MANAGER Colin Foster was relieved at this result, which pushes the Linnets into sixth spot in the Southern League,
On the return journey from Cheltenham he told me: "I had been concerned there would be a reaction as our two cup games had left the players mentally and physically tired.
"It showed to some extent because we did not look as sharp as we can. Some of the zip was missing from our play.
"But in the end we had a good win and that keeps us up there in a challenging position."
With key players Richard Johnston (work commitments), and Martin Twigger (ankle injury) missing, Foster was forced into changes. He put himself into defence, Chris Watts was recalled in midfield and Mario Ippolitto had a free role behind the twin strike force of Kevin Ready and Martin Coupe.
Despite the changes and, as Foster said, the team not as sharp as usual, this was another resourceful Lynn showing.
Time and again Cheltenham were caught out by the simplicity of Lynn’s play, getting the ball forward quickly and then the mobility of Coupe and Ready ever threatening.
The match facts speak for themselves as Lynn scored three, missed three other clear openings and were denied two clear penalties
Cheltenham can point to a missed "sitter" and another shot that hit the post, but generally their play was too slow and predictable.
Although Kevin Ready’s supply of goals has dried up (hopefully temporarily) he was the provider in this game.
His 17th minute corner was flicked on by Coupe for Clive Adams to hammer Lynn into the lead; in the 55th minute, just after Cheltenham had equalised, Ready made a penetrating run before Steve Hines took over with a deft pass through to Coupe who drilled an angled shot across the keeper and into the far corner of the net.
And two minutes into injury time it was Ready again causing problems down the right flank before turning in a perfect centre which Coupe tucked away.
It left Coupe regretting a first half chance that. slipped away when he shot wide otherwise he would have been in for a hat-trick. 1ppolitto was also a first half culprit when two close range shots were blocked by keeper Stewart Martyn.
Ready’s chance to get on the scoresheet came in the 88th minute when he ran through on his own, but Martyn did enough to block his path.
These misses, coupled with the referee’s decisions not to give penalties when Watts and Ready were brought down, meant that Cheltenham were still looking for an equaliser until that injury time strike by Coupe.
The Robins° goal came in the 48th minute when Andy Claxton turned away a shot from Boyland and Mike Burford was able to put away the rebound. In the first half Boyland sent a stunning shot from 20 yards crashing against .the post and almost immediately Wright tamely put over from six yards.
Watching it all happen was Bristol Rovers chief scout Ron Gingell and this display will give him plenty to think about.
|Cheltenham: Martyn, Murphy (sub Goff 68 mins), Paterson, Collicutt, Boxall, Jordan, Hughes, Baverstock, Boyland, Wright, Burford.
Lynn (4-4-2): Claxton; Mercer. Adams, Foster, Easthall; Gale, Watts, Ippolitto, Hines; Coupe, Ready: sub Fryatt.
Referee: R King (Worcester) Attendance: 507