Photo gallery: FA Cup third qualifying round: King’s Lynn Town 3, Lancaster City 2
- Credit: Matthew Usher
The Linnets punished 10-man Lancaster with a first-half blitz to put their name in the hat for Monday's fourth qualifying round draw.
Jacob Davis' red card in the 22nd minute for two bookings – the second of which was beyond stupid, ultimately changed the game – and gave Town an advantage they never relinquished.
The excellent Steve Spriggs scored the opener, played a part in the second and set up the third as the Linnets wrapped things up in essence before the break. And even though Ben Hudson found the net after the interval – as George Thomson and Michael Frew had done prior to his strike – and substitue Simon Wearing struck at the death our region's last remaining non-league representative saw the tie out to progress.
Lynn are now just one more triumph away from the first round proper for the maiden time as a reformed club and a potential money-spinning encounter with a Football League outfit. And if they land a home tie for the fourth stage running you wouldn't bet against the men in blue and gold mixing it with the big boys come early November.
Lynn went into the match knowing they would double the £7,500 prize money they have already pocketed in the cup this term by seeing off the Dolly Blues. Gary Setchell's options were less depleted than when his side stunned Hednesford in the last round but he still sprung a slight surprise by naming Dan Quigley on his substitutes' bench despite appearing to rule him out last night.
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Former QPR team-mates Darren Peacock and Trevor Sinclair – who travelled down to Nelson's County yesterday – were seeking a fourth win in this season's competition. The Evo-Stik Division One North outfit entered a stage before their Premier hosts from Norfolk. But while the visitors went into the tie as underdogs they arrived in confident mood having triumphed three times on the road already including a shock victory over FC United – who play in the Linnets' league – in the last round.
The magic of the cup wasn't lost on football fans around the area with the kick-off being delayed for 10 minutes due to crowd congestion. And when the action finally got underway it was Lancaster who created the first chance with eight on the clock.
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Tom Kilifin expertly picked out the run of central-midfielder Billy Akrigg – who outpaced his marker David Bell – but his volley from the edge of the box was saved fairly comfortably by Alex Street in the home goal. It was the start of a decent opening from the away team as they hustled, harried and generally used the ball more dilligently.
Kilifin showed Ryan Fryatt a clean pair of heels, perhaps far too easily, and would have laid it on a plate for his strike partner Aaron Taylor had his final ball been slightly more underhit. It was a great opening and one Lancaster would live to rue.
That feeling of disappointment turned to despair when Davis inexcusably recieved his marching orders for a deserved second yellow. The foolish defender tried to block Street as he attempted to drop-kick a clearance forward, having only been punished for a foul on Jake Jones minutes earlier.
And Lynn took no time in making their man advantage count when from the resulting free-kick, the men in blue and gold took the lead. Street's pumped ball forward was headed on by Frew and flicked round the corner by Sam Mulready. Spriggs was in and somehow managed to squeeze the ball past Mike Hale despite the angle looking like it was against him.
The hosts' lead was doubled eight minutes later when a sweeping move eventually saw Frew attempt a bicycle kick in the area. Although his shot was blocked by Neil Marshall, Thomson was there to thump the ball home from little more than six yards out.
And a rout was on the cards before the break as wideman Spriggs – who tore left-back Gavin Clark to pieces – picked out Frew delightfully and he slid the ball home equally as impressively to give their side more than one foot in the next stage.
Lancaster were shell-shocked. However, they had at least one gilt-edged chance to stop the rot when Ryan Winder picked out Akrigg. Yet he somehow missed what can only be pleasantly described as a sitter.
Visiting boss Peacock clearly wasn't happy about something as he didn't return for the restart after being dismissed for something he did or said in the tunnel at the break.
Perhaps his passion fired up his troops as they pulled a goal back three minutes into the second period as Hudson ghosted into acres of space and headed a free-kick past Street from close range. And for the next five or minutes so there were certainly a few nerves filtering through the home faithful.
Setchell's side regained their composure relatively quickly with Frew spurning a decent sighter as he tried to help it across goal for Mulready. But with Jordan Yong bombing on from left back, it was the men from Nelson's County who gained the upper hand as the match wore on.
Thomson struck a post with a sweet effort before Wearing got the wrong side of Shaun Stocker and lobbed Street to make it 3-2. Yet to his agony the full-time whistle blew less than 60 seconds later as Lynn were spared a nervy last few moments.
Lynn (4-4-2): Street, Ramm, Watson, Fryatt, Yong, Spriggs (Stocker, 79), Bell, Thomson, Jones (Bridges, 61), Mulready, Frew (Quigley, 85). Subs not used: Ward, Pearson. Booked: Ramm, Bridges, Fryatt, Bell. Goals: Spriggs (24), Thomson (32), Frew (39).
Lancaster (4-4-2): Hale, Hudson, Clark, Davis, Marshall, Hunter, Winder, Akrigg, Kilifin (Livesey, 61), Taylor (Woods, 75), Bailey (Wearing, 85). Booked: Birch, Magolis, Henry, Donlan. Booked: Davis (x2), Winder, Livesey. Sent-off: Davis (22nd min). Goals: Hudson (48), Wearing (89)
Referee: R. Massey-Ellis
- Buy Monday's EDP for a special FA Cup Pink Un on the Linnets' weekend win.