Lynn 0 Workington 0

IN THE new context of three points for a win and one for a draw, Saturday's result is not a good one good one for the Linnets.
A draw at home must now be looked at as two points lost rather than one gained. Yet it would surely have been a more profitable start to the NPL season had Lynn shown more sharpness in front of goal and taken their first half chances.
The Linnet fans had given encouragement when Freddie Easthall and Ray Elliott put in early volleys which were just off target in the opening minutes.
And then Workington had a vital escape when defender Neil McDonald blocked Easthall's close range shot. It was  the game's, first clear chance, with a corner from Gordon Hodgson swinging over and beating everyone to reach Easthall at the far post.
The decision to play Andy Bircumshaw in a striking role in preference to Paul Chapman was a gamble by manager Keith Rudd. However Bircurnshaw was a centre forward before he joined the Linnets and he was effective in the first half, although he faded after the interval.
On the half hour it was Bircumshaw with a good header which put Easthall behind the defensive cover for a snap shot which the keeper blocked. Craig Thompson was following up and drove a shot across the face of the goal
.Lynn clearly won the first half honours. Defensively as strong as ever, some neat play from midfield even though Gordon Hodgson and Ray Elliott were sometimes duplicating their roles, and up front getting into scoring positions if not finishing off accurately. Not so in the second half  when Workington tightened up on their game and began to catch out The Linnets with some forceful attacks.

The early warning for Lynn came when Alan Carruthers was given too much room and he was quick to get the ball under control and roll it just wide of Andy Claxton's right hand post.
When Hodgson was caught out in mid-field, Graham Gill led the  breakthrough, wrong footing Andy Higgins and slanting a shot across Claxton and beyond the far post.
In an effort to get Lynn's attack moving again, Rudd put on a forward for a midfield player, Chapman for Elliott
There was less than 20 minutes left the Linnets chances of snatching a goal did improve as they started pressure on the Workington defence. One prolonged attack ended with Chapman looking to get a strike at goal from a good position and he unfortunately mis-kicked. It wa not until the 83rd minute that Gerald Fisher was tested to any degree and he responded by making the best save of the game. Easthall had been obstructed 20 yard out and the free kick was rolled short to Watts who fired in hard and low, forcing tile keeper to a diving save at the foot of the post.
There were bookings for five players - all defenders - with Johnston and Higgins of Lynn joining the Workington trio of Reach, Kent and Mitchell on the wrong side of the referee.

Lynn: Claxton, McJannet, Johnston, Higgins, Wiles, watts, Elliot (sub Chapman 73 mins), Hodgson, Thompson, Bircumshaw, Easthall
Workington: Fisher, McDonald, Kent, Reach, Mitchell, Johnston, Carruthers, Smith, Gill, Benfold, Kirkham. Sub Harris.
Referee: K Lynch (Worksop). Attendance: 600

Report by permission of the Lynn News