FA Cup: Tamworth 2, King’s Lynn Town 1
Gary Setchell hailed his team's 'super human' performance as King's Lynn Town came within a whisker of forcing a deserved replay with Blue Square Premier play-off hopefuls Tamworth on Saturday.
With just seconds remaining Lynn piled the pressure on in search of an equaliser and when Luke Thurlbourne sent a rasping drive goalwards it looked destined for the back of the net. But as the near 200 Lynn supporters behind the goal got ready to celebrate the ball agonisingly shaved the top of the crossbar.
Tamworth, four rungs above Lynn on the non-league ladder, were stunned as the impressive Jamie Thurlbourne fired the visitors into a 12th minute lead - but goals from Lambs deadly duo Kyle Patterson and Keiron St. Aimie earned Tamworth a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup.
Proud Linnets boss Setchell said he couldn't have asked more from his battling performers: 'The players somehow found an inner strength to keep on going till the end and we could of had a replay at The Walks had Luke's 93rd minute shot gone in.
'It's been a super human effort by everybody to come to a full-time Conference side - and to take it down to the wire was a monumental performance,' enthused the one-time Tamworth player.
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'We more than matched Tamworth by playing some decent football, but the commitment and the work rate was unbelievable.'
Setchell added: 'We now need to use this performance as a platform for the rest of the season - if we can't reproduce performances like this in the league and in the Vase we will only be cheating ourselves.'
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Setchell made just one change to the team that beat Boston Town 1-0 in midweek with the fit again Jamie Thurlbourne returning to take the place of top goalscorer Robbie Harris who dropped to the bench. New signing Rob Hughes was cup-tied, but Danny Beaumont recovered from a back injury to take his place alongside Jack Defty in the Lynn attack.
King's Lynn started much the brighter of the two sides and with just three minutes on the clock Defty only just failed to get on the end of a dangerous centre from Jamie Thurlbourne, before goalkeeper Jonathon Hedge was forced into action after a good run and shot from Stephen Spriggs.
The Linnets continued to show no signs of fear in taking the game to their higher ranked opponents as Beaumont mugged Jay Smith on the edge of the area, but the former Dereham striker should of done better than pulling his 10th minute effort wide of goal.
But just two minutes later the deadlock was broken as Jamie Thurlbourne curled a delightful 20-yard free-kick into the top-right corner to send the 194 Lynn fans into raptures.
However Setchell's brave men were unable to build on their lead and were undone by two Tamworth set-pieces - first Patterson nodded in Danny Thomas' free-kick after 24 minutes to level the scores, then ex-QPR forward St. Aimie bagged the winner three minutes before the break powering home a near post header from Thomas' corner.
• Tamworth: Hedge, Habergham, Courtney (Francis 45), Smith, Cain, St.Aimie (Shariff, 70), Thomas, Patterson (Christie, 64), Green, Bradley, Kanyuka. Subs not used: McDonald, Barrow, Collister, Taylor.
Goals: Patterson 22, St.Aimie 42.
Booking: Kanyuka 67.
• King's Lynn Town: Street, Bexfield, Yong, Watson, Buhlemann, White, Spriggs, L Thurlbourne, Defty, Beaumont (Harris, 77), J Thurlbourne (Livoti, 86). Subs not used: Fryatt, Hails.
Goal: J Thurlbourne 12.
Bookings: Yong 21, Watson 81.
• Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
• Attendance: 966