March 1 2015 Latest news:
Monday, March 31, 2014
Versatile Linnet Andy Hall proved he has the finishing skills to become a star striker in just 31 minutes.
The pint-sized operator has shone since his summer arrival in a host of midfield roles. But with Gary Setchell short of frontmen, he has been thrust further forward in the last two matches.
And on Saturday, the 27-year-old – for the second week running – caused his opponents a headache with his non-stop running and tireless hustling and harrying. Yet the former Stamford ace showed there is much more to his attacking game than just being a nuisance.
His first finish, in the 15th minute, was classy as he stroked the ball across Conor Mitchell and into the bottom corner to round off a lovely move involving Sam Mulready and Liam Hurst. His second and third goals, to complete a fine first-half hat-trick, were excellent headers that belied his lack of height and owed much to his clever positioning.
Hall peeled away to the back stick on two occasions like a natural frontman and was found both times by excellent deliveries from the talented David Bell.
With Massiah McDonald leaving the club in midweek and Charley Sanders’ loan spell coming to a premature end, Lynn’s boss admits his hat-trick hero, who is the club’s second top scorer this term with 11 goals, has handed him a timely boost to the options that are available to him in front of goal.
Setchell said: “I tried the system again (3-5-2), and that’s for me, it’s working a dream for us. We’re getting more men in the box, we’re getting more crosses in the box and we’re getting more attempts on goal.
“He’s (Andy Hall) doing well, due to having no one else play up there. Charley Sanders has left the club. He text me saying he couldn’t make the game until three o’clock, which is no good to me, so he’s had to go. Obviously Massiah left.
“Sam (Mulready), Hally, Ewan Clarke, I could push in Belly behind, whatever, but Hally scored two very good headers from two very, very good balls.”
Unfortunately for Lynn, play-off chasing Skelmersdale had a player who could argue with Hall about taking the match ball home. And Dean Astbury’s treble was as impressive, in terms of finishing, if not better. But he isn’t a rookie frontman so it perhaps wasn’t as unexpected.
The left-footed striker curled home a beautiful free-kick to get the six-goal thriller underway, lashed home a 25-yard half-volley and poached a controversial equaliser with little more than 10 minutes left.
Skem’s hitman pounced on Alex Street’s parry and poked home, much to the anger of Lynn’s keeper and his team-mates who claimed he had the ball in his hands. Setchell however, wasn’t so sure.
Lynn’s boss said: “I was too far away if I’m being honest. The linesman was indecisive most of the game. But it’s one of them. They go for you or they go against you.
“It was a very, very good game of football. There were some brilliant, brilliant passages of play from both teams. Our three goals were different class – their goals weren’t bad either, in all fairness, apart from the third one. There’s plenty there to work with.
“Skem are a top-five, top-six team, and they’re pushing for the play-offs. If that’s the standard we’ve got to get to next season we’re not far away. We ran out of legs late on. For the 60-65 minutes it was a game that we mostly dominated.”
Given the fact both sides went for it all afternoon, in the end a draw was probably a fair result.
- To read a match report, and see more pictures from Saturday’s game, click here.