Photo Gallery: King’s Lynn 3, Rye United 1
King's Lynn won an epic FA Vase quarter-final after extra-time today against nine-man Rye at The Walks.
Supersub Robbie Harris notched a brace after only being introduced at full-time after the visitors had pushed Town all the way.
Lynn now go into a two-legged semi-final draw on Monday at FA headquarters for a place at Wembley after edging a truly titanic tussle. The Linnets had been decidedly second best in front of another 1,500 plus home crowd until Steve Spriggs buried Jack Defty's back heel from an acute angle on 44 minutes.
The influential Duncan McArthur had earlier lobbed the vistors in front after Rye were reduced to ten men on 15 minutes when defender Shaun Loft earned a straight red for an apparent stamp on the grounded Defty. Danny Ellis was then red carded in the closing stages of normal time for tangling with Luke Thurlbourne before Harris pounced in either half of extra-time to cap a remarkable comeback.
Lynn's 34-goal top scorer Defty was passed fit to spearhead Town's attack after a recent hip injury with Spriggs deployed just off the big man as Pat Bexfield continued in a wide right role and Luke Thurlbourne at right-back.
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Alex Street took a confident catch from McArthur's deep free kick in the opening seconds. Luke Thurlbourne's set piece at the opposite end skidded through to Josh Pelling with Defty ready to pounce on any spill.
Kieran Doherty earned an early caution for a rash lunge on Loft that sparked an angry reaction from the Rye players. McArthur tested Street again with a dipping free kick from 20 yards before Spriggs was bundled over a yard outside the box - Sam Cole the first visiting player into the book. Jamie Thurlbourne's attempted free kick from 18 yards struck Danny Ellis before the Sussex outfit cleared at the second attempt.
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Loft was dismissed on 15 minutes after initially poleaxing Defty in a mid air challenged that left Town's skipper grounded clutching the back of his head. The defender then appeared to stamp on the Town frontman in front of the referee. Former Brighton man Scott Ramsay switched to centre half in the absence of the departed Loft with Liam Upton forced to lead the line on his own.
Town struggled initially to deal with the visitors' nuermical disadvantage until Spriggs raced away but his weighted throughball for Bexfield was cut out by Cole with a timely intervention. John Richardson then headed the corner away at his far post in a belated spell of concerted home pressure midway through the half.
Upton cleverly glided past Danny Buhlemann on the edge of the Town box but dragged a right-footer past Street's near post.
Buhlemann then needed to rob the dangerous Upton after another Rye counter with the ten-men still showing plenty of attacking ambition. McArthur's quickly-taken long range free kick flew well wide of Street's left-hand upright with Town still struggling to establsh any measure of superiority.
McArthur exquisitely lofted Rye ahead on 32 minutes after Lynn's defence allowed Pelling's long punt to bounce through. Defty's chest pass freed Spriggs but the Town frontman was unable to fashion a cross.
Street had to drop on Jack Dixon's half volley with McArthur again directing operations. Rye skipper Richardson took emergency action to hack Bexfield's pass behind on 41 minutes but Defty was unable to divert Jamie Thurbourne's teasing corner. Pelling then dropped on Jamie Thurlbourne's low cross with Defty again lurking. Richardson read the game perfectly to clear with Spriggs ready to latch onto Jamie Alsop's deep pass. Defty's glancing header skidded wide on the greasy surface.
Dubi Ogbonna was introduced at half-time for Lynn in place of Doherty - triggering a series of positional switches with Bexfield returning to right-back, Luke Thurlbourne replacing Doherty in central midfield and Spriggs back on the wide right.
Jamie Thurlbourne's tame free kick was cleared in the opening minute before Bexfield slid in to rob Upton.
Pelling held on under aerial pressure from Defty from Alsop's hanging cross.
