KING'S Lynn Town's players received the hairdryer treatment from their management team as they started the club's new era in the worst possible fashion on Saturday.
What should have been a memorable day soon turned into a forgettable one as Town were humbled by a tiny village team on their return to the competitive football arena. Joint manager Gary Setchell blasted his players after this opening-day horror show, against the kind of side Town have to be beating if they have serious designs of winning the league title.
A shell-shocked Setchell said: "We just simply didn't turn up today.
"We never came out of the traps, didn't match Long Buckby's work rate and it simply wasn't good enough. I couldn't believe what I was seeing out there today.
"In pre-season we have passed the ball to feet - the way I like my teams to play football. Today we reverted to lumping the ball up the pitch more in hope than belief. "Myself and Kevin (Boon) cannot understand it and we are both bitterly disappointed by it.
"Away games in this league will be very important come the final reckoning. "All of our away matches will be similar to this with them trying to knock us out of our stride and in our faces.
"We have to deal with that and impose ourselves on games. We have created a few chances today but, if I am honest, we have never really looked like scoring."
The Town players fully deserved the wrath of their managers after being completely out-fought by a depleted Long Buckby team, who celebrated as if they'd won the league title on the final whistle. Despite finishing third in the UCL Premier Division last season, Long Buckby lost their leading scorer to Oxford City in the summer and there were more departures than arrivals on the playing front at Station Road.
After a reasonable start, Lynn fell behind on 36 minutes when Brady Stone attempted a sloppy pass back to goalkeeper Alex Street, which was intercepted by Dan Quigley, who set up Greg Ling to slot into an empty net.
Town found themselves two goals down four minutes later. A ball in from the left eluded a static Lynn defence and summer signing Andy Gordon slotted past Street.
To their credit, Lynn did rally briefly after the break and shortly after the restart Jack Defty, who had a poor afternoon by his usual high standards, had the ball in the net - only for it to be ruled offside by the referee's assistant.
Fourteen minutes from time Quigley added his second of the afternoon with a header following a deep cross from impressive fullback Craig Kelly, which was not dealt with by the Lynn defence.
|Long Buckby AFC: Stephanou, Green, Kelly, Smeathers, Walker, Harris, Gordan, Bunting, Ling, Quigley, Kirby (Brown 75). Unused subs: Batterill, Aldrich, Jonson.
King's Lynn Town: Street, Buhlemann, Alsop, Luke Thurlbourne, McNeil, Stone, Kelly (Smith 45), White (Doherty 63), Defty, Cubberley (Harris 45), Jamie Thurlbourne. Unused subs: Plumb and Hails. Bookings: Luke Thurlbourne,
Referee: Ian Wilson (Alconbury). Attendance: 210.