King’s Lynn Town’s need for a prolific striker was again highlighted during a lacklustre display in a 2-1 home loss against St Neots Town on Tuesday night.
The Linnets enjoyed lots of Southern League Premier Division possession but were second best against a Saints’ side who played the majority of the game with ten men following the sending-off of James Tricks.
It was manager Ian Culverhouse’s first home defeat since taking charge and left him with plenty of food for thought.
Lynn’s only shot on target - which resulted in a goal for Jacek Zielonka - came six minutes from time.
By that time they were already 2-0 down after two defensive howlers had gifted the prolific Jevani Brown a brace to take his tally to 16 goals in as many games.
The defeat, which handed St Neots their first league win on their travels since November 4, also came at a cost with Ryan Fryatt, Tom Ward and Sam Gaughran all picking up injuries in the first half.
Fryatt’s came after he appeared to be on the receiving end of a crude elbow by Tricks, who was shown a straight red card for his troubles.
The Saints were already a goal to the good as Fryatt left the field with blood pouring from his head.
They took the lead in the seventh minute after Brown pounced on a long ball out of defence to head past Linnets goalkeeper Alex Street who completely misjudged the bounce of the ball.
Twelve minutes before the interval, fellow centre-half Tom Ward followed Fryatt off the field with a hamstring injury and, on the stroke of half-time, Gaughran became the host’s third injury casualty during a bitterly-disappointing evening.
Lynn, who lacked composure on the ball and quality all over the pitch, could have easily found themselves three or four goals down going into the break.
The lively Brown saw an effort cleared off the line by substitute Chris Ward while both Shane Hill and Declan Rogers missed golden chances to put the Saints further in front.
Lynn’s performance didn’t improve after the interval, with the hosts sloppy in possession and also with their passing.
Any hopes of a comeback ended on 74 minutes when another defensive mistake saw Mikey Hyem steal the ball from Zielonka and slide it past Street with Brown getting the final touch.
Zielonka made amends for his mistake with a consolation goal in the 84th minutes when he smashed home at the far post following a deep cross.
King’s Lynn Town: Street, Fryatt (McWilliams 18), Yong, Gaughran (Edge 46), Ward (C. Ward 33), Everington, Clunan, Zielonka, Hilliard, McQuaid, Warburton, McWilliams.
Goal: Zielonka 84.
St Neots Town: Archer, Norman, Herd, Clarke (Butler 90), Wood, Parr, Rogers (Bell-Toxtle 72), Hill, Tricks, Hyam, Brown.
Sent-off: Tricks 16.
Goals: Brown 7 and 74.
Referee: Mr N. Smith (Bourne).