Linnets defender Kyle Callan-McFadden towers above his Southend opponent.Pictures: IAN BURT.

FOOTBALL: King’s Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse admitted that ‘fine margins’ had cost his side in their National League opener against Southend United.

The Linnets showed plenty of fighting spirit against newly relegated Southend United but fell to a single-goal defeat.

Managed by former Premier League manager Phil Brown, The Shrimpers took an early lead through Sam Dalby.

“It is fine margins at this level,” said Culverhouse. 

“If you switch off for one second, you are then picking the ball out of your net.”

Junior Morias was in the thick of the action until a late sending-off.

Lynn started with seven of their new signings with only Kyle Callan-McFadden, Tyler Denton, Ross Barrows and Michael Clunan in the side from last season. Additionally, midfielder Cameron King was ruled out through injury.

The visitors had the better of the first half with efforts going wide of Paul Jones’ net and the first real attack for Lynn came in the 18th minute. 

Joe Rowley put a dangerous ball across the Southend goal but there was no one to get a touch to direct the ball towards goal. 

Another chance, also created by Rowley, saw Junior Morias’ cross well held by Steven Arnold in the away goal.

The Linnets forced a number of corners around the 70th-minute mark, the last of which saw Gold Omotayo’s header go over the Southend net. 

Gold Otomayo finds a way past Southend’s defenders in search of goal.

Lynn huffed and puffed with Clunan’s shot deflected wide for a corner, which resulted in Pierce Bird heading just over as Lynn took control.

Further chances fell to waste as Omotayo saw a late effort cleared and a last-gasp effort from Friday signing Malachi Linton soaring over the bar.

Southend searched for a decisive second goal but Jones continued to come to Lynn’s rescue with one noticeable save down to his left.

The Linnets suffered a major blow after 83 minutes when Morias was red-carded. The home danger man gave the referee little choice after stamping on a Southend player. 

That means the former St Mirren striker will miss the next three fixtures against Yeovil Town, Chesterfield and Eastleigh.

Lynn face a long trip to Somerset tomorrow to take on Yeovil, before returning to The Walks on Monday for the visit of another former Football League side, this time in the shape of Chesterfield, 3pm.