SUPER cool Richard Skelly blasted the Linnets to a first-day victory with
a late penalty at a roasting hot Walks on Saturday. And fellow wing-back
Martin Matthews weighed in with his second consecutive opening day goal
to add to an early strike from new signing Steve Williams. But Lynn made
things difficult for themselves after throwing away a 2-0 lead against
injury-stricken visitors. Newly-relegated Bromsgrove turned up with only
Stewart Brighton as a recognised centre back but he failed to start to game
after tearing a calf muscle in his pre-match limbering up. That lack of cover
at the heart of the visitors' defence saw Lynn carve out numerous first-half
chances but their only goal came after ten minutes. Matthew Wright sent a
high ball towards the edge of the area where Lee Hudson rose well to flick
the ball over the defence for Williams to steer past Richard Anstiss.
Surprise starter Brett McNamara, still nursing a neck injury, was at the
heart of much of the Lynn action. But it was in a providing role he thrived
Hudson and Russell Stock firing over from tight angles. Jason Pascoe was
not so pleased with McNamara after 34 minutes, the striker accidently
handling his goal-bound effort on the line and then stabbing the rebound
wide. Hudson should have doubled Lynn's lead in first-half injury time
when he did well to control a McNamara through ball but he then placed
his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Bromsgrove started the second
half in spirited style and only a crashing goal-line clearance by Wright
prevented an equaliser when James Hollman and Colin Hoyle got in a
tangle and allowed Karl Payne a free shot. But it was Lynn who found the
net. Williams and Skelly exchanged passes on the halfway line and the
wing-back raced clear before delivering an inch-perfect cross for the
onrushing Martin Matthews to head powerfully in off the post.
That stirred Bromsgrove into further action and things were soon all
square. Mark Peters was allowed space to jink past three challenges
before lifting a shot into the roof of the net and then Whitehouse headed on
for Payne to send a mis-hit shot spinning past a wrong-footed Hollman.
Anstiss pulled off a flying one-handed save to keep another Hudson shot
out before Tony Spearing reacted quickly to clear a Whitehouse effort
after Hoyle and Hollman were again involved in a mix-up on the edge of
the box. Hudson was involved in the winning goal, this time being sent
crashing to the ground by Anstiss as he raced on to a Stock through ball.
Both players needed lengthy treatment and the keeper was also booked
for his troubles. The delay did not seem to affect Skelly and he stepped up
confidently to send Anstiss the wrong way from the spot. A scything
two-footed tackle by Peters on McNamara ended the game on a sour note
with the visiting number seven sent off just before substitute Simon Mead
saw Anstiss tip his header over the bar.
Lynn: Hollman, Matthews, Skelly, Wright (Roberts 83), Hoyle,
Spearing, Pascoe, Stock, Williams (Mead 83), McNamara,
Hudson. Sub (not used): Hopkins
Rovers: Anstiss, Hickman (Smith 64), Darkes, Brighton (Davis k-o), Grocutt, Skelding, Peters, Amos, Whitehouse, Payne, Gardener. Sub (not used):