MIDFIELDER Lee Stevenson scored one of the most crucial goals of his short Linnets career to deservedly elevate the club back to the top of the Eastern Division table on Tuesday night. ,
Stevenson was the first to react after Carl Holmes' strike had cannoned back off the-bar following some nifty work from Dale Watkins on the right in the 53rd minute.
It wasn't a vintage display from Lynn, but a determined performance against a gritty Bashley outfit who were still smarting from their 6-0 home hammering by Tonbridge on Saturday.
A delighted Stevenson, who is slowly returning to his best after a long injury lay-off, said: "I was getting a bit frustrated because in the first half I had a header which I should have scored with.
"As the ball came back off the bar I thought to myself that's mine and I was delighted to put it away after having a good goal disallowed at Dartford a couple of weeks ago.
The first half today was probably the best 45 minutes I've had since returning to the team. I felt more myself."
Joint boss Darren Bloodworth praised his players, saying: "It wasn't the best team performance and there was a bit of nervousness about it, but the result was what mattered tonight more than the display.
I said to Kevin (Boon) before the game that if we got a 1-0 then I'd be happy.
"What pleased me more than anything again is that we've kept another clean sheet and we've actually hit a bit of form in that department which has helped us hold our nerve."
Chances were at a premium throughout the 90 minutes, but Lynn should have held a 2-0 advantage going into break.
Midway through the half Jack Defty put Dale Watkins in the clear, but nerves got the better of the frontman who failed to finish Lynn's first clear-cut opportunity of the match.
Ten minutes later, Stevenson fed the ball out to David Staff on the right, who in turn whipped in a cross which Stevenson glanced wide.
Bashley's only effort of the half came three minutes before the break when Stuart Cannie lofted over the bar after looking suspiciously offside.
The Linnets lost the reliable Defty four minutes into the second period, who was still suffering from a late challenge at the end of the first period.
The tension around the stadium was finally lifted eight minutes into the second half by Stevenson's goal and, to be fair, Lynn had further chances to put the game beyond the Hampshire side's reach.
Staff cut in from the left 12 minutes from the end and forced David Elm into a good save and two minutes later the visiting keeper was in the thick of the action again to foil Daniel Hammond's punt from a Stevenson corner.
Bashley pushed Lynn back in the final few minutes, but their long-ball tactics and bully-boy approach never looked like paying dividends against a resilient Linnets rearguard.
Lynn: Wilson, Jones, C. Defty, Hammond, Fuff, Stevenson, J. Defty (C. Fishlock 49), Holmes, Staff, Watkins (Bacon 82), Camm.
Subs not used: Butterworth, Nobes and Woodrow.
Bashley: D. Elm, N. Morant, T. Mamadosa (J. Gibbons 80), G. Connolly, M. Jones, A. Damton, G. Lee, D. Gibbons, S. Cannie, G. Keeping, D. Wakefield.
Subs not used: M. Lilley, P. Blackmore, J. Harvell.
Referee: Mr G. Hambling (Norwich). Attendance: 1,083.