NOLAN KEELEY struck his first Northern Premier League goals for the Linnets on Wednesday to put them on course for victory over a niggling Matlock side.
He linked up effectively with Freddie Easthall — the other goalscorer — as a strike force which posed plenty of problems to the visitors.
Yet is was Matlock who provided the first opening, with a slick fifth minute goal.
Andy Bircumshaw had a chance to break up a Matlock attack, but his mis-hit clearance went straight to John Whiteley who stepped forward a few yards and then hit a vicious low shot into the corner of the net. Andy Claxton appeared to slip as he moved across and in the end was comprehensively beaten.
Keeley, who had already put one volley wide of the Matlock goal, replied with an eleventh minute equaliser. Bircumshaw was involved again, this time providing the free kick which reached Keeley unmarked at the far post and he coolly beat the keeper Mark Broughton.
Both sets of defences had problems on the greasy pitch and when Lynn were split by a through pass in the 15th minute, Claxton saved the situation with skilful hall control well outside his penalty area.
On the Lynn right wing, Brian Thomson in his first
game at The Walks was proving to be a crowd-pleaser as he tormented his full-back with some jinking runs.
He provided the main threat although there were some enterprising Lynn attacks front mid-field and Ray Elliott went close with a well-struck 25-yard shot which Broughton saved at full stretch near the post. Bob Mountain, the NPL’s top scorer with 11 league and cup goals already this season, had a chance to increase his tally when he burst through and clipped his shot wide of a hesitant Claxton.
It was a costly miss, because in Lynn’s next attack, in the 35th minute. Elliott put Keeley through and he made no mistake with a right foot shot which went in off the keeper’s legs. Mountain caused more anxiety for Lynn when Matlock made a spirited recovery and his close-range shot was well stopped by Claxton.
With the referee looking at his watch for half time, Lynn won a corner on the left and poached their third goal. Hodgson’s centre was nodded down by Keeley and Easthall took over to guide in a shot from six yards.
The second half action was fast and furious, with heavy tackles going in from both sides. There could be no questioning the commitment, but the attacks were not so well directed.
Craig Thompson who was back in a more familiar midfield role had Lynn’s best
effort with a stinging volley which Broughton got a hand to and did enough to turn aside.
For Matlock, Alan Lukasik moved forward for a 76th minute header which went narrowly wide,
Wayne Biggins the former Lynn player obviously- wanted to impress on his return to The Walks, but his main contribution was being booked for dissent. Ray Elliott also went down in the hook for a similar offence.
This result made it four wins and a draw for the Linnets during September which must make Keith Rudd a candidate for the league’s "manager of the month" award.
|Lynn: Claxton: Watts, Bircumshaw, Johnston. Wiles; Thompson, Elliott, Hodgson: Thomson, Keeley, Easthall, sub Rudd.
Matlock: Broughton, Travis, Richards. Woods. Prophet, Lukasik, Whitely. Biggins. Mountain. Whittaker. Fenoughty sub Needham.
Referee: D. Bray. Grimsby. Attendance: 482.