Saturday, November 24, 2012
Stiker Russell Dunkley’s late winner ensured Lynn’s FA Trophy heroics continued this afternoon.
Dunkley slotted home from close range in the 87th minute to book Lynn’s place in the second round with his third goal in this season’s competition.
It was a much deserved victory for the Linnets - their fourth against higher-level opposition in this season’s Trophy - after they had earlier hit the woodwork three times during a fine display.
But, finally to the delight of the travelling support, Dunkley - nicknamed The Beast - left his mark on Worksop as Lynn won away to keep their Wembley dream alive.
The Linnets went into the game hoping to add the Tigers to their list of higher-level scalps in this term’s competition. Barwell, Carshalton Athletic and Eastbourne Borough - who play two levels above Evo-Stik Division One South Lynn - have all been seen off as Gary Setchell’s men progressed to this afternoon’s first round.
However, Evo-Stik Premier Division Worksop were certain to be Lynn’s toughest test yet - not only for the fact it was the first time they have played away during their fine Trophy run. The Babbage Way outfit play one level higher than The Walks’ club and have already achieved a fine result of their own - dumping out much-fancied Chester in the last round.
That triumph, courtesy of a 2-0 home replay victory, was watched by Lynn’s boss and he admitted he was impressed by former Linnet player Simon Clarke’s charges’ fast start on the night.
But they couldn’t take control in the early stages as both teams scrapped hard for supremacy. Hustle, bustle and mis-placed passes were the order of the day as proceedings took on a not unexpected cup feel.
Nippy Worksop frontman Ash Burbeary fizzed an effort wide while Lynn’s Dunkley saw his header comfortably saved. That, apart from Steve Spriggs’ fine cross which was cleared out of the hosts’ box, was it for goalmouth action in the first 15 minutes.
The game soon came to life minutes later when Dan Quigley crashed a header against Paul Bastock’s crossbar and Worksop found the net at the other end. Fortunately for Lynn, Leon Mettam was flagged offside before he slotted home.
Setchell’s troops, in their changed turquoise strip, were definitely not being outclassed as they did their best to get the ball down and play their stuff. But with both sides working so hard off the ball it was always going to be hard for either team to dominate.
The best move of the game presented the half’s outstanding opportunity so far for higher-level Worksop. Centre-back Kern Miller slipped a fine ball through to Mettam, he found Burbeary, but the Tigers’ frontman found the stand with an effort that just - just - went wide.
The groans from the home fans were quiet in comparison to the noise created by the travelling support when Spriggs was upended in the box by Lee Ridley. But the man in middle waved what looked like a strong penalty appeal away.
Setchell’s heroes were in the match and they deserved to be. They were defending well, keeping things tight and trying to attack when they could. They certainly weren’t parking the bus.
In front of the back four captain Richard Bunting continued to keep things ticking over and behind him Phil Gulliver and youngster Ryan Fryatt, especially, were having fine games.
At the fulcum, Dunkley was leading the line as well as ever and he linked up expertly with George Thomson in the 39th minute. The Histon loanee’s shot was held, at the second attempt, by veteran ‘keeper Bastock, but it was encouraging to see the build-up as the number 10 found space to weave his magic.
As the visitors’ confidence grew they exerted more pressure leading up to the break and Gulliver went close twice with headers - one coming back off the bar and the other, which he should have done better with, sailing just wide.
The half-time whistle came at the wrong time for Lynn just as they were building up a head of steam. But that momentum didn’t slow after the re-start at Setchell’s men penned Worksop in their own half.
The highlight of an encouraging start was Dunkley’s decent effort on the turn, but credit had to be given to Quigley and company for mopping up second balls in wet conditions.
The belief of another upset was growing and Quigley nearly gave his side a deserved lead when he almost finished off a fine sweeping Lynn move. Jordan Yong found Dunkley, he slipped it to Thomson, and his delivery was met by the former Long Buckby midfielder who crashed an effort, on the stretch, just over.
A barrage of corners followed as Setchell’s men continued to turn the screw, and Thomson went close with a long-range effort before Ross Watson smashed a 40-yard effort against Bastock’s crossbar. Surely Lynn were going to score?
Yet while they were wondering how they’d hit the bar three times, Worksop nearly caught them napping and should have gone in front. An unmarked Miller, from the Tigers’ first corner, had a glorious chance to head his side in front but his effort was straight at Alex Street - who did well to make his first save of the afternoon.
The Norfolk outfit - cheered on by a noisy away support - wouldn’t have deserved to have gone behind. They deserved to be in front. And they nearly were with about 20 minutes left when Dunkley controlled Bastock’s clearance and fired an effort back immediately. Much to his dismay, it drifted inches wide of the post.
Another long-range Thomson effort had Bastock squirming in the rain and Dunkley went close again as Lynn flooded forward. Could they get a winner?
Mettam nearly grabbed a decisive goal - but not for Lynn - as the Worksop striker found an opening. Thankfully for Lynn, his side-footed effort was comfortably saved by Street.
With both sides pushing for a winner, gaps were appearing all over the shop. Spriggs filled one, and shot at Bastock, before Thomson robbed Miller and raced through - only to be denied by the same player. Substitute Jason Turner’s effort on the rebound hit the side netting.
But Dunkley soon had the away fans in raptures as he slotted home from close range after Spriggs’ initial effort had been parried.
Worksop: Bastock, Clarke, Ridley, Young, Miller, Hawes, Beeson (Warlow, 57), Towers, Burbeary, Mettam (Ludlam, 86), King (Menga, 65). Subs not used: Shiels, Telling.
Lynn: Street, Watson, Gulliver, Fryatt, Yong, Spriggs (White, 89), Bunting, Quigley, Thurlbourne (Turner, 82), Thomson, Dunkley. Subs not used: Johnson, Lee, Buhlemann. Booked: Watson. Goal: Dunkley (87)
Referee: D. Meeson