LYNN'S chances of challenging for the Midland League title received a decisive jolt and Peterborough's hopes of winning the championship for the first time were made very much brighter as a result of Saturday's vital encounter at the Walks. It was a fast, entertaining game, full of good football, yet, mainly due to the strength of the two opposing defences, remarkably short of thrilling goalmouth incidents. It was, too, despite its quality, a disappointing game from Lynn's point of view.
Two goals down in the first 12 minutes of the second half, the first by Andy Donaldson and the second by Dennis Emery. settled the issue in Peterborough's favour but Lynn might well have drawn first blood and forked the game their way, indeed, had they been able to produce some of their previous week's sparkle near goal during the second half,
they might even then have pulled the game round. For the most part, the game was very evenly contested. Lynn played some good midfield football with Johnnie Downie shining at left-half with some brilliant passing but unfortunately much of the good work collapsed near the penalty area where, Lynn found, but failed to learn. that they could not get past the tight Peterborough defence with short passes.
Whitaker for Lynn and Rigby for Peterborough were dominant figures in two sound defences, and the fact that Peterborough gained success against the Lynn rearguard was mainly due to the fact that their forwards kept the play more open. Donaldson played deep, but was always on hand when the ball came near goal, and the wingers were used to full advantage. Harrison and Todd were Lynn's likeliest goalscorers, but much of their work in midfield was nullified by the Peterborough halfbacks, while Hartnett and Morris found Clarke and Killin difficult men to beat.
From Lynn's point of view the outstanding men were Downie, who played a brilliant game at left half and in the later stages up in the attack, and Whitaker who was a dour defender.
Both sides found the greasy ball troublesome at the start, but they soon overcame the difficulties and settled down to play some attractive football. Peterborough had the Lynn defence in a tangle in the opening minutes, but soon Lynn were on the move and in almost their first raid Todd sent in a fierce drive. The shot beat Lowery, but glanced off a post and flew across the goalmouth where it was cleared. Play swung from end to end, but throughout the first half the respective defences maintained a firm grip. There were remarkably few scoring chances and neither goalkeeper was seriously troubled. Canewell looked uncertain once or twice, but he managed to smother the ball when Peterborough got to close quarters.
Emery and Gibson were both slow to accept scoring opportunities, and when the bounce of the ball beat Whitaker, Hails raced away unchallenged. But as he was about to be tackled nearer goal, he sliced the ball yards wide.
At the other end Downie fired narrowly over following a Lynn corner kick on the left, Todd had a header and then a shot saved by Lowery, and Harrison had a header cleared by the goalkeeper.
Peterborough, who were being made to fight all the way, began to get on top towards the interval and Lynn's halfbacks were forced more and more on the defensive. Yet Lynn still might have taken the lead. From a move down the left the ball spun across the Peterborough goalmouth and it was only its speed off the greasy ground which robbed Morris of a good chance.
Following early Lynn attacks in the second half Peterborough set up a series of onslaughts from which they gained several fruitless corners, but in the 51st minute they took the lead. Henderson was adjudged to have handled the ball on the edge of the penalty area and from Hails' kick, Donaldson, who should have been more closely marked, moved in to head through. Six minutes later. Emery received the ball in the middle following a left wing move, rounded a defender to shoot through from close in.
In reply Lynn stormed to the attack but were still finding their efforts breaking down near the penalty area. Downie moved up to the attack, with Heagren falling back, and even Whitaker and Bannister at times came up to lend support. However, Peterborough, with two goals to their credit, adopted a clear-at-all costs policy and their touch-finding kicks frequently annoyed the Lynn crowd.
Yet while it may he criticised, the Peterborough defence achieved their purpose of keeping Lynn out. Hartnett was forced off the ball as he worked his way in from the right, but the indirect free kick came to nought. Morris headed over from a Hartnett centre, and then came a tremendous roar as Todd dived to head the ball in.. A goal was disallowed, however, presumably for a foul on Lowery immediately beforehand.
Even so, Lynn appeared to be robbed of a penalty when Morris was unceremoniously charged off the ball as he was preparing to shoot about 12 yards from goal.