WHILE England bored the nation at Wembley again on Tuesday night, the Linnets turned in their most sublime performance of the season.
The 642 fans who decided The Walks was a better bet for football entertainment than the offering on ITV were rewarded as Lynn played controlled, yet probing, attacking football to cut their opponents to shreds.
Apart from a few wobbles – and don’t all teams have them? – the defensive performance was also vastly improved, and well-marshalled by a strong Martin McNeil performance.
Boston are a leading UCL side and had only lost once in the league this season – to Lynn back in August – but in this match were reduced to breakaways and pot-shots, giving home keeper Alex Street a well-deserved clean sheet.
With Kieran Doherty awarded a starting spot after his impressive performance from the bench on Saturday, Steve Spriggs switched to attack, and duly scored a hat-trick.
The visitors, who defended deeply from the start, were so intent on doubling up on danger-man Jack Defty that they gave the former Wroxham live-wire too much space, and he punished them in style.
After a dominant opening spell by the Linnets, Spriggs opened the scoring on 17 minutes when he deceived the keeper with a swerving effort from the edge of the box.
After 38 minutes the hard-working Doherty whipped in a cross from the right, Defty held his ground to head back and Spriggs placed his header to make it 2-0.
The third came five minutes later when another thrusting move down the right saw Spriggs head home Patrick Bexfield’s pinpoint cross.
Right back Bexfield impressed all night with his overlapping, and on the left Jamie Alsop and the exciting Jamie Thurlbourne teamed up brilliantly to torment Boston’s defence again and again.
Lynn’s final goal came five minutes from the end, Danny White hitting a rasping 20-yard drive into the corner of the net as defenders backed off.
The score, however, could have been even more conclusive.
During Lynn’s first-half blitz Doherty seemed intent on cementing his place in the starting line-up with goals.
He proved he has two good feet after 10 minutes, when he cut in from the right and curled a left-footer goalwards, which was well saved.
The midfielder went close again 10 minutes later when he just failed to get on the end of Jamie Thurlbourne’s raking cross. And in the next attack he missed a Spriggs pull-back by inches, with the goal gaping.
He then fired over from the edge of the box after a fierce Jamie Thurlbourne effort was parried.
As Lynn piled on the first-half pressure, Alsop thundered an effort inches wide from 30 yards and Bexfield saw an effort from equal distance brilliantly saved.
Captain Defty appeared to be fouled in the box midway through the half and looked bemused as the referee waved played on.
Defender Daniel Buhlemann powered a point-blank header straight at the keeper, and after more great hold-up work from the determined Defty, Spriggs saw an effort kicked off the line.
After the break Lynn still pressed. Spriggs saw another snapshot saved and Bexfield scorched one just over the bar and saw another fizz agonisingly wide.
Jamie Thurlbourne had a free kick saved, his brother Luke warmed the keeper’s gloves with a blockbuster and Buhlemann prodded just wide.
The substitutes also went close, with Billy Smith grazing the bar and Robbie Harris being denied by a good save and then seeing a header hacked off the line.
|Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, L Thurlbourne, McNeil, Buhlemann, Spriggs (Barnes 77 mins), White, Defty (Harris 74), Doherty (Smith 65), J Thurlbourne. Subs not used: Cubberley, Plumb.