AFTER all the expectation, maverick England midfielder Matthew Le Tissier was at The Walks for Premiership stars Southampton on Wednesday, writes Peter Woodhouse.
Mark Hughes, Paul Jones and Claus Lundekvam were on international duty. David Hirst and Stuart Ripley were injured and Carlton Palmer was suspended, but the rest of Saints' available big names appeared.
The game was part of the deal that
took Mark Paul, who made his Saints full first team debut. to The Dell. England star Le Tissier displayed hints of his silky skills for 50 minutes before going off to an ovation, but the most impressive was two-goal Norwegian international Egil Ostenstad. "I thought it was a good work-out," commented Saints manager David Jones. "We started with a strong-ish team and Lynn made it difficult for us. We could have been one down after a minute. On Paul he said: "If he progresses as he has, he's one for the future"
Lynn played six triallists. "I thought they did all right." said Linnets manager Gary Mills. "We came out of it with a lot of positives."
"Keeping 11 players on the pitch was a big plus,- said his assistant Darren Gee, referring to Lynn's recent rash of dismissals.
Anyone in Lynn's biggest crowd of the season braving the wind and rain who expected a walkover was mistaken. After just 20 seconds new Linnet Lee Wilson could have made a dream start, racing clear but his shot was agonisingly wide. The promising John Palmer twice went close.
However Ostenstad beat Colin Hoyle's challenge, rounded keeper Lee Crane and slotted the ball in the corner. Just before half-time his second came from Freddie Mercury lookalike Francis Benali's long ball. After the break another Benali pass saw guest of honour Paul miss a sitter as he slid in six yards out. Wayne Bridge beat two defenders and drilled in to make the game safe. Dave Hand's 20 yarder was tipped over and on the final whistle Glyn Roberts brought a diving save from Saints' sub keeper Alan Blaney.
|Lynn: Crane, Wright, McGinty, Robinson, Hoyle (Ramsey h-t). Hallcro, Hand, G. Roberts. Palmer, Hardy (Hurst 64), Wilson. Not used: Delicata, Mills. Lewis, Fuff.
Southampton: Moss (Blaney 65). Benali, Warner. Monkou. Howells (Davies h-t), Hassann. Gibbens, Le Tissier (Madgwick 51), Paul, Bridge (Ashford 77), Ostenstad (Wallace 76).
Referee: Steve Cling (Lynn).