King’s Lynn 1, Dereham 4
Dereham overpowered King's Lynn tonight to clinch the Norfolk Senior Cup at Carrow Road.
The Magpies exacted a measure of revenge for their early season FA Vase exit with a clinical display against an under strength Lynn outfit.
Danny Beaumont's first half brace and a simple tap in from skipper Olly Willis put Matty Henman's side in total control at the break before Kyle Downes sealed the win on the restart. Jack Defty's 45th goal of the campaign proved scant consolation for Lynn who were denied by two superb reaction stops either side of the interval by ex-Linnet Shaun Marshall as they looked to launch a belated rescue mission.
The Linnets were forced to blood youngsters Tom McLeish and Ryan Fryatt in a new look defence - Danny Buhlemann also handed a start with Lynn missing a host of key defensive options through injury, suspension and unavailability.
Kieran Doherty and Luke Thurlbourne both started in midfield with the pair facing a County FA hearing in the near future over alleged racial incidents relating to the club's UCL Premier Division defeat to champions St Neots. Defty partnered Chris Bacon in attack with Robbie Harris absent.
Dereham were handed a pre-match boost with key midfielder Adam Smith passed fit after a thigh problem. Nicky Howell was also named on the bench after struggling with a hamstring injury.
Defty fired the first sighter of the final well over Shaun Marshall's bar but the Linnets' skipper was only inches from connecting with Jamie Thurlbourne's inswinging free kick in a bright early burst from the FA Vase semi-finalists. Jamie Thurlbourne's vision freed the overlapping Doherty but the midfielder's centre on the run dropped into the N & P Stand.
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Dereham had penalty appeals waved away on eight minutes when Sam Borrer's cross appeared to clip the diving Buhlemann.
Beaumont hammered wide from 16 yards out after Borrer tricked his way into the Linnets' penalty box. The influential Jamie Thurlbourne then drilled a 25 yard free kick against the base of Marshall's left-hand upright in an adventurous start to the contest for both clubs – Defty unable to re-direct a follow up header on target.
Beaumont curled Dereham in front with a wonderful right-footed effort on the edge of the Lynn penalty box that drifted over the despairing dive of Alex Street.
Magpies' skipper Olly Willis doubled Dereham's lead on 19 minutes after Lynn failed to clear their lines – rolling Downes's cutback into an empty net after the front player had evaded two weak attempted challenges.
Beaumont then volleyed just wide after Smith's first time strike dropped fortuitously into his path.
Gary Starling showed plenty of awareness to clear with Defty lurking inside the Dereham penalty box before Steve Spriggs cut inside Adam Gusterson but dragged off target.
Downes deflected Smith's driven cross behind after a powerful surge from the Magpies' midfielder with the Ridgeons Premier Division side happy to hit Lynn on the counter. Downes bravely threw himself in front of Doherty's goal bound hit on the half hour mark with Dereham tenaciously protecting their early lead.
Martin McNeil's curler from 25 yards lacked the precision of Beaumont's early opener before Defty's attempted lob dropped a yard wide after Marshall was nearly punished for a slack clearance.
Bacon burst in behind Dereham's backline for the first time in the contest before picking out Defty who sidefooted over from 16 yards during Lynn's first real concerted spell of pressure.
Beaumont pounced for his second on 38 minutes but the goal owed everything to Smith's gorgeous throughball which allowed the striker to lift around the exposed Street.
Olly Willis headed Defty's goal bound flick off his line to preserve Dereham's lead before Bacon slalomed through but his strike lacked the power to test Marshall.
Lynn's set piece specialist Jamie Thurlbourne swung another free kick wide with Lynn desperate for a lifeline prior to the interval. Marshall acrobatically denied Defty from point blank range after the big man looked odds to despatch Spriggs' cross.
Nicky Howell replaced the excellent Smith at the interval and tried his luck within seconds of the restart but hit McNeil from distance. Marshall again foiled his former employers with another instinctive tip over from Luke Thurlbourne following Defty's far post knock back.
Downes finally ended any faint prospect of an unlikely Lynn comeback with another tap in on 50 minutes after Howell escaped down the Dereham right. McLeish's touch prevented Howell testing Street again shortly afterwards. Luke Thurlbourne smacked Doherty's cut back into the Lower Barclay to ironic cheers from the sizeable Magpies' contingent situated at that end of the Main Stand. Dereham's Sam Willis was the first man cautioned after an abrasive challenge on Luke Thurlbourne sparked an angry reaction from brother Jamie before team mates from both sides helped diffuse the minor flashpoint. Doherty evened up the crime sheet when he hung out a leg to upend William Reeves. Defty connected with Jamie Thurlbourne's cross to finally beat Marshall on 66 minutes – but the total absence of a celebration underlined Dereham's dominance.
Buhlemann's half volley failed to test Marshall with Lynn still bravely pushing forward in the final quarter of the final.
King's Lynn: Street, Buhlemann, McLeish, L Thurlbourne, McNeil, Fryatt, Spriggs (Livotti 87), Doherty (Biles 75), Defty, Bacon (Moreira 83), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Spittlehouse, Johnson.
Goal: Defty (66)
Dereham: Marshall, O Willis, Starling, Gusterson, Eastoe-Smith, Beaumont, Borrer, Smith (Howell 45), Downes (Reeves 52), S Willis (Morgan 78), Wallace. Subs (not used): Manning, Powley.
Booking: S Willis
Goals: Beaumont (15, 38), O Willis (19), Downes (50)
Referee: Andy Tyne (Thetford)