DALE Watkins, who has been a revelation since arriving on loan from
Chelmsford, bagged the Linnets’ first hat-trick of the season as Lynn turned
up the title heat even further.
Jack Defty bagged a brace and Carl Holmes continued his resurgence with his
third strike in two games.
The Walks outfit gained their best result since, well, at home to Chatham
last season (7-2), actually.
They have closed the gap on leaders Tonbridge - who were inactive at the
weekend - from 14 points a month ago to just two with a display so polished
that the game could have been sponsored by Mr Sheen.
Acting boss Darren Bloodworth said: "No disrespect to Chatham, but someone
was going to get it, they just caught us at the wrong time.
"We’re coming out of the gates well, we could have scored three in the first
"In the dressing-room you can see the confidence before they go out, at
Histon we had the same attitude. Adding Dale and Setch has lifted everyone.
"Alright, there were good individual displays, but it was a good team
"The hardest thing is to keep our feet on the ground.
"We’re getting into a pattern, everyone knows how to play and realises the
way I want them to play."
On the clean sheet, Bloodworth added: "I’m a member of the centre-halves’
union, so with Fuffy I pride myself on keeping a clean sheet. It breeds
The busy Mark Camm, so influential from box to box in midfield, headed over
to finish a great move after just 30 seconds, and this set the tone for the
An early goal settled down Lynn to continue playing sublime one-touch
After five minutes Gary Setchell’s header was saved and the away defence sat
and watched as Watkins volleyed home the loose ball.
The hosts swarmed over the Blues, with Camm, Watkins and David Staff all
Poor distribution from Linnets’ keeper Steve Wilson led to half-a-chance for
Town, but recent signing Dave Hassett lobbed tamely over.
On the quarter-hour mark an Adam Jones throw fed Watkins, whose dogged
persistence enabled Holmes to bundle in his centre at the far post.
With Lynn playing keep-ball, Watkins hit the post with a header and Staff
nipped in to touch a long clearance from Mark Burrows just past the keeper
A superb move on 35 minutes involving most of the home side across the pitch
earned a corner. Setchell’s effort was punched out by keeper Gavin Hopper,
and Defty fired through Hopper’s legs from eight yards.
Watkins tried an audacious 40-yarder shortly before bagging the fourth a
minute before the break.
Great interplay from Defty and Staff ended with Hopper saving from Staff,
and Watkins poached Lynn’s 50th league goal of the campaign.
In the first chance of the second half on 54 minutes, Watkins forced a save
and Staff’s follow-up was blocked by a desperate defender.
Paul Raynor turned provider twice in two minutes, firstly his 57th-minute
corner producing a trademark powerhouse header from Defty.
Then the midfielder crossed from the left and Watkins, who has already
become a terrace cult hero, completed his hat-trick by twisting in mid-air
to head into the top of the net.
Lynn’s understandable over-confidence led to some breaks from Chatham, who
tried to respond with passing moves up front, but little resulted.
The game broke down when both sides used their full complement of
substitutes, and it ended ten-a-side when Camm limped off and Steve Best was
carried off after a collision with Holmes.
Sub Robbie Harris flashed a stoppage time effort inches wide.
On the substitutions, Bloodworth said: "Mark Burrows played with stitches in
his knee, Mark Camm had a tight hamstring, Jack Defty got a knock, while
David Staff was not feeling particularly well.
"We’ll train tomorrow (Wednesday) as we’ve had two hard games in three
Lynn: Wilson, Jones, Setchell, Burrows (March 64), Fuff, Raynor,
Defty (Woodrow 58), Holmes, Staff (Harris 58), Watkins, Camm. Sub not used:
Goals: Watkins(5, 44, 59), Holmes(15), Defty(35, 57).
Chatham: Hopper, Binks, Larkin, Boyle (Douglas 66), Driscoll, Best, Spriggs,
Dyer, Hassett (Radbourne 61), Lombardo, Francis (Lewis 83). Sub not used:
Referee: J Steele (Ely). Attendance: 893.