INJURY time brought delight and despair for the Linnets as their five-match winning league run crashed
to a halt on Saturday. Incident was rare in the first half until Brett McNamara’s 50th Southern League
goal for the club in the third minute of added time. He added a second three minutes into the second half
and it looked all over, especially when keeper James Hollman kept out Danny Simmonds’ 61st minute
spot kick. Unfortunately the dismissal of Hollman after 78 minutes proved the turning point.
He was shown the red card after a flurry of push and shove in the visitors’ net immediately after Hastings
pulled back a goal. Even so, with Martin Matthews deputising in goal, Lynn held their re-charged hosts
at bay until the first minute of injury time. They then equalised and hit the winner three minutes later
before holding on for another three minutes to clinch victory. Hollman was adamant he had done nothing
wrong and heaped criticism on the match officials.
"The referee was a disgrace. I just pushed the guy away and the referee saw me. He did nothing but
then took the word of the linesman who said I had thrown a punch. He was half the pitch away and the
ref believed him rather than his own eyes. I couldn’t understand it and now I’ve lost two weeks wages,"
blasted an angry Hollman who said he had been fined by manager Peter Morris immediately after the
game. Matthews backed up the keeper’s version of events and said he could not see how the linesman
should be able to make a decision from such a distance.
"I picked up the ball out of the back of the net and the next thing I knew one of their players was pushing
me to get it off me. He did it twice but the referee did nothing but then sent off our keeper for doing the
same thing just once." It proved to be an eventful game for Matthews who started in midfield, switched to centre-back when Tony Spearing came off after 19 minutes with a back injury, moved to wing-back at
half time and finished up between the posts.
"It was just a spur of the moment thing," he said of his new-found emergency keeper status. "No-one
looked like they fancied it and I thought I’d look positive and put the shirt on but it went downhill from
Matthews made a valiant attempt to keep out Stafford Browne’s equaliser but his spectacular dive
was deemed to be insufficient by the linesman who ruled the ball had already crossed the line. And the
stand-in number one was beaten again when substitute Simon Fox blasted in from 15 yards.
"I thought I was going to save it but I didn’t even see the ball once he’d hit it," said Matthews who
revealed it was the first time he had play in goal seriously. I’ve done it in park football and in five-a-side
with my mates but never at anything like this level." Lynn should have made the game safe long before
the controversial ending. Lee Hudson wasted a good chance in the first minute and then managed to hit
keeper James Creed when the goal was gaping with Lynn 2-0 up. Hudson had set up the Linnets
opening goal when his shot hit the post and rebounded off Creed’s back before McNamara beat the
keeper to the loose ball.
A wonderful piece of wing skill from Craig Hopkins brought the second goal when his trickery left Paul
Tuppenney spell-bound before delivering a perfect cross for McNamara to sweep in. Colin Hoyle’s
handball gave Hastings hope of a comeback but Hollman parried the penalty to add to a breath-taking
first-half save from Stuart Playford. But then things went wrong. Richard Skelly delayed a clearance and
was promptly booked as he pulled Steve Yates’ shirt. That free kick found the head of Playford to score
the Hastings opener and then Hollman’s sending off turned the game on its head.
Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Skelly, Hoyle, Ellis, Spearing (Stock 19), Hopkins, Wright, Roberts (Delicata 45, Mead 82),
Hastings Town: Creed, Simmonds, Tuppenney, Larkin, Beard, Smith (Fox 70), Payne (Yates 75), Barham (Fergusson 89) Playford, Browne, White.