Defty was unable to collect Ogbonna's driven cross from the right before Spriggs stumbled inside the box. Spriggs and Defty then combined sweetly but Danny Ellis cleared before Defty miscued Jamie Thurlbourne's corner during the hosts' best concerted spell of the quarter-final. Jamie Thurlbourne failed to control Defty's flick just past the hour mark with only Pelling to beat. Ellis tricked Alsop inside the Town box but his lifted cross was just too high for Dixon at the back post.
Dixon then made a decisive block to foil Ogbonna who had tried to turn on the edge before Lynn's recent recruit jinked around three Rye defenders but choked his shot at Pelling.
Street pouched Cole's flick header but could watch Jamie Thurlbourne's 25 yarder fly over the Hospital End. Dixon had to bail out Pelling when Jamie Thurlbourne's flighted cross looked to be dipping underneath the Rye bar on 70 minutes.
Ellis shrugged off Bexfield on 75 minutes but his curler from the angle thudded Street's far upright and bounced back into the Town keeper's grateful arms.
Ross Watson's bucaneering run ended with a wild lash behind on 79 minutes. Rye were then reduced to nine men when Ellis and Luke Thurlbourne tangled on the far side just over half way.
Danny Leach bundled his way through on 87 minutes but dragged straight at Street from 10 yards in a massive let off for the hosts. Watson hacked over from 25 yards after decent set up play from Ogbonna with Lynn trying to avoid an extra 30 minutes. Jamie Thurlbourne cut inside two markers but smacked at Pelling. Luke Thurlbourne was then upended 20 yards out - Jamie Thurlbourne's cheeky short pass picked out Ognonna who had peeled off the Rye wall but Pelling saved with his legs.
Town struck the bar in the final seconds of normal time when the faultless Pelling misjudged Jamie Thurlbourne's hanging free kick but Danny Simmonds'clearing header hit the top of his own bar.
Harris was introduced at the start of extra-time for Danny Buhlemann in a bold move from the Town management.
Defty's glancng header from Jamie Thurlbourne's diagonal cross grazed the outside of Pelling's post from eight yards. Harris created a sliver of space just inside the Rye box but Pelling again was Town's equal. Harris then sidefooted Spriggs' cross wide with chances now starting to flow for the hosts.
Harris finally edged Town in front on 97 minutes when he cooly controlled Luke Thurlbourne's inch perfect pass to steer past Pelling from 12 yards.
Ogbonna latched onto Jamie Thurlbourne's raking ball with the freedom of a tiring Rye backline, but Pelling again stood firm before dropping on Luke Thurlbourne's long range strike.
Pelling denied Jamie Thurlbourne seconds after the restart in extra-time with another kicked save. Defty swivelled to free the overlapping Harris but his cross-cum-shot flew into the terracing. Harris then struck Pelling with only the keeper to beat from Defty's flick.
Ogbonna's burst teed up Defty who sidefooted against the top of the bar from 16 yards. Harris earned Town some priceless breathing space on 113 minutes when he poked home underneath Pelling from Jamie Thurlbourne's raking cross. Chris Bacon could have added a fourth when he lashed over from inside the Rye six yard box after Pelling's knockdown dropped invitingly for the Town substitute.
• King's Lynn: Street, Doherty (Ogbonna 45), Alsop, L Thurlbourne, Buhlemann (Harris 90), Watson, Bexfield, White, Defty, Spriggs (Bacon 105), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): McNeil, Hails.
• Bookings: Doherty, Watson, Alsop, White
• Goals: Sprigss (44), Harris (97, 113)
• Rye United: Pelling, Simmonds, Cole, Loft, Richardson, Dixon, Ellis, McArthur (Franklin 84), Upton (Leach 61), Ramsay, McLean (Clarke 105). Subs (not used): Gall, Tuppeney.
• Bookings: Cole, McArthur, Dixon
• Sending offs: Loft, Ellis
• Goal: McArthur (32)
• Referee: M Bull (Chelmsford)
• Attendance: 1,657
• Click on the attached links to view a photo gallery and video from Lynn's latest memorable cup win.