Histon 0 King's Lynn Town 7 – Linnets get season going as big FA Cup win relieves some pressure
PUBLISHED: 21:36 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 September 2018
What a difference a change in manager can make!
The pressure-release was palpable among the Lynn players and staff at Histon as they roared into an utterly dominant 6-0 lead before half-time against their lower-level opponents.
It was a 2-2 draw with the Cambridgeshire side on Saturday which had set up this FA Cup first qualifying round replay – and cost Simon Clark his Lynn job after just one win from six Southern Premier Division Central games.
Yet caretaker managers Neil Fryatt and Robbie Back made just one change, with former Burnley trainee Harry Limb returning from the shadows and in the thick of things at the Glassworld Stadium.
Ryan Hawkins was the star of the show though, scoring a hat-trick in the first 45 minutes, two of which were spectacular long-range efforts, before worryingly limping off early in the second half.
A sharp free-kick from skipper Michael Clunan played the winger into the box in just the third minute, with Hawkins cutting on to his right boot and squeezing a shot through the keeper’s gloves.
Some nerves crept in and a good double save from Alex Street was needed before Hawkins blasted in from 20 yards for 2-0 in the 14th minute. That opened the floodgates and Toby Hilliard and Craig Parker – twice – finished tidily from close range.
Hilliard made it three in the 23rd minute, with nice play from Hawkins and Parker allowing Limb to cross from the left so the striker could fire home.
It was 4-0 four minutes later, with Limb powering down the right to allow Hilliard to slam into the roof of the net from 10 yards. Hawkins completed his treble with a dipping, swerving effort from 30 yards in the 37th minute and Parker continued the rout in the 44th minute to cap a superb first half under club stalwarts Fryatt and Back, banking £6,000 in prize money.
Clark may have had a tough job on his hands to follow the superb season under Ian Culverhouse but this memorable victory is surely proof that the right decision to make a change has been made.
Now it’s up to the Linnets squad to take this thrilling attacking style into the league and get their promotion hopes back on track.
The second half was a relatively straight-forward affair, with Limb testing home keeper Sam Roach with one effort from the edge of the box and Street tipping over a rising Ed Rolph shot in the 71st minute the highlights.
But there was time for substitute Nathan Stewart to put the icing on the cake, lashing home from 25 yards with seven minutes remaining.
Next up in the FA Cup is a home tie against Northern Premier Division side Stafford Rangers in the second qualifying round on Saturday, September 22 – with a league trip to mid-table Halesowen on Saturday the next focus.
Histon: Roach, Bexfield, McDonald, Smith (Emsden 34), York (C), Ruddy, Rolph, Swinton (Chivers 46), Brown, Key, Green (Weinman 75). Unused subs: Subs: Diejomaoh, Gould
Lynn: Street; Jones, Fryatt, McAuley, Blake-Tracy (Thomas 46); Jarvis (Richards 53), Clunan (C); Limb, Parker, Hawkins (Stewart 48); Hilliard. Unused subs: Congreve (GK), Castellan, da Rocha, McQuaid
Goals: Hawkins (3, 16, 37), Hilliard (23, 27), Parker (44), Stewart (83)
Referee: Jack Bloxham