King’s Lynn 2, St Neots 1
King's Lynn powered into the quarter-finals of the FA Vase after a thrilling second half display today at The Walks.
Robbie Harris slotted a close range winner on 65 minutes after Lewis Webb's penalty had cancelled out Jack Defty's 33rd of the season.
More than 1,600 fans erupted in joyous scenes as Town's management embraced their players at the final whistle after the Linnets had completed a memorable league and cup double over their UCL title rivals.
Lynn will now fancy their chances of emulating Wroxham's run to Wembley last year after sealing a last eight place in Monday's FA draw.
Defty was passed fit after picking up a hip injury against Cogenhoe in midweek. Steve Spriggs also lined up after missing the midweek draw with a viral infection. Left back Jamie Alsop was ruled out with the foot injury suffered in last weekend's 4-2 UCL league win at St Neots.
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Saints recalled Tim Trebes in goal after the youngster was ommitted for Dagenham signing Dave Hogan last week. Former Aston Villa striker Stefan Moore and FA Vase winner Shane Tolley again formed a potent visiting spearhead.
Town lined up with Luke Thurlbourne at right back with Pat Bexfield switched to the left to accommodate the absent Alsop. Kieran Doherty slotted into Luke Thurlbourne's central midfield role.
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Lewis Hilliard tricked his way past Bexfield but his cross was deflected behind for the first corner, which came to nothing.
Jamie Thurlbourne cut inside Dan Jacob but Chris Bacon was unable to latch onto his throughball. Danny White bailed out Alex Street with a punt clear after the young keeper spilled Stefan Moore's cutback.
Spriggs lashed over on 11 minutes after racing onto Bacon's slide rule ball. Defty earned a lecture when he grappled with Will Fordham - forcing the St Neots defender to change his ripped shirt.
Danny Buhlemann was alert at his near post to intercept Jacob's cross after the Saints' wide player caught Luke Thurlbourne ball watching. Trebes kicked away Bacon's towering knockdown with Luke Thurlbourne appealing for a push inside the Saints' penalty area.
Ross Watson's sliding challenge robbed Stefan Moore with the visitors a constant menace on the counter in the opening quarter.
Spriggs latched onto Bexfield's raking crossfield ball but the chance looked to have gone when he cut inside only for indecision in the Saints' backline to allow White to tee up Defty who headed at Trebes from six yards.
Doherty was upended a yard outside the box on 27 minutes - but Jamie Thurlbourne curled a yard over the seven man wall.
Tolley headed Jacob's cross over at the near post on 32 minutes after Lynn were caught napping at a quickly-taken throw in.
Defty swivelled smartly onto Jamie Thurlbourne's pass but Trebes was fully behind the strike. Fordham was crowded out after Stefan Moore dangerously brought the ball down inside the Linnets' penalty area. Hilliard sidefooted over into the small pocket of visiting fans 16 yards out after Jacob had escaped down the Town right yet again.
Bexfield's last ditch hooked clearance foiled Tolley on the restart after ex-Linnet Webb picked out the pacy frontman.
Watson powered Jamie Thurlbourne's corner straight at Trebes on 52 minutes in the first sighter for the home side of the second period.
Defty slid in from point blank range to put the hosts ahead seconds later after Bacon robbed the dawdling Fordham on his own goal line.
Defty was then inches away from a second when Jamie Thurlbourne skipped down the left to fashion a superb cross.
Street had to drop on Tolley's back post head down with the game now increasingly stretched. Doherty screwed a half volley wide from 16 yards with Defty causing havoc at the Saints' near post.
Saints drew level from the sport shortly after. Jamie Thurlbourne was robbed outside the visiting box which saw a rapier counter end with Jacob's fall over Watson's outstretched leg at the opposite end - referee Degnarain having no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.
Webb stepped up to fire past Street for his second consecutive penalty against his former club after last weekend's opener in his side's 4-2 UCL reverse.
Harris was introduced for Spriggs on the restart with the home fans still berating the match official.
The referee then waved away vocal appeals when Defty lost his balance in an aerial challenge with Fordham.
Harris bundled home on 65 minutes from inside the six yard box to restore Town's advantage after Defty's burst to the near post had distracted the away defence.
Bacon powered through the heart of the Saints' backline but chipped harmlessly behind before Defty desperately tried to control Jamie Thurlbourne's diagonal after another magnificent piece of defending from Buhlemann to break up a Saints attack.
Jacob struck the grounded Street from barely four yards after Stefan Moore twisted cleverly inside the Town box before the wide player was penalised for clipping Bexfield in the ensuing melee.
But Town played out the tense final few minutes with no real alarms to trigger huge celebrations on the final whistle led by chairman Buster Chapman who embraced Lynn's management in the technical area.
• King's Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Doherty, L Thurlbourne, Buhlemann, Watson, Spriggs (Harris 62), White, Defty, Bacon (Moreira 86), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): McNeil, White, Hails.
• Booking: L Thurlbourne
• Goals: Defty (52), Harris (65)
• St Neots: Trebes, D Moore, Davis, Webb, Fuff, Fordham, Hilliard (Skully 57), Hyem (Essendoh 81), S Moore, Tolley (Kanudu 74), Jacob. Subs (not used): Gent, McShane.
• Booking: Hyem
• Goal: Webb (61)
• Referee: A Degnarain (London)
• Attendance: 1,612