FULL-TIME quality proved too much for semi-professional grit and determination as the Linnets were sent crashing out of’ the FA Cup at Rotherham on Saturday.
But, although it turned out to be grim up north for the 1,245 Lynn fans who vocally dominated the near-6,000 gate, the difference between a giant-killing act and being slain was shown to be wafer thin.
A wicked deflection gave the Division Three side their fit-,-,t goal whereas Lynn had no luck in front of the home goal.
Chances were at a premium in the first half with Lynn winning 1-0 on shots on target and Rotherham 2 0 on those off target.
After the break it was a different story with Lynn upping their efforts to seven, unfortunately the Millers’ seven on-target shots reaped a far higher reward.
It was Lynn who had the first chance, and with fortune on their side it might have been a far different story to the bare scoreline which fail,, to tell the full facts.
A change of tactics saw manager Peter Morris play with just Brett McNamara and Lee Hudson up front. Richard Skelly was moved into the heart of midfield alongside former wing-back partner Martin Matthews while the wide berths were taken by Matthew Wright and Craig Hopkins.
After only two minutes Wright’s through ball was flicked on for Hopkins near the home penalty spot. A wonderful trap and flick saw him take two defenders out of the game but, with time and space available, his rushed shot was straight at keeper Bobby Mimms.
A solid showing by Lynn frustrated the home fans and they were barracking their heroes within half an hour.
Even in the second half Lynn always had a reply to their hosts unfortunately luck was not shining.
The first goal arrived just two minutes after the interval, Lee Glover seeing his 20-yard- effort take a huge deflection off Colin Hoyle on its way into the corner of the net.
"It didn’t look a problem," said keeper James Hollman.
"As soon as he hit it I could see it was coming straight at me but Colin Hoyle stuck out a foot and that wrong-footed me."
But Lynn went straight up the other end and looked to have levelled when Mimms rushed a clearance and hammered the ball straight at McNamara. The ball rolled towards the gaping goal but held up in the deep goalmouth sand and Mimms recovered.
Play switched to the other end and Steve Thompson’s pin point corner found Neil Richardson to power in a header front six yards.
Back came Lynn. This time Hudson used his pace to turn a defender. before seeing Mimms., tip his shot on to the foot of the post and agonisingly wide for a corner.
Within a minute it was 3-0. A short corner was taken to Andy Roscoe and his cross found the unmarked Darren Garner to head in.
Again Lynn’s replay was immediate. Wright’s free kick found Hoyle but Mimms pulled off a stunning point-blank save and was again grateful to the sand to prevent the ball rolling over the line under challenge from McNamara.
With Lynn struggling to come to terms with their sudden reversal of fortunes, Rotherham allowed their superior skills and fitness to take over and romped clear.
Mark Druce’s flipped a backheader into the roof of the net from Thompson’s corner and then when another corner was not cleared, Glover’s shot was blocked on the line before Trevor Berry forced the ball home.
Lynn looked to have found a consolation with six minutes to go. Substitute Julia Delicata was pushed on the edge of the area and Skelly’s free kick looked goalbound. Unfortunately it dipped too late bounced off the bar with Mimms a mere spectator.
Hollman pulled off smart save to deny Berry but the half-dozen was completed in the final minute when substitute Danny Hudson drifted in a shot front the edge of the box through a ruck of players.
Hollman said Lynn had been caught out by the sheer quality of home crosses.
"Five of the goals came front corners - their kicks were magnificent and we got caught. One was at the near post and I was disappointed not to keep it out but the others were unstoppable," he said.
Manager- Morris agreed and said: "They did us on set pieces with some tremendous service and that killed us. We battled away in the first half and at 0-0 we were always in the game."
It was left to the Lynn fans to lift the roof with a rousing standing ovation to their heroes at the final whistle.
Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Skelly, Hoyle, Ellis, Spearing (Delicata, 75), Hopkins, Wright, Roberts (Stock, 76), McNamara, Hudson. Subs (not used) Mead, Lewis, Read.
Rotherham: Mimms, Clark, Hurst (Goodwin, 71), Garner (Hudson, 82), Warner (Bass, 78), Richardson, Berry, Thompson, Druce, Glover, Roscoe. Subs (not used) Pettinger, Hayward.