NO FA Cup treat for Linnets as, in a game played on Hallowe’en, they put on a horror show in losing to minnows West Auckland Town.
You could say the fourth qualifying round tie was chucked away, as a mistake by debutant keeper Chuck Martini condemned Linnets, who ware aiming to reach the first round proper in successive seasons to match their ’60s FA Cup glory days.
On the hour Mark Wheldon launched a high ball into the box and Martini seemed to watch Paul Adamson’s weak, looping header go in.
’The goal was a deflection. It was coming straight through but deflected off Glen Fuff’s head and I was wrong-footed," explained Martini, the first foreign international to play for Lynn. "I was a little nervous at the beginning but I haven’t played for four weeks."
Player-manager Gary Mills said he didn’t see a deflection, adding: ’We got what we deserved, we lacked quality and passion and didn’t pick up any second balls.
"I’m disappointed with any goal, no matter how it goes in. We’ve lost the chance to play a league club, but good luck to Auckland, they got a great result."
An overcome Town manager Graeme Forster said: "It’s the biggest moment of my career, I never dreamed of this result," adding that he originally aimed to beat Rossington Main in the first qualifying round to secure a £5,000 ground improvement grant. Saturday’s reward was a long west country trip to Yeovil.
As giant-killings go it won’t enter the history books, but it was still hugely embarrassing versus a team two divisions below Lynn in the non-league pyramid. Auckland the equivalent of Fakenham, join a growing list of Jewson League
standard teams like Wroxham, Halstead and Evesham who have scalped Lynn in the
It spoilt the occasion of Lynn fielding two internationals for the first time, Moroccan Martini and Ireland’s Paul Ramsey.
Fans were invited to name the huge inflatable mascot provided by sponsors John Grose, but perhaps he should have played.
Few clear-cut Linnets chances spring to mind although Dave Puttnam shot at keeper Andrew Sams after 50 seconds. Mills twice cleared off the line before Sams cynically hauled down Worrell Sterling. But nothing came of the free-kick, a constant feature of the afternoon.
Dave Robinson’s goalbound screamer was deflected over off skipper Darren Jackson’s head.
Sub Jon Palmer’s downward header from a Puttnam cross looked in but was well saved on the line.
Micky Nuttell went close before Lynn’s day was summed up in injury time as Leo Cotterell’s cross sailed into the crowd.
Some fans invaded the pitch and shouted at the players as frustrations boiled over at the final whistle.
Lynn: Martini, Mills, McGinty (Palmer 60), Robinson, Fuff, Spearing, Hoyle, Ramsey, Nuttell, Sterling (Cotterell 69), Puttnam Subs (not used) Gibson, Delicata, D Roberts.
West Auckland: Sams, Bainbridge, Stout, Sinclair, Jackson, Fleming, Wheldon, G Innes, Milroy, (Gorman 69), Adamson, Hornsby. Sub (not used) Mellanby, Cowell, lowes, Johnson.