Hitchin Town 0 Lynn 1

THE Linnets opened their Southern League account on Tuesday thanks to Jack Defty's 50th goal for the club in a 1-0 win at Hitchin.
The side responded to manager Tommy Taylor's criticism after their opening day defeat to Halesowen with an improved display.
As promised, Taylor made five changes from the side that faced Halesowen, strikers Matt Nolan and Paul Atkins (in favour of Defty and Michael Frew) plus midfielders Sam McMahon and Matt O'Halloran dropping to the bench.
Mark Camm moved into midfield, where ex-Barnet wide man Fraser Toms and Luke Kennedy also started.
Mark Warren, skipper for the night, made his league debut, while fellow first choice centre-half Grant Cooper also returned from a one-match ban.
Taylor said: "We played well. About ten minutes we stepped off the gas and let them into the game. We gave it away too easily, and they missed a few chances.
"The Warren and Cooper pairing were ever so solid, they were excellent. Smithy and Westy were good.
"Cammy gave us more legs in midfield, while I don't know if Shaun Carey has the legs to get up and down the pitch for us all game.
"For the first 35 minutes I thought Fraser Toms was outstanding, but he went missing for 15 minutes. We didn't get the ball out wide, and they ganged up on him.
"Both teams tried to play football and for a little spell we passed the ball superbly."
The Walks outfit started and finished well Defty's assured strike coming in the 84th minute whereas Hitchin couldn't finish at all. The Canaries wasted good opportunities at the end of each half.
Lynn had a bright start, dominating possession, but the first ten minutes of the match saw no chances until David Deeney broke down the middle and from 20 yards shot into Shaun Marshall's arms.
 

Lynn's first opportunity on 18 minutes saw Defty's seemingly goalbound effort deflected for a corner.
Defty then expertly held the ball up and played in Toms, whose shot home stopper Michael Parkin turned around the post. Frew turned and shot from 25 yards, which was saved.

But the hosts ended the first half on top. A good build up saw Daniel French curl one over the bar.

Then came two identical chances from through-balls: firstly dangerman Chris Dillon rolled the ball past Marshall's left post, then Wayne Mills rolled it past the right stick.
Lynn went down the Top Field slope in the second half, but neither side could make an impression before the hour mark, and the substitutions started.
Hitchin dominated but their final ball was poor, and usually gave Marshall catching practice. A rare quality cross midway through saw Dillon head it woefully over, and soon after the striker was denied superbly by Marshall.
French robbed Cooper, but somehow the sliding Neil Pugh failed to connect with the centre.
Lynn got their second wind in the final quarter-hour. Defty volleyed wide, had a header from a corner saved, and he and sub Atkins had shots saved. Toms had a goal ruled out for offside.
But with time running out, Defty (pictured left) performed a smash-and-grab, bursting through a hole in the defence, shrugging off two challenges, rounding the keeper and calmly rolling the ball into the far corner of the net.
In injury time Hitchin rued yet another missed chance as Lynn somehow kept out a goalmouth scramble.

 

Hitchin: Parkin, Cretton (J. Taylor 49), Ducket, Hammonds, Folds, Deeney, Pugh, Ross (Lamacraft 86), Dillon, Mills (Bridge 86), French. Subs not used: Frater, Hayes.
Lynn: Marshall, West, Smith, Warren, Camm, Cooper, J. Defty, Carey, Frew (Atkins 62), Kennedy (McMahon 76), Toms (O'Halloran 89). Not used: Nolan, C. Defty. Booked: Warren 36min, Frew 42.
Referee: M. Blackledge.
MoM: Mark Warren. Att: 314.
Report by permission of the Lynn News