Linnets boss blasts ‘unacceptable’ first half display

Mark Hughes says King’s Lynn Town’s first-half display was “unacceptable” following a 4-1 defeat by Southport at the Walks.

The visiting Sandgrounders raced into a 4-0 lead by half-time as Lynn’s defence imploded in Saturday’s National League North encounter.

Jordan Ponticelli pulled a goal back early in the second half, but by then the damage had been done and Lynn, who had Emmanuel Oke sent-off late on, were chasing a lost cause.

King's Lynn Town manager Mark Hughes. Picture: Tim Smith
King’s Lynn Town manager Mark Hughes. Picture: Tim Smith

A shell-shocked Hughes said: “It really hurt. The first half wasn’t acceptable; 4-0 down at home, it’s not good enough.

“The manner of the goals was really poor and individual error, I’ve never seen Josh (Coulson) make one like that before.

“Then the free-kick was worldie free-kick and after the second one it certainly changed it and we had a real spell of 10, 15 minutes where we were poor. They deserved to go 3-0 up, then it went four.

“After three we changed the shape, trying to get that one before half-time and unfortunately didn’t, but 4-0 at half-time was just the worst first half I’ve seen this season.

“We have got six players out. No matter what you say, two wing-backs, centre mid – Cammy (Cameron Hargreaves) is great that he came back into the side at half-time but he wasn’t ready to start. Ben Stephens as well, and Tommy Dixon-Hodge and Adam Crowther.

“As stupid as it sounds we had the best chance at 0-0. I think we came out and passed the ball so we were drilled in that shape.

“Jordan’s hit the post and the individual error and the free-kick we are 2-0 down before you know it. I said to them the goals aren’t acceptable, and the first-half performance isn’t acceptable.

“There were harsh words said at half-time and they came out straight away and scored. So I know the group’s with me and I know they’re trying.

“And we nearly scored a second and that could have changed it – but Southport showed their maturity and didn’t give us many more chances after that but as I say with six players out I think it was a very, very tough ask today.”