FA Cup Preliminary Round: Wellingborough Town 1, King’s Lynn Town 3
King's Lynn Town breezed into the next round of the FA Cup with a convincing victory at Wellingborough this afternoon.
First-half goals from Jason Turner, Steve Spriggs and Danny Beaumont gave Lynn a three-goal lead that they never really looked in danger of losing as they booked their place in the first qualifying round with ease.
The only blot on a comfortable afternoon was that both sides ended the game with 10 men following a late flashpoint. Lynn's Ross Watson was sent off for his involvement in a melee after Daryl Lawman had been rightly red carded for a reckless tackle on Turner.
The Linnets had gone into the tie in confident mood having won their opening two matches in the Evo-Stik Division One South. Gary Setchell's recently-promoted outfit also had the added bonus of the knowledge they had won all of their four matches against the Doughboys during their two-year stint in the United Counties League.
Turner, Dan Buhlemann, Beaumont and Rob Hughes all came into Lynn's side while Richard Bunting, Jamie Thurlbourne, Ryan Fryatt and Jamie Forshaw were the four players to make way from the team that won 3-1 at Hucknall Town on Tuesday.
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Despite making changes, like he said he would, the Linnets boss had admitted he was wary of his side becoming the latest FA Cup scalp at the hands of lower-level opposition. And Rob Gould's outfit were definitely suffering a run of form befitting that of a giantkilling club.
They currently sit bottom of the UCL having lost their first two games but did enjoy their first outing in this season's competition - in the extra preliminary round - by beating March Town United 2-1.
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Step Four Lynn unsurprisingly created the game's first opening when Jordan Yong's driven cross found Russell Dunkley. However, the big frontman headed wide as he stretched to read the centre.
The Walks outfit's start was almost as bright as their turquoise away strip as Rob Hughes' precise side-footed effort struck the post and Spriggs - who scored twice on Tuesday - forced Dan Wallis into a decent save.
Dunkley lifted the ball over from close range in the 14th minute as he fell backwards before he headed over with a good effort 60 seconds later.
But in similar circumstances to Tuesday, the Linnets got caught on the break after dominating the opening exchanges. Fortunately for Setchell's side - unlike in midweek when they went behind to Hucknall - Daryl Lawman's scuffed shot from Craig Lawman's clever through ball was stopped comfortably by Alex Street.
That save proved to be crucial as Lynn took a deserved lead in the 18th minute. Just like Tuesday, Spriggs was fouled for the spot-kick to be awarded. But after being hauled down by Lee Gotch while attempting a header, unlike in midweek, he didn't take the penalty.
This time, it was striker Turner who calmly slotted home for his first goal of the season against his former club. Less than 10 minutes later than man Spriggs was wreaking havoc again as he put the Linnets two in front.
The winger - who started the game in lively fashion - smashed home a stunning 30-yard free-kick to increase his side's lead.
And the one-way dominance, which contained some delightful passing and movement from Setchell's troops, nearly resulted in a third when a sweeping move saw Beaumont go close.
But the former Dereham striker did notch in the 33rd minute as his left-footed half volley from the edge of the box gave the Linnets clear daylight. Their passing, movement and work-rate had simply blown their hosts - who play a level below Lynn - away.
Hughes and Dan Quigley bossed the middle of midfield while an electric Spriggs tore Wellingborough's left-back Ryan Neville to pieces. Lynn were in cruise control.
Turner's fine header from Phil Gulliver's cross forced Wallis into an excellent stop as the barrage of pressure became a storm. But thankfully for the hosts, who were chasing shadows, a flood of further goals didn't arrive before the break.
They even managed to snatch an unexpected one of their own when Craig Lawman - who was probably his side's star performer in the opening 45 minutes - found the net. Street won't have been happy though as he let his effort slip straight through his hands.
After a freak storm delayed the start of the second half by some seven minutes, it was more of the same from the re-start with Beaumont, twice, Quigley and Spriggs going close.
However, the Linnets switched off for a good 10 minutes or so with goalscorer Lawman and his namesake Daryl - who should have done so much better than he did - going close to hauling their team back into it.
The tempo was flatter than it had been but the Dog & Duck outfit's improved ability to hustle and harrie was paying dividends. Hughes was unable to get on the ball and spray it around like he had been during a comfortable opening 45 as Lynn's dominance slowed.
Beaumont had a shot cleared off the line by Gotch while at the other end Street did well to hold Daryl Lawman's cross-come-shot as the chances - and the weather - continued to dry up.
The impressive Craig Lawman nearly added an audacious second but his 25-yard lob was saved well by Street. And just as the game appeared to be closing out - Daryl Lawman sparked it into life with a disgusting challenge on Turner.
Lawman's wild hack was uncalled for, and completely out of the blue. Thankfully, Lynn's striker was ok and the Doughboys wideman deservedly got his marching orders.
However, in the aftermath, Lynn's Watson was also red carded for what appeared to be his reaction to the tackle.
Lynn, who pocketed �1,750 for winning this afternoon's clash, will travel to Daventry Town in the next round. The Step Four side triumphed 4-3 at Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Godmanchester Rovers today.
• Wellingborough: Wallis, Heycock, Neville, Parkes, Ekins, Gotch, Pendered, Redding, C.Lawman, Hancock, D.Lawman
• Subs not used: Stewart, Aldridge, Westley, Bouchier, Roberts
• Goal: C.Lawman (45)
• Red card: D.Lawman
• King's Lynn: Street, Watson, Gulliver (Fryatt, 69), Buhlemann, Yong, Spriggs (Thurlbourne, 75), Hughes, Quigley, Beaumont, Dunkley (Forshaw, 69), Turner
• Subs not used: Bunting
• Goals: Turner (18), Spriggs (26), Beaumont (33)
• Red card: Watson
• Referee: G. Russell
• Attendance: 220