The Linnets lost their unbeaten start to the
campaign after a last-minute penalty saw basement
side Rugby seal the points.
Keith Webb’s team failed to capitalise on a dominant
first-half display, before Mark Warren’s late
handball was punished by Aaron Stringfellow from the
It proved to be a cruel blow to Lynn in a
carbon-copy of last season’s Easter meeting between
the two sides.
The Linnets made one change from the starting
line-up at Yate, with Danny Bloomfield coming in for
Matt Nolan, who dropped to the bench.
Hosts Rugby, currently going through a goalkeeping
crisis, included ex-Lynn favourite David Staff in
Striker Michael Frew started the contest nursing a
heavily-strapped broken finger on his left hand,
picked up during the weekend’s victory at Yate.
The game began at a frantic pace, and within the
first 15 seconds Lynn’s Dean West was on the
receiving end of a full-blooded tackle from Mark
Ten minutes in, Adam Smith played a neat one-two
with Joe Francis down the left before seeing his
effort cleared off the line.
The Walks outfit continued their assault on the home
goal, and John Turner thundered a header inches wide
Some slick interplay between Francis and Smith
carved open the defence again in the 20th minute,
with Bloomfield being denied by the legs of
third-choice shot-stopper Simon Lynn.
The Walks outfit continued to dictate matters, and
in the 28th minute Steve Melton tried his luck with
an ambitious overhead kick from a Smith free-kick.
Two minutes later Turner glanced a Francis centre
Rugby’s David Stone was the first name to go into
the referee’s notebook for a late lunge on West five
minutes before the interval.
Such was Lynn’s dominance that keeper Scott Howie
was a virtual spectator in the sunny surroundings of
Butlin Road in the first 45 minutes.
Lynn replaced Bloomfield with Nolan nine minutes
into the second half as they went in search of the
The right flank was Lynn’s best outlet after the
restart, and a dangerous centre from Frew eluded the
heads of Nolan and Turner in the 57th minute.
Rugby were always a threat on the break, and it was
the pacy Stone who put Akin Aladetown in the clear,
only for Warren to save the day with a brilliant
Lynn made their second change on the hour mark when
Andrew Fisk came on for Francis, and soon after
Steve Spriggs was introduced at the expense of
The changes saw Spriggs take his place on the right
instead of Frew, who moved up front alongside Nolan.
Lynn’s first clear attempt of the second period saw
Nolan nod a Smith free-kick over the bar.
Smith was again the provider in the 73rd minute when
his deep delivery was headed over by Frew.
Howie was twice called upon in the dying minutes
before Rugby’s late smash-and-grab.
Rugby: Lynn, Stringfellow, Morley, Herbert, Gordon,
Breward, Musgrove, Edge (Francis 68), Aladetown,
Stone, Staff. Subs not used: Harris, Kolodynski,
Lynn: Howie, West, Smith, Warren, C. Defty, Camm,
Frew, Melton, Turner (Spriggs 62), Bloomfield (Nolan
54), Francis (Fisk 60). Not used: Murray, Lake.
Referee: Carl Dunn (Staffordshire). MoM: Charlie
Stats, Linnets first: Shots on target 1, 3; off
target 5, 0; corners 6, 5; offside 1, 4; free-kicks