Town Stumble At First Hurdle …
A penalty kick eight minutes from time would ultimately put pay to any plans Hednesford Town had of reaching the FA Cup First Round Proper for the second season running as they suffered a 1-0 loss at King’s Lynn Town in the Second Qualifying Round of the famous old competition, writes Scott Smith.
The Pitmen, often remembered for their giant killing throughout the 1990’s, were instead on the wrong end of a defeat in a game which was a pretty even affair and had looked like being set for a replay at Keys Park until the late drama.
Lynn were the first to have a sight of goal as Michael Fury saw his effort deflected behind for a corner in just the second minute. Meanwhile at the other end Hednesford thought they had the lead after 11 minutes only for Danny Glover’s effort to be ruled out for offside.
A lively opening 15 minutes then saw Dan Crane appear from nowhere to clear a headed effort from Sam Mulready off the line, despite the protests from the home team that the ball had crossed the line.
Hednesford almost suffered a double blow in the space of sixty seconds as first Francino Francis was forced off injured before Crane was called upon to make another smart stop.
In the 27th minute Town were indebted to Crane once again as he tipped over a goal bound header from Ryan Fryatt. Ten minutes later Jamey Osborne drove forward and his deflected shot was turned behind for a corner in the only other action of note in the first period.
Into the second half and Hednesford created an opening in the 53rd minute, but Jamie Ashmore blasted his effort well wide after finding space just inside the box.
As the visitors pushed on more the chances increased and just past the hour mark they ought to have to taken the lead. Ben Bailey was played in down the right and his first time effort was well saved but the ball fell to James Hurst who whistled his effort past the post from the 12 yards out.
A big talking point arrived in the 71st minute when a ball down the middle of the Lynn defence saw home goalkeeper Alex Street leave his box and clearly handle away to safety. Neither the referee or his assistant saw the incident though and play was allowed to carry on.
This would prove crucial as two minutes later a good pull back by Hurst found Glover who hit his first time effort towards the bottom corner only for Street to pull off a fantastic save with his feet when going the wrong way.
Despite being well on top, Hednesford would suffer a sucker punch in the 82nd minute when Alex Melbourne fouled Jake Jones inside the penalty area. Up stepped George Thomson to slam home the spot kick clinically into the bottom corner of the net despite the best efforts of Crane.
Hednesford now attacked in numbers as they searched for an equaliser, however there would be none forthcoming as all efforts were comfortably dealt with by Street as the home side progressed into the Third Qualifying Round draw.
King’s Lynn Town: Street, Stocker, