Mick Wright’s timing for his first goal of the season could not have been better for the Linnets.
It came when Witney had held out Lynn’s early second half attempts to equalise and were begriming to regain their confidence.
Then in the 64th minute Frank Wignall won a tackle on the halfway line and sent David Clarke chasing down the left wing. There was obstruction by defender Davy Jones with Clarke taking the kick himself and Wright had stolen up unmarked to head in the centre.
This woke up the Linnets and the crowd, who had been wondering what had happened to the sparkling away form the team has shown recently.
There was an exhilarating ten-minute spell from the Linnets who tore at Witney and there could have been goals from any one of half-a-dozen penalty area skirmishes, but Mick Taylor in the Witney goal stayed cool.
This period and some later end to end moves helped blur the memory of long patches of scrappy football for the 907 attendance - Lynn’s best in the Southern League this season.
It will be interesting to see how many return for next weekend’s Sunday fixture, against Leamington.
Chairman Len Hall, said after the game: "I am pleased with the attendance because it is more than we normally get, but satisfied no. I had thought we might get 1,000 plus."
There should have been something to shout about for the fans in the seventh minute. Ray Elliot chased Malcolm Lindsay’s bouncing through ball and he headed past Brendan Barr, then went round Taylor, but with the goal opening up his favoured left foot shot went into the side netting.
Lynn were not to get another clear chance like that in the game.
After that it was generally even, with Lynn’s best openings being provided by Wignall’s thoughtful passes and Wright’s sharp bursts from midfield.
But when Wright was caught in possession just inside his own half he really paid for it. Tony Jones took the ball away as Wright stumbled and passed forward quickly into the path of Brian Thomas and his shot scorched past Steel.
This goal caught Lynn on the hop just three minutes before the interval - the classic time to go ahead not giving the opposition time to recover and making it an uphill start in the second half.
With Lindsay making more breaks on the left, Lynn took the game to Witney. Leading scorer Keith Rudd went close to adding to his total when he skilfully controlled Elliott’s hard centre and turned round the covering defender to shoot in, but wide of the post.
Then came Wright’s goal and in the next minute a Wright-inspired move ended with McCalum’s shot being saved by Taylor.
Another goal at this stage would probably have been enough for Lynn, but Witney hung on. Later, when they tried to get their own attack moving again, Richardson and Smith were tidying up well and once Brooks kept out a centre with a header straight to Steel which had more power in it than efforts by his forwards at the other end.
In the closing stages with both teams tiring Witney had a chance through Ball’s 30-yard run, but he tried to shoot through Steel instead of passing across to the unmarked Thomas.
Almost immediately Wignall’s class shone out again with a glorious cross field pass to Rudd and it needed a desperate challenge by Taylor on the Lynn centre forward to stop what could have been a dramatic winner.
For Witney who had prepared for the game by travelling overnight, it was a point lost in their bid to stay in the Southern League promotion chase; for Lyn it was another point dropped and the hacek not won at home now in seven games.
But with eight points from five games the Linnets are now enjoying their best unbeaten league run of the season and they should be able to climb much higher in the table.
Lynn’s attendance of 907 for Sunday’s match was their best Southern League gate of the season. Previous "high" was the 738 figure for the visit of Gloucester in August.
Best home league attendance last season was 782 and the last time the Linnets had a 900 crowd was for the visit of Corby in October 1971, when the attendance was 910.
|Lynn: Steel, Richardson, Lindsay, Brooks, Smith, Wright, McCallum, Elliot, Rudd, Wignall, Clarke. Sub: Adams.
Witney: Taylor, D Jones, Austin, Barr, Shufflebotham, Tabor, T Jones, Bradbury, Ball, Gibbons, Thomas. Sub: Stokes.