This was a much improved City display but despite restricting the
promotion chasing visitors to a handful of opportunities City still
contrived to fall to a fourth successive home defeat. The game itself
rarely fired into life but City can feel a little hard done by not
to manage to take a point but perhaps paid the price for not managing
to score in the early stages of the match after a bright start.
City can take comfort from a much sharper and encouraging display
but will be worried that even having played better the club's appalling
home record continues to go on and the home fans are starting to
lose faith and stay away.
Lynn were doubtless keen to avenge that memorable shock City
win at The Walks back at the start of December, but from the
opening stages it was City who were the more fired up. Mustoe looked
hungrier than most and he smashed a volley just wide of the upright
from the edge of the area in the opening minutes, while Jimmy
Cox also nearly managed to nip on to a clever Jason Welsh knock
down but veteran on-loan Lynn keeper Paul Crichton belied his age
to scamper off the line and get to it just ahead of the forward.
City survived a big scare when a cross looped off Thommo's back
and dropped just past the post, but it was a warning that despite
not having the greater share of possession the visitors had enough
quality to cause us problems. They took the lead after City's problems
of lax defending came and got us again. A deep corner was headed
towards goal, but whilst Johnston and Tomkins did well to get the
first blocks in the danger was never cleared and when the ball was
fired back in Michael Frew reacted first with a clever back heel
flick that caught out Stonehouse at the far post to cross the goal
City seemed to believe that the game was already beyond them and
for a large part of the first half we seemed thoroughly depressed,
with plenty of passes going astray and a few bad tempered exchanges
between our players with Webb and Welsh shouting at each other.
We did get back into the match though and were unlucky not to have
a penalty, first when Cox's shot hit an arm in the box and then
a strong claim as Tomkins was held down as he tried to reach a Mustoe
free kick. A further spark before the break came right near the
end when Alex Sykes produced
one of his fierce shots from distance, but City are down on their
luck and the effort flicked off a defender's back to safety.
Tustain came on for Cox at half-time and whatever the doubts over
his long-term future at this level Tustain doesn't lack for effort
and this may have been his best time in a City shirt. His touch
doesn't impress but he does make runs into the danger areas and
he showed good strength to hold off a defender and win a crucial
knock down for Tom Webb bursting
from midfield. Webb sometimes seems a little shot shy but he showed
what he can do with a fierce 30-yard volley lashed over the keeper
who was well beaten, but sadly the shot crashed back off the bar
and was then scrambled off for a corner as Welsh and Tustain closed
City were starting to run out of steam having played some neat
passing football but lacking any real cutting edge in the final
third. Instead it was the Turkey twizlers who made sure of the points
as we were hit by a classic counter attack. Webb and Mustoe were
caught high upfield and some quick passing set Dean West free down
the wing. His low cross was touched past Tomkins to Andy Fisk and
the youngster on loan from Norwich smashed a low drive past a helpless
The scoreline flattered Lynn but with the game now seeming to be
beyond us it was a while before a deflated City side managed to
get going again. In fairness to the side though they did rally,
and unlike the Bath City game where they were criticised for seeming
to give up, this time they did manage a late rally to warm the remaining
home fans. Joe Tustain could
have found the net as he reached a good Aaron Wilson pass but having
arrived in front of goal he was a little unlucky to see the Lynn
keeper keep out his first shot and manage to smother the rebound
T-Ender Match Snaps
Lyndon appeals for
a penalty as Crane holds him down
Welsh tries to take
advantage of some Linnets confusion
|Wilko waits for the ball to arrive.
Tustain and Wilko
go close as City attack a second half corner.
New arrival goalkeeper
Ray Johnston shrugged off
a midweek training injury to make his debut but that good news was
mitigated by the recall of full-back Danny
Hodnett by Worcester City, recalled despite fans being told
Hodnett wasn't on loan! That left Chris Thompson moving into central
defence and Jason Welsh moving back to his preferred position and
partnering Jimmy Cox in attack.
"Home to your Turkeys, your going home to your Turkeys"
The T-End sympathises with the bird flu scare ravaging Bernard
Matthews' turkey farm and destroying the local culture.
City's squad is looking
thin at the moment and however cruel it may be the heart doesn't
lift with the prospect of Joe Tustain
coming off the bench. In fairness to Tim Harris it seems the half-time
substitution was forced by Jimmy Cox coming down with a tummy affliction,
but his absence caused a few scratched heads amongst City fans who
worry about his thirst for the fight.
Hang our heads in shame.
We've now clocked up a ten match losing sequence at home in all
competitions, our worst ever run at Meadow Park beating the previous
eight game record set between February and April 1993.
When things have been as bad as the last few weeks for City you
start to take comfort from the slightest changes. This was a dull
game that we did little to suggest we could win, we failed to
dominate at home and there was little to entertain a disappointingly
sparse crowd. However, even that's an improvement. The defence
was not over run, and we were perhaps a little unlucky to actually
lose. Whilst chances were few and far between they did arrive.
The team rarely showed much flair but never gave up. The bottoming
out of a dip in form as bad as this would not look pretty, but
there may just be a few signs of recovery and against a weaker
side than King's Lynn this may have bee enough to get a result.