Photo gallery: FA Trophy second qualifying round: King’s Lynn Town 3, Stourbridge 1
- Credit: Tim Smith
Two very late goals denied the visitors a replay as the Linnets progressed to the penultimate qualifying round of the FA Trophy.
A replay looked a certainty as the match at The Walks remained 1-1 going into the 89th minute thanks to first-half strikes from George Thomson and the visitors' Jordan Fitzpatrick.
But Gregg Smith found the net and Thomson grabbed an injury-time second, after his penalty had been saved excellently by Dean Coleman, to ensure there was no need to try again as Lynn – who struck the woodwork twice – avoided a trip to the West Midlands on Tuesday.
As a result Town can enjoy the weekend knowing they've already pocketed £3,250 prize money and wait to see who they land in the draw for the next stage where they will be joined in the hat by higher-level Conference North and South outfits.
Gary Setchell had called for perspective going into the game after his troops tasted back-to-back defeats in front of the club's faithful in the space of four days. But that latter reverse came in the League Cup on Tuesday night as a much, much changed Lynn rested several bodies ahead of today's all-important knockout fixture.
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Usual frontman Michael Frew shook off a calf problem to start and was asked to fulfil a role on the right-hand of midfield. His excellent cross early doors would have been one he would have thrived on had he been trying to get on the receiving end of it. But to his and Setchell's dismay nobody gobbled up the opportunity for a gimme.
Much like Town's 1-0 victory over the West Midlanders in August's Evo-Stik Premier Division fixture there was little between the two sides. But Setchell's men were certainly far more impressive than they had been during losses to Curzon Ashton and Lincoln United.
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Frew should have slipped in Jake Jones but failed to pick out his man before Jackson Ramm's cross met its target in the shape of Smith. Unfortunately his header found the grateful arms of keeper Coleman. A performance packed with desire and effort was typified none more so than by tireless midfielder David Bridges who skied an effort on the turn after busting a gut to get into an advanced position.
The Glassboys had offered little by way of an attacking threat but Ramm, for the first time, was caught wrong side and was bailed out by his goalie Alex Street who raced off his line to smother George Bowerman.
The lead Lynn deserved for their dominance of sorts came just before the half-hour mark as Frew slipped in Thomson and he dinked home delightfully to leave the on-rushing Coleman grasping at thin air. It was the number 10's 17th goal of what is proving to be a remarkable campaign after a summer of disappointment at a failed trial period with higher-tier Chester.
Captain David Bell raced down the left to tee up the impressive Jones soon after yet his shot struck team-mate Smith. Bell went close with a free-kick before Thomson crashed a stunning effort – after picking up a deep corner – against the crossbar.
Yet the hosts' eagerness to grab a second came at a price as too many blue and gold shirts got caught forward and the visitors took full advantage. Drew Canavan strolled forward unchallenged and slipped in Fitzpatrick who did the rest from inside the area.
It sparked a five-minute period of dominance for Stourbridge who should have taken a lead into the break. But Bowerman twice spurned great sighters after he was gifted far too much room by his opponents.
It quickly became an end-to-end affair after the break with Thomson fizzing over a free-kick, Jones having a drive blocked and at the other end Street stopping smartly at his near post to deny Peter Till.
Henry Eze's interception and Ryan Fryatt's great last-ditch tackle in their own boxes curtailed Brian Smikle's hopes of putting the away side in front with the tie on a knife-edge. Their defensive colleague Ramm scuffed one towards goal as he found himself in the opponents' last third while Eze got Fryatt out of trouble by covering round to outmuscle Bowerman.
Thomson saw a couple of efforts blocked in quick succession as he tried to profit from Smith's excellent control and subsequent delivery from the far touchline.
Keeper Street continued his decent afternoon's work, poor kicking aside, by thwarting Smikle's half volley acrobatically and gathering Bowerman's stinger with little fuss.
Coleman in the opposing net was certainly less busy but there was little he could do when left-back Jordan Yong left fly with an absolute rasper. The 25-yarder left the Stourbridge number one rooted to the spot but he had to recover quickly as the defender's rocket cannoned back off the bar and into the path of Smith whose rebound needed to be pushed away.
Both sides kept pushing for the all-important second and it looked like a replay was going to happen. However, Lynn struck twice at the death to ensure their name will be in the hat for Monday's third qualifying round draw.
First, Bell strode forward majestically and waited for the right moment to slide in Thomson. He, instead of shooting, laid it on a plate for Smith. And he, to be fair, couldn't miss.
There was still time for Jones to win a penalty after being hauled down by Coleman. But while Thomson saw his spot-kick palmed away, he gobbled up the second attempt to make it 18 for the season and complete his side's late, late show.
Lynn (4-4-1-1): Street, Ramm, Fryatt, Eze, Yong, Frew (Stocker, 70), Bridges, Bell, Jones, Thomson, Smith (Watson, 90+3). Subs not used: Colman, Ward. Booked: Smith, Ramm. Goals: Thomson (29, 90+2), Smith (89).
Stourbridge (4-4-2): Coleman, Ramsey-Dickson, Geohaghon, McCone, Haynes, Till, Fitzpatrick, Canavan (Morgan-Parker, 87), Brown, Smikle, Bowerman. Subs not used: Tye, Kalenda, McPike, Hill. Booked: Ramsey-Dickson, Brown, Smikle. Goal: Fitzpatrick (38).
Referee: A Crysell