David Clarke blasted Lynn’s blues away in an uneasy F. A. Trophy passage on Saturday with one of the best goals seen at The Walks this season.
Plucky Hampshire League outfit Thornycroft Athletic were putting up stiffer resistance than many people expected and looked quite capable of holding on for a draw as the minutes ticked away.
The Graham Ricketts in mid-field slipped a pass out to Clarke. Clarke slipped a challenge as he turned inside and then cracked a tremendous 20-yard drive in to the far corner of the net.
It was a moment to savour and capped a fine display by Clarke who was often taking on and getting behind Thornycroft’s defence.
But though his 87th minute math-winner will be remembered, Lynn will want to forget about long periods of their play.
It was almost as if Lynn were suffering from delayed reaction over the strain of their FA Cup clashes with Hereford. Play was patchy and tension crept in, with a number of niggling incident sending in a flare-up between Peter Robinson and Thornycroft centre-forward Alec Wright in the 50th minute with both being booked.
The game had opened slowly then burst into life in a four minute spell started when Mick Bloxham hit a first time shot just wide of Heath’s right hand post, in the 18th minute.
John Kerr then hit over from around the penalty spot and Keith Rudd shot wide from another close position. Between these two efforts Mick Swain sent in a dipping shot which Garry Steel touched on to the bar.
Lynn’s lack of control in mid-field began to show up and this led to edginess in defence with swain and Turner missing chances for Thornycroft.
At the start of the second half all it needed, it seemed, was a quick goal and Lynn could settle down. They got it in the 48th minute when Lindsay presented Rudd with the chance from Clarke’s corner.
But this did not appear to give Lynn the much needed uplift. Thornycroft stuck to the task and equalised in the 60th minute when Alec Wright ran on as a long clearance down the middle was headed into his path and Steel had no chance.
Two goals, two bookings, and then two "goals" that did not count. Lynn’s followed a scramble in the goalmouth with a shot from Lindsay apparently going in, but Thornycroft were awarded a free-kick: then Tony Devereux headed in a free kick and Lynn were saved by a close offside decision.
It looked odds on a replay until Clarke stepped in . . .
|Lynn: Steel, Radcliffe, Kerr, Robinson, Painter: Wright Ricketts, Bloxham: Clarke, Lindsay, Rudd (Stewart).
Thornycroft: Heath, White, Holland (sub Smallwood 64 mins), Devereux, Bridger, Newman, Turner, Brill, Wright, Swain, McCann.