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By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Goal-machine Conor Washington has terrorised defences all season and yesterday he destroyed King’s Lynn Town’s to help his side win the United Counties League Cup final.
The 19-year-old striker bagged a stunning hat-trick at Yaxley to cap a miserable end to the season for Lynn who can now add League Cup runners-up medals to the two they’ve gained for consecutive second-place finishes in the league.
Lynn boss Gary Setchell – who had challenged his players to shake off their ‘nearly men’ tag before the game – got the response he was looking for when Danny Beaumont’s looping header put his side in front in the seventh minute.
The Linnets looked bright and inventive going forward in the early stages but spurned a handful of promising opportunities with slightly over-hit final balls.
Jamie Thurlbourne cannoned a free-kick off Niall Conroy-Owen’s crossbar before Defty forced a fine save from St Ives’ keeper with a powerful header.
Yet just as it looked like Lynn would extend their lead, Stuart Cobb turned David Cobb’s cross in from close range to pull the Saints level.
The half ebbed and flowed, despite the referee’s determination to blow up for every minor infringement, as both teams continued to look dangerous going forward. But Ives’ dominance grew after their equaliser and they took the lead through Washington’s first piece of brilliance on the stroke of half-time.
He jinked past two players before audaciously chipping Matthew Hails from the edge of the box to give his team a 2-1 lead at the break.
Washington and his side’s influence on the game grew in the second half, and the teenager found the net again when he cooly slotted home following a fine one-two with strike partner Junior McDougald.
Defty headed against a post as Lynn threatened a response but one never materialised as Setchell’s side struggled to react and re-group.
Ives grabbed a deserved fourth when Washington completed his hat-trick –- and 52nd goal of a stunning season – in the 80th minute by outpacing Stuart Wall to race onto a hoofed clearance before lofting the ball over Hails from 25 yards.
• King’s Lynn: Hails, Deeney (Harris, 72), Watson, Wall, Yong, White, L Thurlbourne, Hughes (Davies 60), J Thurlbourne, Defty, Beaumont.
Subs not used: Fryatt, Street
• Booked: Wall, Defty, L Thurlbourne, Davies.
• Goal: Beaumont (7).
• St Ives: Conroy-Owen, Lambert, Newman, Fordham, Alsop, S Cobb, Last, Ellison, D Cobb, McDougald, Washington.
Subs not used: Hugill, Everdell.
• Booked: S Cobb, Newman, Fordham, D Cobb.
• Goals: S Cobb (32), Washington (45+1, 65, 80)
• Referee: A Wilson.
• Attendance: 692.