Linnets midfielder Matt O’Halloran ended the club’s seasonal slump with a New
Year’s Day double at The Walks yesterday.
O’Halloran was on target with a second half brace to end a four game losing
streak, and handed new Linnets manager Keith Webb his first win in charge.
Victory was sealed only after a late scare when Rugby had a goal disallowed.
The brace by former Boston winger O’Halloran ended Lynn’s five-game losing
Lynn’s starting line-up showed one change from the side that finished the
abandoned game at Wealdstone on Saturday.
Veteran defender Dean West was relegated to the bench, with on-loan Norwich City
youngster Andrew Cave-Brown coming in at right-back.
The Walks outfit’s first attack saw Matt Nolan screw his shot wide after neat
approach play by Matt O’Halloran.
The dangerous O’Halloran was a constant threat to the vistors, and on 12 minutes
Rugby keeper Farhad Afandiyev was on hand to save after a mazy run from the
Lynn were forced into an early change seconds later when Sam McMahon limped off,
to be replaced by Steve Melton.
McMahon’s brief comeback lasted less than an hour after his 45-minute show at
Afandiyev stood between Lynn and an open goal, and in the 14th minute the former
Azerbajian under 21 shot-stopper tipped Fraser Toms’ header over the bar
following a pinpoint centre from Nolan.
Greg Crane was controversially penalised for a foul soon after, and Jason Taylor
sliced his effort wide after a quickly-taken free-kick from Danny Hall caught
The home faithful started to get restless as Lynn failed to make the most of a
succession of good balls into the Warwickshire side’s box.
Nine minutes before the break Andy Commander became the first player to go into
the referee’s notebook for a cynical challenge on Nolan from behind.
On the stroke of half-time, O’Halloran sprinted clear and only had the Rugby
keeper to beat, but his first touch let him down and Afandiyev collected the
ball with ease.
Lynn’s barren run in front of goal came to an end two minutes into the second
period when Nolan turned his marker to cross for O’Halloran to rifle the ball
O’Halloran turned creator in the 53rd minute when he crossed for Notman, but the
Valley’s Craig Herbert somehow beat the striker to the ball and cleared for a
The Lynn crowd was stunned into silence three minutes later when Chris Tullin’s
centre was flapped at by keeper Shaun Marshall and the ball sailed over his head
and in off the post for an unlikely equaliser.
But The Walks outfit fought back to take the lead for a second time when
O’Halloran found space to drill home just inside the area.
With 20 minutes left on the clock the Jekyll-and-Hyde Marshall pulled off a
stunning save to his right to deny Delroy Gordon a certain leveller.
There was another anxious moment for the hosts two minutes later when their
defence were caught asleep, and Taylor’s shot came back off Marshall’s left
Rugby were denied a late equaliser when Herbert bundled the ball home, but the
"goal" was disallowed for a late push in the box.
Lynn: Marshall, Cave-Brown (West 75), Blois, Warren, Crane,
Camm, O’Halloran, McMahon (Melton 14), Nolan, Notman (J. Defty 67), Toms. Subs
not used: Fisk, Higgs. Goals: O’Halloran 47, 63.
Rugby: Afandiyev, Tullin, Commander (Harris 67), Herbert,
Gordon (Wells 84), Hall, Gearing, Francis, Taylor, Stone, Stringfellow. Not
used: Hackett. Goal: Tullin 66. Booked: Commander.
Referee: P. McCaul (Needingworth). Att: 785.MoM: