The Linnets were softened up by a goal in 90 seconds at Welling on Saturday, then they were roughened up as the Kent side aggressively defended the lead.
In the first 35 minutes three Welling names went into the referee’s book as scything tackles left a succession of Linnets players needing treatment.
The tactics succeeded for although the Linnets had the monopoly of play, they were clearly apprehensive of Welling’s no-nonsense defenders and did not look determined enough in the penalty area.
Let’s be honest about it, the Linnets can be as hard as anyone, but the cynical ruthless approach by Welling surprised many experienced non-League soccer supporters.
It always sounds like sour grapes with such comments, when the team has lost, but a look at the Linnets walking wounded will confirm the ferocity of this game.
Striker Martin Coupe was effectively slowed down by a two-footed tackle in the 20th minute: defender Ian Wood limped off in the 66th minute with a "dead leg": winger Steve Hines twice needed treatment after reckless tackles: Steve Mercer, Mario Ippolitto and Chris Watts were al battle scarred as they hobbled back to the dressing room.
Yes, it was a crude, ill-tempered game that did the Southern League’s image no good.
Welling had Darren Dennis, Ray Burgess and Paul Summersby booked in that early period: regrettably, but perhaps not surprisingly, two Linnets were also cautioned for retaliation - Hines and Colin Foster.
Probably it would have been different if the Linnets had not given Welling’s Ian Starkey a free header from a corner after just one-and-a-half minutes. It was down to bad marking as he dived in to send the ball low into the net.
Welling, with that lead, were content to sit in their own half and defend. Lynn’s midfield had more possession than in any other match this season, But the final touch was missing and there was not enough commitment in the penalty area.
As the Linnets pushed on it was always likely the Welling would cut loose. They did so once in the first half when John Bartley advanced unchallenged on Andy Claxton’s goal and was blocked by the keeper.
But in the second half, after early 20 minutes of continuous pressure had not gained anything, Welling got another snap break which brought the vital goal. Full back Adrian Leone won the ball in mid-field, spotted the gap behind a square defence and went through to round Claxton to score an excellent goal.
In the 73rd minute when Martin Twigger was bundled down, Kevin Ready slotted in the penalty which raised hopes of a late recovery. But they were short-lived as five minutes later Welling scrambled in their third through Paul Summersby from a free kick.
Defensively the Linnets had looked vulnerable and with seven goals having gone past them in the last two games the picture does not look quite so rosy as it did a week ago.
Welling: Jessop, Sawyer, Lemoine, Starkey, Ransom, Burgess, Abbott, Summersby, Warren, Bartley, Dennis: sub. Kubins.
Lynn: Claxton, Mercer, Wood (sub Howard 66 mins), Foster, Easthall, Watts, Ippolitto, Hines, Ready, Twigger, Coupe.
Referee: G Bargery (Crawley) Attendance: 298
As a result of this game Lynn were 5th in the table, Welling 3rd.