Linnets are still boxing clever after derby day to remember
PUBLISHED: 21:04 26 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:07 26 December 2019
The music blaring out of the home dressing room told the story: Another Ones Bites the Dust was the song of choice.
Sooner or later it might need to I'm A Believer.
An enthralling derby against Boston United in front of a huge 2,000-plus crowd saw Michael Gash's late goal make it five wins on the trot, end the year unbeaten on home territory in the league - and remain proudly top of the National League North pile. The so-called pre-season also-rans are having a ball.
The big crowd created a terrific atmosphere, although the gluepot of a pitch was a leveller - even after Boston had a man red-carded after just 15 minutes. Luke Shiels was all over the back of Adam Marriott as he headed goalwards and when referee Robert Massey-Ellis produced red there were few complaints - just as there weren't when Ryan Jarvis did almost the same thing minutes from time, for shirt tugging rather than vaulting.
"The sending off changed the game," said manager Ian Culverhouse.
"They started better than us, were a lot sharper and looked the brighter side. We looked a bit leggy, and then we got a big lift with the sending off and gradually got into the game and we controlled it really well, we just didn't create a lot in the final third. But to dig out a win on that (pitch) was magnificent."
Boston's bright start almost got a helping hand when Jordan Richards' back pass went sailing past Alex Street as he rushed out of his goal, but Aaron Jones turned on the after-burners to intercept the danger.
The visitors didn't need any assistance, but then came the turning point: Sam Kelly played a brilliant ball to Marriott. Shiels couldn't get past so clambered all over the former Boston man. It was bound to end in tears, and it did.
Jones forced Peter Crook into an excellent save from the free-kick and the Boston keeper then denied Gash before an offside flag halted proceedings.
Lynn fans expected an onslaught, but Boston stood firm. For a while. As the half progressed, their attacking intent waned. Lynn began to get a grip and by the interval, it looked like one goal might just break a few hearts.
Lynn were in the ascendancy and slowly but surely ensured Crook was earned his pay. Kelly fizzed a long-ranger just past the post although and at the other end Dayle Southwell had Street scurrying to watch a low shot go past his right stick.
Jones curled a free-kick straight at the keeper and minutes later went closer, clearing the bar by just inches.
Gash then got a head to a cross which went just wide as Lynn exploited the flanks - Jones and left back Nathan Fox were pushed up, with three centre-halves patrolling in front of Street.
Marriott - who somehow never managed to get his shooting boots on at Boston before heading to Lynn - did well to find some space in the right channel and forced Crook to push his effort around his left upright.
Fox made way for midfielder Sonny Carey just after the hour mark and there was a feeling the change might provide the missing piece in the goal-scoring jigsaw.
With time running out Lynn were faced with a wall of orange and black striped shirts; the visitors would have been more than happy with a point. But then Carey, just inside the left of the area, twisted his way into a shooting position. It was low and true and heading towards the far corner. Keeper Crook dived down, Marriott got in front of him, neither made a good connection - and there was Gash to crash it across the line from close range.
The Walks erupted - although there was still more drama. Jarvis couldn't catch sub Jake Wright so pulled him back by his shirt. It was an easy decision for Massey-Ellis, even if he did inadvertantly try to send off Rory McAuley before Jarvis pointed out the error.
With minutes to go Lynn just had to see out the rest of the game, which they did reasonably comfortably.
Lynn: Street, Jones, Fox (Carey 65), Jarvis, Barrows (Hawkins 80), McAuley, Kelly (Ward 86), Richards, Gash, Marriott, Henderson, Booked: Kelly, McAuley, Jones. Subs not used: Payne, Stewart. Goal: Gash 84.
Boston: Crook, Middleton, Whittle, Platt, Ainge, Shiels, Rollins, Abbott, Southwell, Thewlis (Wright 73), Woolford (Jackson 88). Subs not sued: Knowles, Wafula, Willis.
Referee: R Massey-Ellis
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