A penalty miss in injury time stunned the Linnets at Oxford on Saturday. They
watched in despair as Jimmy Wilson's spot kick thudded against the underside of
the bar and rebounded into the goalmouth.
The difference between a defeat and a draw was the thickness of the bar.
Dejectedly the Linnets realised that the lifeline thrown to them had not been
grasped and they were out of the F.A. Trophy in the 1st qualifying round stage.
It was a scrappy game and had it finished at the 90th minute with Oxford the
winners by virtue of their early gift goal then Lynn would have shrugged it off
and probably soon forgotten it.
But the drama of play in the four minutes of injury time was difficult to
Skipper Mick Wright, whose commitment to the game was such an inspiration,
was so shattered that he did not leave the pitch for some 15 minutes after his
colleagues had filed into the changing room. He sat on a seat near the
touchline, later accepting some tea bought out by trainer Jack Thorn.
It was Wright's powerful play that earned the penalty chance. While some
Linnets were feeling the pace he surged forward from his defensive role and won
a corner on the left. Keith Rudd was w=quickly out to send over a centre and
there was Wright again going for a header when he was pushed in the back.
The foul was spotted by the referee who had no doubts about giving Lynn the
The next question was: who would take it?
Because Duncan Wiles was not playing through injury and Roy McManus had
limped off during the game, it fell to jimmy Wilson who had earlier volunteered
to be the "reserve" in such circumstances.
His shot went above keeper Dave Dunsworth and rebounded off the bar back into
the goalmouth where there soon developed a scramble by players from both teams.
The referee stopped play for another infringement and awarded Oxford a free-kick
A few seconds later it was all over.
So apart from last season, Lynn's unhappy record in this competition for
non-League clubs continues. It was always going to be difficult once Bob Pratley
had nipped in to reach an intended pass from McManus to Phil Ringwood and
steered the ball into the net.
That came in the third minute and the Isthmian league side kept the heat on
with a corner by the dangerous winger Kenny Uzzell being touched onto the bar by
In the 20th minute good play by Uzzell and dye left the way clear for green
who tried a spectacular volley instead of taking his time and missed the ball
From this let-off until the interval, Lynn dominated play and the Oxford
defence began to look suspect. Rudd glanced in a header which was just wide and
twice Johnston turned in free kicks which caused problems. But their strong
rally did not produce an equaliser and the interval disrupted their rhythm.
It was Oxford who looked dangerous on breakaways and they had the bonus of
the lead which allowed them to play a steady game.
Uzzell put in one shot which crashed into the side netting and later the Lynn
full backs Britton and Wilson were to clear desperately from the goalmouth.
But Lynn could have equalised when Oxford defender Jefferies slipped and
allowed Rudd to get possession. Clive Adams, his striking partner, took over and
tried to chip a shot over Ounswith, but it curled over the bar.
Manager Barry Bridges came on for McManus, who is still not fully fit, and he
soon joined Rudd in a move which ended with Martyn Wiles going in and being
stopped by a brave save from the keeper.
As the action flowed to the other end, Dyce shot weakly towards Ringwood when he
had a great opening. This incident finished with Green and Adams being involved
in a skirmish which ended with both being booked. Then came the penalty and
there was another booking over that, Jefferies being cautioned
Oxford: Ounsworth, Burns, Blay, Jefferies, Selby, Oliver, Lever, Pratley,
Green, Dyce, Uzzell, sub Prescott
Lynn: Ringwood, Britton, Johnston, Wright, Wilson, Watts, Goose, M Wiles,
McManus (sub Bridges 67), Adams, Rudd.