DAVID Staff and Carl Holmes both bagged New Year braces as the Linnets blew the
title race wide open by ending Histon's unbeaten record in emphatic style on
their own soil yesterday (January 1).
Staff was at his sensational best as
Lynn carved open the meanest defence in the league time after time with a
scintillating display at Bridge Road.
Lynn are now second behind leaders
Tonbridge, four points ahead of third-place Histon – who have three games in
Lynn made one change from the victorious Boxing Day side, bringing in
after his ban Gary Setchell for Jamie March at left-back, as expected.
lined up without prolific scorer Neil Kennedy, who was ruled out with a rib
Referee Stephen Artis declared the pitch playable an hour before
kick-off after heavy rain had left the top-of-the-table clash in doubt.
a bright opening from the Linnets, the home side broke dangerously and some
slick interplay between former Linnet Ian Cambridge and Ben Murray saw Adrian
Cambridge force Steve Wilson into a fine stop to his left.
A minute later
ex-Linnet Colin Vowden headed across the face of the Lynn goal.
contingent of travelling fans, who swelled the gate to 961, didn't have to wait
much longer before seeing their heroes take the lead after 16 minutes when Dale
Watkins combined with Jack Defty to feed Staff – who confidently slid the ball
past Paul Barber.
Two minutes later Defty was fouled just outside the box and
Staff stepped up to curl home one of his specials with Barber still rooted to
Fifteen minutes before the break Ian Cambridge came within inches
of opening Histon's account when his 25-yard free-kick flew past the
The feet of Barber denied Lynn a third via Mark Camm in the 32nd minute
after some brilliance from Staff out on the left.
Seconds later Staff missed
a golden opportunity to complete a first half treble when Holmes sent him
sprinting clear of a static home defence, only for Barber to stand up and block
his final effort.
The Stutes hauled themselves back into the contest in the
41st minute when, as so often in big games this season, Wilson failed to command
his area and Vowden nodded in an Adie Cambridge free-kick at the far post.
the stroke of half-time Ossie Mintus counted his blessings when he headed a Paul
Raynor free-kick just wide of his own net.
The start of the second period
failed to live up to the excitement of the first as both sides became embroiled
in a tactical battle on a sticky home surface.
But it was The Walks outfit
who increased their advantage in the 60th minute when Staff whipped in a
pinpoint centre for Holmes to bundle home.
Staff produced some more wizardry,
this time on the right midway through the half, but Holmes failed to make the
right connection in the box.
The magical Staff was again the provider for
Holmes to net his second in the 77th minute.
Lynn's 600-strong following had
every right to be delirious and taunted the Histon faithful with chants of: "Can
we play you every week?" in the dying minutes.
Linnets: Wilson, Jones, Setchell, Burrows, Fuff, Raynor, J. Defty, Holmes, Staff, Watkins, Camm. Subs
not used: Bacon, March, Woodrow, Harris, Nobes.
Histon: Barber, Barrington,
Goddard, Holden, Vowden, A. Cambridge, Mintus (Hipperson 45), Andrews (Coburn
64), Murray (Rowe 64), I. Cambridge, Barker. Not used: Haniver, Skelly.
Referee: S. Artis (Norwich). Att: 961.