Linnets have a big point to prove

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is on a revenge mission in today's FA Cup third qualifying round at Halesowen. Lynn's meek surrender in August's league curtain raiser still haunts the Linnets boss.

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor is on a revenge mission in today's FA Cup third qualifying round at Halesowen.

Lynn's meek surrender in August's league curtain raiser still haunts the Linnets boss.

Taylor's team talk at The Grove will be short and sweet - set the record straight.

“We we're absolutely shocking,” he said. “The lads just didn't perform and after the pre-season hype it was a real downer to start off like that. I'll just tell the boys, 'remember that game, go and put it right and show them why you haven't lost since'.”


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Taylor has a simple answer for the pessimists fretting about Lynn's apparent Halesowen voodoo.

“At West Ham we never used to beat Arsenal,” he said. “Then we went to Highbury in the FA Cup quarter-final and won 2-0. We went on to lift the cup that year. If it's your day, it doesn't matter about previous games - I'm a great believer in that.

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“We drew 0-0 there last season with a young side. The lads created a couple of decent chances as well. With the likes of Mark Warren in the team I think we're stronger this time around and the boys are full of confidence. If we can get our noses in front then all the pressure goes onto them.”

Inform strikers Jack Defty and Matt Lewis collide in a battle of the Southern Premier's top marksmen.

Defty notched his tenth of the campaign against Mangotsfield last week while Lewis's hat trick shot down Cirencester.

“Big Jack could've had even more goals - there was three sitters at Bath,” said Taylor. “The lad is a good footballer and he's enjoying himself. He looks to have got to grips with what leading the line is all about and the other lads are on his wavelength this season. It's no good firing the ball over the top for him to run onto. He needs it into feet so he can twist and turn.

“We haven't got any special plans to deal with any of their players. If you do that it takes something away from your own game. I'd rather let them worry about us.”

Grant Cooper (ribs) and Shaun Marshall (stomach) are major doubts. Taylor will give Matt O'Halloran (chest infection) a late fitness test.

“It's a case of seeing how he feels but he didn't look too good at training,” confirmed Taylor. “Alex Notman is back and we have Rob Norris who was a lot sharper on Tuesday night. It'll probably take a few weeks for him to get up to speed - really he's still settling in.

“Shaun had to stay in hospital overnight and Coops has not featured for a week or two. It's too important a game to take risks if players are not 100%.”

Halesowen boss Paul Holleran sweats on the fitness of defender Nik Preston (back).

“We can't wait to get out there,” said the Yeltz boss. “This is the FA Cup - it's what you get into football for. We know they are a good side, but we are absolutely desperate to win.

"They've gone unbeaten since that first game, but there's no reason at all why we can't turn them over again.”

King's Lynn (from): Marshall, Higgs, West, Harvey, Smith, Warren, Cooper, Gaughran, Camm, McMahon, Fry, C Defty, Notman, J Defty, Nolan, Frew, O'Halloran, Norris.

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