Not for the first time in a football
match this season the officials took centre stage as the Linnets made a quick
and humble exit from the FA Trophy.
And that scenario could have been so different if an
own goal from AFC Wimbledon's Steve Butler had stood after Jack Defty had
mistakenly been given offside in the first half – much to the surprise of
everyone in the magnificent surroundings of the Kingsmeadow Stadium.
decision ultimately cost The Walks outfit a money-spinning replay, not that
Tommy Taylor's side deserved one after an inept second half performance littered
with high balls into the sun-drenched skies of London.
Taylor was unhappy
with the overall performance of the match officials, saying: "The referee
initially gave the goal and was running back to the centre circle.
he looked across at the assistant, who has got his flag up. He said that Jack
never came back from an offside position, but he was goalside of the last
defender and the ball came off their players head, so how could he be
"I thought the officials were poor, I lost count of the number
of handballs they missed."
Taylor was also angry with his side's display
against a team who had only won once in nine matches before Antony Howard's 77th
minute winner on Saturday.
"We didn't play well all game. There wasn't
enough support into the front players and our passing let us down.
the day Wimbledon were better. It's a great set-up here, but I didn't think that
they were anything special.
"It's been ages since we let a goal in from a
set play. Two of our lads were standing next to the goalscorer, one leaves it to
the other, and he nips in."
Lynn matched their Ryman Premier hosts in the
first period and just about shaded the first half honours.
neat football and the contentious disallowed goal for offside, the Linnets only
had a Sam McMahon volley in the 41st minute to show for their first half
But Taylor's troops restricted the home side to mainly
long-range chances in the first 45 minutes, although Dons striker Richard Butler
was a thorn in Lynn's side with his never-say-die attitude.
break it was a different story as Lynn sat deep and were content to hoof the
ball into the air at every given opportunity.
The Dons, who were dragged
down to Lynn's level, became more of a threat as the second half wore
A goal was always on the cards, but a handful of impressive saves
from John Higgs, aided by a solid display from Martin McNeil, kept Lynn in with
Eighteen minutes into the second half Michael Woolner cut inside
the Lynn defence and unleashed a shot which cannoned off Higgs' bar before Matt
Fowler put the follow-up wide.
AFC were clearly growing in confidence,
while Lynn's hopes of a Trophy replay were hanging by a thread.
decisive goal came 13 minutes from time when Howard powered home a header from a
corner on the left.
Lynn threw on the extra height of Danny Hammond into
attack, but The Dons' keeper Andy Little was merely a spectator for most of the
AFC Wimbledon: A. Little, M. Woolner (S. Sobihy 83), D. Sargent, A. Howard, S. Butler, W. Finnie, D. Plummer, M. York, R. Butler, M.
Fowler (S. Smeltz 90), W. Daly. Subs not used: M. Harvey, J. Lennie, S. Farr. Booked: D. Plummer, R. Butler
Lynn: Higgs, West, Smith, McMahon, Cooper, McNeil, Defty
(Jones 64), Kelly (Bunn 59), Camm, Bloomfield, O'Halloran (Hammond 81). Not
Booked: McMahon, O'Halloran
Referee: S. Chittenden (St
Albans). Attendance: 1,720.