Saturday, December 15, 2012
Lynn’s FA Trophy heroes stormed into the last 16 by upsetting Blue Square Premier Telford at The Walks.
Winger Steve Spriggs’ 17th goal of the season gave huge underdogs Lynn a dream start in the 11th minute. But they were pegged back when Kris Taylor found the back of the net from a scuffed free-kick just before the half-hour.
In a match which ebbed and flowed, Gary Setchell’s brave troops pushed their higher-level opposition all the way but looked set for a replay - despite Steve Jones’ red card which had left the visitors down to 10 men for about 30 minutes.
However, a late second from Spriggs and a goal from substitute Jason Turner, both in injury time, sealed the Linnets’ famous, famous triumph.
Cue pandemonium and Lynn, who have now knocked out five sides above them in the non-league pyramid, can look forward to having their name in Monday’s third-round draw.
The Linnets went into the match looking to cause their another upset of a fine Trophy run so far this term. However, after victories against higher-level sides Barwell, Carshalton Athletic, Eastbourne Borough and Worksop Town, a triumph over Telford - who play three levels higher than Lynn - would comfortably top the lot.
Cup-tied pair, ‘keeper Danny Gay and striker Shane Tolley, plus injured frontman Danny Beaumont were all unavailable for the men in yellow. Alex Street, who has played in all of Lynn’s Trophy ties, returned in goal while Sam Mulready came in for last week’s two-goal debutant Tolley.
Telford, like The Walks’ outfit, are a reformed club and have enjoyed some fine times since their rebirth. Yet, despite their lofty position in the non-league pyramid, The Bucks arrived in Norfolk on a horrible run of form.
Seven league games without a win has seen Andy Sinton’s men plummet to towards the drop zone of the Conference - but that said they still went into the game as overwhelming favourites.
As to be expected, the opening exchanges were fairly quiet with Lynn focusing on keeping their shape and making sure the men managed by former Premier League winger Sinton couldn’t get on top.
Ross Watson blocked a Kieron St. Aimie shot excellently but it took until the 11th minute for a half-chance to appear. And as ever, Spriggs buried it.
George Thomson’s pass was too strong for Russell Dunkley but it rolled to Lynn’s little winger who found the corner of the net, albeit via a deflection, to give Setchell’s men a dream start to the game.
The goal gave the Linnets confidence and they more than held their own for the next 10 minutes until the Bucks got their second sniff of a chance.
It was hardly an opportunity, as such, but James Spray chested a dropping ball and volleyed towards goal. Thankfully for Lynn’s faithful it was straight at Street.
The young ‘keeper was clearly being targeted and he was blocked coming for a cross which he could only half-fist as far as Phil Trainer. Telford’s number eight skewed his attempt miserably over.
But it was far from hurried, scrappy and heroic stuff from lower-level Lynn by any stretch of the imagination. They showed their undoubted class at times and one move was worthy of the Conference standard they were up against.
Dunkley laid it off to Dan Quigley, he slipped in Spriggs, and not for the first time the winger raced clear. It would have been a sublime goal, had his cross not just evaded the incoming Mulready.
Sinton’s troops looked short of confidence and needed to find a way back into the game to steady their nerves. And they found it just before the half-hour mark when Thomson was adjudged to have fouled Jones.
It looked debatable and Setchell’s disappointment would have only grown as Taylor’s free-kick appeared to possibly go through the wall, and definitely between Street’s hands.
‘Pedro’ redeemed himself moments later by tipping over Richard Davies’ fine effort as the Conference outfit enjoyed their best spell of the game so far. But it certainly wasn’t a completely dominant period, even if Jordan Yong was forced to make a fine covering tackle to deny Jones.
Lynn’s Thompson fired over a long-range effort on the stroke of half-time as Lynn continued to show they were well in a game that remained deadlocked at the break.
The second half didn’t take long to explode into life with both outfits having attempts inside the opening 60 seconds. First, Lynn’s Dunkley found Thomson and his left-footed shot, as the defence opened up invitingly, was scuffed at Telford’s Ryan Young.
At the other end, a bit of trickery from powerhouse frontman St. Aimie allowed him a sight of goal, but his rasping drive was parried by Street.
The outstanding player on the pitch, Spriggs, almost bagged his second minutes later when he tore past Michael Wylde, among others, to fly into the box from the right-hand side. And as the Lynn faithful prepared to celebrate a wonder goal, his left-footed effort rattled back off the post.
The breathless opening to the 45 continued when St Aimie, for once, was gifted the freedom of Lynn’s box. Yet his bullet header was saved spectacularly by Street.
Both teams were getting more joy going forward, and got in behind a couple of times, including Jones who was booked for diving. Yet his afternoon was about to get worse when he got sent off moments later for appearing to strike Yong off the ball.
Ten-man Telford nearly took the lead when St. Aimee forced Street into another save. And with the clock counting down, Dunkley thought he had given Lynn the advantage, but his header, from the excellent Spriggs’ cross, with about 15 minutes left went just, just, wide.
And at the other end, Street nearly had a moment to forget when his clearance was charged down by Steve Leslie and the rebound almost flew into a gaping net.
Yet, Lynn had the last laugh when Spriggs scored his 18th goal of the season and Turner rubbed salt into Telford’s wounds by slotting home through Young’s legs with almost the last kick of the game.
Lynn: Street, Watson, Gulliver, Fryatt, Yong, Spriggs (White, 90+3), Bunting, Quigley (Thurlbourne, 80), Thomson, Dunkley, Mulready (Turner, 90+2). Subs not used: Lee, Buhlemann. Booked: Yong, Watson, Fryatt. Goal: Spriggs (11, 90), Turner (90+4)
Telford: Young, Valentine, Preston, Davies (Brown, 71), Trainer, Jones, St. Aimie (Sharp, 80), Spray (Hubbins, 61), Leslie, Taylor, Wylde. Subs not used: Collister, Salmon. Booked: Jones. Sent off: Jones. Goal: Taylor (29)
Referee: N. Kinseley.