A gem of a goal by Brian Jenkins after only two minutes gave the Linnets a great start to their Eastern Floodlight League match against Southern League champions, Romford, at The Walks on Wednesday evening, but a saga of near misses, culminating in failure from a twice-taken penalty, left them fighting in the end to avert defeat.
Jenkins' goal, swept home magnificently from the edge of the penalty after he started a slick left wing move with Malcolm Lindsay and David Clarke, looked to be the beginning of a real breakthrough by the Linnets after their long lean spell. But the promise of big things was not realised.
Lynn moved with more assurance than they have for a long time. Peter Tough working hard and scheming cleverly and Mick Wright adding bite to the attack with a good deal of upfield play.
Unfortunately Lynn failed to maintain their early promise with any inconsistency and at times there were spells of inconclusive play, Brain Jenkins became a closely marked man and Peter Tough came in for some rugged treatment from right half Sorrel, frequently to the annoyance of the crowd.
But even so, Lynn had enough chances to have made the game safe by half time. Tough brought deserved applause for a great effort in the 11th minute when he turned on a pass from Jenkins and fired narrowly over the bar. Soon afterwards he headed just wide after beating goalkeeper Geveux to a cross from Ronnie Bacon.
Lynn continued to go close, David Clarke shot just wide from a cross pass by Lindsay, and Jenkins slid the ball past the goalkeeper and a defender, also just wide of the goal.
Romford were desperately unlucky when Aggio turned a right wing cross seemingly behind Coe, but the ball struck the goalkeeper and spun along the goal-line to be cleared.
Lynn continued to force the pace on the resumption and continued to be fated by near misses. Lindsay and Eric Way each sending the ball narrowly the wrong side of a post but in the 55th minute success again attended them. Way was brought down on the edge of the area and Bacon scored with a strong low shot which was deflected off the wall of defenders past Geveux.
Though the Romford attack rarely got into its stride, they were always potentially dangerous, with Terry Tapping a constant danger.
Lynn had some anxious moments before Romford opened their account in the 69th minute, Sanders turning in at close range a diagonal pass from Tapping.
Eight minutes later they drew level. Jenkins dived to head away a left wing corner and the ball ran out to the left back King, who, with the Lynn defence moving quickly away from goal, shot first time into the top right hand corner of the net.
Lynn had a great chance to regain the lead two minutes later when Wright, making a solo bid, went headlong over the diving keeper. The referee awarded a penalty but Geveux saved Lindsay's first shot. He was adjudged to have moved and at the second attempt he again moved and Lindsay shot wide.
I the closing stages Romford looked their most dangerous. Coe saved an awkward situation when Aggio looked certain to score, then Sanders from one side, and Obeney from the other shot across the face of the Lynn goal, before Obeney, from a Barnett cross headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
But there was encouragement from this Lynn performance. The defence looked more solid and there was a greater urgency about the general play.
|Lynn: Coe; Haskins, Sharp; Way, Porter, Wright; Bacon, Jenkins, Lindsay, Tough, Clarke.
Romford: Geveux; Read, King; Sorrel, Taylor, Reed; Sanders, Aggio, Obeney, Tapping, Barnett.