later with only Martin Kearney to beat from Andrew Cave-Brown's slide rule pass.

Nolan freed the hard-running Frew who skipped past ex-Linnet Adam Jones, but Graham Bowater cleared at the back stick with Toms ready to pounce.

Shaun Marshall was forced into an agile double stop - punching clear Musgrove's inswinging free kick before grabbing Robbie Harris' follow-up at the second attempt.

Kearney's acrobatics foiled Mark Camm midway through the opening period when Lynn's all-action midfielder unleashed a rocket shot from the edge of the box.

Mark Warren's looping header dropped a yard wide of the Daniels' far post as the visitors pushed to ram home their territorial advantage.

Nolan's goalbound strike dropped perfectly for Fisk, but the Norwich loanee miscued his attempted volley.

Cave-Brown's overhead kick flew behind on the half hour, but Wormall almost profited from confusion between Marshall and Warren when he hooked wide of an unguarded goal.

Taylor heeded the warning when play switched to the opposite end - pole-axing his own keeper with Frew on the prowl.

Marshall's one-handed wonder-save denied Matthews in first-half stoppage time after Lynn switched off from Taylor's deep free-kick.

Webb's side were punished from the resulting corner when the unmarked Pearcewright glanced home at the back stick.

The grounded West blocked Bowater's point-blank hit after Marshall had parried Musgrove's driven cross. Harris was inches from notching against his former club when he sneaked in behind the Linnets' rearguard.

Cave-Brown reacted sharply to pickpocket Musgrove after Harris had yet again hared away from the over worked visiting defence.

Jack Defty fired wide from long range as Lynn looked to inject some urgency, but Marshall was pressed into action to beat away Musgrove's piledriver on 65 minutes.

Kearney's smart reflex stop clawed out Cave-Brown's angled strike before the Scottish youth international teed up Norwich club-mate Fisk, who dragged straight at the Stamford stopper.

Jones denied the youngster with a superb goalline headed clearance after Fisk had bravely out jumped Kearney.

Webb switched to a defensive three with Greg Crane's late arrival, but Lynn's frustrations were summed up perfectly when Warren earned himself a New Year suspension after being cautioned in the last act of the game.

Stamford: Kearney, Bowater, Pearcewright (Pritchard 77), Jones, Taylor, Matthews, Harris (Taylor 71), Marshall, Cooper (Turner 45), Wormall, Musgrove. Subs not used: Julian, Foster. Booking: Bowater. Goal: Pearcewright (45).

King's Lynn: Marshall, West, Blois, Warren, Cooper, Camm, Cave-Brown (Crane 84), Fisk, Nolan, Frew (J Defty 59), Toms (Notman 69). Subs not used: Higgs, C Defty. Booking: Warren

Attendance: 504

Referee: S Cooke (Notts)

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