Lynn won two more Midland League points on Saturday by defeating Bradford Park Avenue Reserves 3-0. And in that statement are the best things that can be said of Saturday's match at the Walks. In their previous two home encounters Lynn had won high praise. They were riding on the crest of a wave. But on Saturday they came in for criticism as they dipped beneath the wave.
Injuries had forced changes to be made in the attack, yet these surely cannot be levelled as an excuse for the vast number of chances that went begging. I have criticised earlier this season for an apparent disinclination to shoot, but after completely answering those criticisms I did not expect the team to follow up with such a disappointing display as that given against Bradford.
I am prepared to acknowledge that the forwards suffered a degree of misfortune but often slowness to shoot and bad marksmanship were their failures.
Having seen what the team can do against teams like Goole Town and Grimsby Res. there seems to be little excuse for scoring only three goals against a lowly-placed team reduced to ten men after only 23 minutes' play.
The Linnets' performance puts into a rather false perspective the fighting qualities shown by the depleted Bradford side. Their defence took a relentless barrage of attacks yet succumbed only twice more after losing goalkeeper Ward. There were times when it seemed Lynn could not fail to score yet somehow they contrived to do the harder thing and miss!
Edwards seemed to be the most ill-fated when, during the second half he finished off a brilliant piece of solo play by shooting wide of a completely open goal. He expressed his dismay by grasping his head in both hands as he lay on his back after making his shot.
Earlier he had been distinctly unlucky. In the first half he glanced the ball narrowly wide, lobbed the ball neatly over the goalkeeper's head only to see it eventually cleared and in the second half saw a rasping shot glance off the foot of a post.
But generally there was a slowness to shoot of which all the Lynn attack were guilty.
Midfield Lynn were undisputed masters and only two worthwhile shots were aimed at the Lynn goal during the first half.
Hartnett was a constant source of danger on Lynn's left. His centres and passes caused the Bradford defence plenty of anxiety, but it was not until after 23 minutes that a goal came. This brought relief to the Lynn supporters but disaster for Bradford. Ward, who up to this point had played well, was caught going the wrong way by TODD'S shot, and in his valiant effort to save he broke a finger on his left hand.
Centre-forward Smith deputised and played remarkably well. He cleared confidently from a succession of corners and played his part well in helping to deny Lynn a further first half goal.
On the resumption Bradford took up the running for a brief spell, but soon Lynn were back on the offensive. Edwards, always working hard, had a worthy effort turned round the post by Smith and shortly afterwards fired straight at Smith after a clever dribble.
Handicapped as they were Bradford took encouragement from Lynn's failures to score and the successes of their defence, and began to indulge in some attacking themselves. In these raids inside forwards Whitaker and Jenkinson were prominent and both were on the target with good shots.
Nevertheless Lynn's defence was safe against the best that Bradford could do and Bannister found ample opportunity to come up into the attack. In taking a free kick just outside the Bradford penalty area he raised the biggest cheer of the second half as his fierce drive flashed past the angle of the goal framework.
It seemed that Lynn would never score . . . . then in the 72nd minute came goal No. 2. Edwards ran to the dead ball line to trap a long lob. He turned and squared it towards goal, MORRIS ran to meet it and turned it past Smith who was following him. Fazackerly made a great effort to hook the ball clear but could do no more than kick it up to the roof of the net.
Morris and Hartnett changed places and soon afterwards Morris headed narrowly over the bar. Further chances were lost before Lynn completed their scoring two minutes from the end with a clever goal by DOWNIE. Morris pulled the ball back to Bunn who, in turn, slipped it through to Downie and the Lynn inside left shot it between Smith's legs - a good goal to end a drab game.
|Lynn: Crookes; Henderson, Bannister; Robinson, Whitaker, Bunn; Morris, Todd, Edwards, Downie, Hartnett.
Bradford PA.: Ward; Carlin, Fazackerley, H. Martin, P. Wilbey, Parkin; Pilling, B. Jenkinson, Smith, Whitaker, Cuff.
Attendance (excluding season ticket holders): 4240.