FA Trophy: Market Drayton Town 2 King’s Lynn Town 2
- Credit: IAN BURT
A late wonder strike from George Thomson ensured King's Lynn Town are in the hat for today's FA Trophy second qualifying draw following a remarkable match of cup football in deepest Shropshire.
Thomson's 87th-minute equaliser and substitute's Sam Mulready's earlier effort didn't even tell half the story as Lynn fought back from a two-goal deficit after James Askey and Joe Woolley had put Markey Drayton in control.
A mixture of poor finishing, indifferent refereeing and the woodwork looked to have sent the Linnets heading for an early cup shock exit. But, and not for the first time, Gary Setchell's battlers rolled up their collective sleeves, dug deep and were given the rewards much of their earlier play had deserved.
The visitors enjoyed a good start with the busy Steve Spriggs seeing lots of early ball which resulted in a great opportunity for Michael Frew which the striker failed to convert.
But the hosts took the lead from their first chance of any note, on 18 minutes, as Askey took full advantage of some sloppy Town defending and almost apologetically turned the ball past Alex Street from close range.
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Spriggs and Frew created an opening for Jake Jones, who hit the post when clean through with only keeper Shaun Rowley to beat.
Thomson then burst through a home defence appealing in vain for an offside decision, but rolled the ball wide of the left-hand upright.
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Seconds later the same player had the ball in the net following a Frew centre, but Lynn's celebrations were cut short by an assistant's raised flag.
Spriggs tested Rowley twice within seconds from close range, but the keeper was equal to both efforts. Then, on the stroke of half-time, the Linnets were awarded a spot-kick as referee Stuart Eagland penalised a home defender for handball. Thomson stepped up, but his effort was saved by Rowley – his second penalty miss within a week.
The half-time break gave supporters the chance to draw breath, but it wasn't long before the home fans were in raptures when Woolley produced an assured finish to beat Street following a good home move.
Setchell introduced the bustling Gregg Smith from the bench for skipper Ross Watson as Lynn attempted to turn possession into goals. Thomson blazed over from distance, Frew shot straight at Rowley when well placed and David Bridges went even closer, leaving the home crossbar rattling from the effects of a 20-yard rasper.
Mulready was introduced at the expense of Spriggs and minutes later Lynn had a foothold as he stabbed home from close range to give the visiting support hope.
Four minutes later that hope turned to reality with an equaliser from the top draw. Smith collected a long crossfield pass with a delicate touch for a big man. He picked out Jones in the box with a delightful ball that the Lynn wideman chested down for Thomson who met it with a sweet, first-time volley which hit the top corner before the keeper had moved, giving the Linnets a second bite of the cherry at The Walks tomorrow.