LACK of discipline cost the Linnets as Darren Bloodworth and Kevin Boon suffered their first league defeat in nine games immediately after getting the job on a permanent basis - a variation on the ’manager of the month curse’, perhaps?
There was no love lost between the sides on Valentine’s Day as Linnets skipper Glen Fuff was sent off for violent conduct in the first half in addition to four bookings in the match.
Losing Fuff’s organisation as well as Paul Raynor, who departed for a coaching job at Boston United on Friday, was a big blow to understrength Lynn, who missed Mark Camm (injured) and Dale Watkins (suspended).
Gary Setchell scored in his 100th game for The Walks outfit to make it 2-1 late on, but it was not enough. It leaves the Linnets five points behind leaders Tonbridge.
"The performance was undisciplined. We created a lot of chances and had two cleared off the line but got shot in the foot with the sending off," said Bloodworth.
"We’ve been rolled over by a team who weren’t the best side, but I’m pleased we did have a go in the second half with ten men.
"The lad’s run 20 yards back to grab Fuffy around the neck, and he’s reacted. I think both players should have gone.
"They scored straight after just as we were organising ourselves.
"The way they’ve reacted afterward, a young kid’s got knocked over and got a cut lip. The way they behaved themselves afterwards was appalling.
"I didn’t think we deserved to have got beaten, but every game will be a cup final now, and everybody needs to realise that.
"You’d have thought they had just won a cup final but it was the same with Folkestone recently, it’s different to these sorts of people."
The reaction of a section of Lynn fans during an after-match fracas in the players’ tunnel also left much to be desired, and they should grow up and learn to accept it better when decisions and results go against them.
Not clever considering the FA probe into an alleged coin-throwing incident at the recent Exeter FA Trophy tie.
On a boggy pitch the hosts started in a more lively fashion, and in the fifth minute Lynn keeper Steve Wilson tipped over a Joe Wade effort.
A new-look Lynn line-up - with Norwich City work experience lad David Chick on the left, who came close with a volley on 15 minutes and Richard Woodrow in the middle - struggled to come to terms with the conditions.
Then Woodrow and Jack Defty were switched into their more familiar positions, and it paid off with Woodrow being set up twice by Carl Holmes, but he was denied by excellent saves from John Whitehouse.
Adam Jones burst from defence to fire inches over from 35 yards, while at the other end Adrian Stone forced a save from Wilson.
A foul on Louie Evans sparked the incident involving Stone which saw Fuff dismissed for a head-butt and four minutes later the Nuts and Bolts took advantage to score.
Stone switched the ball to Ashford top scorer Joby Thorogood who notched his tenth goal of the season.
Lynn, now with a 4-3-2 formation, came out fighting in the second half.
David Staff had a free-kick parried and in the resulting goalmouth melee Defty and Mark Burrows’ follow-ups were cleared off the line.
Also in the first five minutes Staff’s 20-yarder was saved and Holmes directed a Chick cross straight at Whitehouse.
The home side had a lot of possession around the Lynn box but lacked composure on the final ball until midway through the half when Sam Saunders rifled into the top of the net from 20 yards.
Fifteen minutes from time the hosts cleared off the line at a corner from Burrows and Jones. But with just over a minute left Woodrow earned a penalty, which Setchell fired at the keeper.
However it was ordered to be retaken for Ashford encroaching in the area by referee Mr O’Keefe, who irritated both sides with his decisions.
Setchell made no mistake with his second attempt.
Sub Robbie Harris looked to have made it 2-2, but his volley somehow drifted over the bar.
Then in injury time a goal-kick went straight to Ashford, and the unmarked substitute Simon Elliott turned home a centre to make it safe.
Lynn: Wilson, Jones, Setchell, Burrows, Fuff, Woodrow, Defty, Holmes, Staff, Evans (Harris 61), Chick. Subs not used: Nobes, McManus, Harvey.
Ashford Tn: Whitehouse, Gardner, O’Leary, Anderson (Elliott h-t), Gillman, Wade, Saunders, Bower, Stone, Thorogood (Adlington 83), Glover. Not used: Hill, Azzopardi.
Referee: Michael O’Keefe. Attendance: 295.