THE Linnets’ FA Cup hangover continued with the worst
display I have seen from them this season.
To paraphrase the late, great Bill Shankly, they were
"lucky to get nil" after a forgettable first half, and
Gloucester deservedly won with a late goal.
For their first home game since their memorable FA Cup
second round tie with Oldham, in front of a
disappointingly-low Walks attendance of 693 –
comfortably the lowest of the season so far – Lynn could
not muster a decent effort in the opening 45 minutes.
It was only the intervention of keeper Shaun Marshall
which kept them level. He saved a swerving long-range
screamer from Alex Sykes after 70 seconds.
He also denied Jason Welsh on the half-hour. City were
comfortable just sitting back and looking dangerous on
the break as the hosts lacked ideas. Most of their
crosses did not clear the first defender.
The gamble of playing two half-fit strikers, Jack Defty
and Michael Frew, did not pay off, and the introduction
of Matt Nolan was delayed too long.
Lynn tried to up the tempo after the break but were
ineffective against a well-organised side.
Marshall was again the busier keeper, blocking a 40-yard
Sykes free kick on the hour mark, while Charlie Defty
got in a crucial clearing tackle in the follow-up.
Sykes missed a sitter, before it took almost 70 minutes
for Lynn to get a shot on target through Alex Notman.
Matt O’Halloran came closest with a 20-yarder which went
just wide of the post.
With three minutes remaining, Marshall could only parry
a Michael Fowler cross, and Aaron Wilson bagged the
Tigers’ first goal at The Walks for nearly nine years to
Lynn: Marshall, West, C. Defty (Hicks 63), Warren, Cooper, Camm, J Defty,
Melton, Frew (Norris 68), Notman (Nolan 77), O’Halloran. Subs not used: McMahon,
Higgs. Booked: Marshall 33 mins.
Gloucester: Bath, Thompson, Noakes, Mustoe, Hamblin, Barnes, Sykes
(Wilson 72), Webb, Welsh (Cox 82), Reid, Wilkinson (Fowler 78). Not used:
Harris, Khan. Booked: Barnes 40, Noakes 86. Goal: Wilson 87.
Att: 693. Referee: D. Bryan (Stamford).