FA Trophy: Gateshead 2 King’s Lynn Town 0
- Credit: Simon Moore/Focus Images Limited
Unfortunately not all fairy stories come true and so it was proved as King's Lynn Town exited this season's FA Trophy competition despite a fighting display in the North East.
The Linnets, cast as the plucky David in the aptly named International Stadium, were finally overcame by the mighty Goliath, or in this instance Gateshead, but not before the visiting underdogs had more than held their own, making the giant a little unsteady on his feet in an inspiring performance.
As was to be expected the hosts began quickly as Mitch Browning gave Alex Street some comfortable work and Gus Mafuta fired wide following a powerful run.
Town then settled and enjoyed what would be their most dominant period of the game.
Sam Warburton cut inside and fired just wide, Shaun McWilliams was just inches away following Toby Hilliard's lay-off and minutes later the roles were reversed when James Bolton toed the ball to safety as Hilliard lurked after McWilliams' through ball.
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McWilliams was superb in Town's midfield and along with assistant boss Lee Stevenson and Michael Clunan, both also in fine form, Lynn had the sniff of an upset.
A Clunan free-kick which was headed over by Ryan Hawkins reinforced the feeling so it was a real body blow when the 'Heed' took the lead on 36 minutes from nothing.
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A quick free-kick found Mafuta in space and he fired a powerful, low ball into the six-yard box which was met emphatically by debutant Jordan Burrow who buried the ball past a helpless Street.
Half-time substitute Nyall Bell rattled Street's near post moments after the restart but again Town weathered the early storm and proceeded to go toe-to-toe with the home side.
McWilliams tried his luck from range as keeper Dan Hanford collected. Town now had some momentum and sure enough a golden opportunity to equalise arrived.
Hawkins made some room for himself on the right and delivered an inch-perfect pass to Hilliard who horribly fluffed his lines to become a hero as he somehow scooped the ball wide from three yards as he finally eluded his marker Manny Smith.
The miss seemed to stir the hosts from their slumber with Burrow going close twice in the space of three minutes, the second effort hitting the base of Lynn's post with Street beaten.
Wes Atkinson fired over and Stevenson did the same as the visitors became restricted to long-range efforts.
With the minutes ticking down Lynn saw their hopes of gaining anything from the game extinguished as Smith prodded home from close in following a home corner.
Late on Jamal Fyfield almost added a third, which would have been harsh, as he barrelled his way through a tiring Town defence only to see his shot deflected away to safety.
Gateshead: Hanford, Bolton, Manny Smith, Fyfield, York (Hannant), Brundle, Jones (Bell), Atkinson, Burrow ( Danny Johnson), Penn, Mafuta. Unused subs: Johnson, Smith.
Lynn: Street, Zielonka (Revan), Yong, Gaughran(Fryatt), Quigley, McWilliams, Clunan, Stevenson, Hilliard, Hawkins (Emmington), Warburton. Unused subs: Edge, Congreve.
Referee: Paul Marsden