Saturday, February 9, 2013
Goals in either half from Steve Spriggs and Ross Watson helped Lynn make it five league games without defeat.
Lynn’s top goalscorer Spriggs slotted home a first-half penalty before his right-sided partner, defender Watson, wrapped up the points with a clever finish.
Their strikes gave the Linnets their fourth league triumph on the bounce as they strengthened their play-off ambitions with another home victory – and their sixth clean sheet of the Evo-Stik Division One South campaign.
Gary Setchell made two changes from the side that came from behind to beat Lincoln United 5-2 at The Walks on Tuesday night. Danny Beaumont and Russell Dunkley, who impressed after coming on at half-time, came into the team. They replaced George Thomson, named among Lynn’s substitutes, and Jamie Thurlbourne – now at Spalding United after leaving Lynn less than 24 hours after their midweek win.
Rainworth arrived from Nottinghamshire in 11th having not won in three league matches. So even though they held the Linnets earlier on in the term, Setchell’s men were expected to stretch their unbeaten spell.
Linnets frontman Shane Tolley had the first effort on goal following a fine switch from strike partner Dunkley. However, his curling effort was comfortably held by Alessandro Barcherini.
Less than a minute later, the Miners were handed a dream chance to take the lead themselves when Watson was adjudged to have played a deliberate back pass to Danny Gay. It certainly looked a harsh call, but the visitors were delighted. Yet, they couldn’t capitalise as Dan Quigley charged the indirect free-kick down to deny Ryan Goward.
In-form Lynn were stroking the ball around deliciously and apart from a Ricky Hanson free-kick – which was comfortably saved by Gay – were well on top. Another flowing move, started by Richard Bunting freed Spriggs. But his cross was turned away by Sam Purcicoe who just beat Tolley to the ball in the six-yard box.
The game soon settled down until Connor Higginson beat the offside trap and cut inside, only to fire over the bar. Yet, his chance served as a wake-up call for the who took the lead less than two minutes later.
On the half-hour mark, Tolley pounced on a loose pass from Ashley Kitchen just inside Rainworth’s half and surged forward. He looked destined to score until Goward upended him. Despite his, and the Wrens’ protests, the referee’s assistant on the near-side flagged for a foul.
Up stepped Spriggs and for the second game in succession he cooly slotted home from 12 yards. Lynn had taken the lead and they were decent value for it too.
Apart from Higginson, who drove a shot just wide of Gay’s post, Rainworth were second best pretty much all over the pitch. But unlike earlier in the match, they were at least making a fist of breaking up Lynn’s attacking threat.
And it was such tenacity which saw the visitors almost earn a penalty when Jordan Yong was stopped in his tracks and fell on the ball inside his own area. The men in white claimed he had handled it, which to be fair he may well have. You’ve definitely seen them given. But either way a spot-kick wasn’t awarded.
Apart from Lynn’s Beaumont smashing a ball over the bar, that was about it for action in the opening 45 minutes.
A horribly scrappy start to the second-half did little to raise excitement as Welfare tried their dogged best to haul themselves back into the game. It wasn’t pretty, but they were getting joy, of sorts, from their approach. Had, Goward’s 61st-minute free-kick been an inch lower, they could have been level.
The natives were getting restless but a stinging effort from Quigley, which Barcherini parried well, raised a few cheers. As did Tolley’s shot from the edge of the box after he created an opening for himself.
But the longer the game remained just 1-0, the more the inevitable nerves started to set in – despite another fine display at the heart of Lynn’s defence from Phil Gulliver and Jason Lee.
And it was another defender who took centre stage with little more than 20 minutes left to extend Setchell’s men’s advantage. Substitute Thomson’s cross was headed goalwards by Gulliver and Watson – showing the predatory instincts of a striker – volleyed home, on the turn, from inside the six-yard box.
New boy Charlie Butt nearly made it three on his debut in the 77th minute but his shot across goal missed the target by a matter of inches.
Blair Anderson, and then Higginson, almost grabbed a late consolation for the Wrens but their efforts were saved comfortably by Gay.
Lynn: Gay, Watson, Gulliver, Lee, Yong, Spriggs (Butt, 65), Bunting, Quigley, Beaumont (Thomson, 60), Tolley, Dunkley (Biles, 85). Subs not used: Fryatt, White. Goal: Spriggs (pen, 30), Watson (71)
Rainworth: Barcherini, Hanson, Goward, Purcicoe, Kitchen, Williams, Lloyd (Anderson, 50), Hollis, Higginson, Holmes, Kimberley (Jenkins, 72). Sub not used: Camm.
Referee: D. Stobbart
- A gallery of Matthew Usher’s pictures from today’s game will be added to this report soon.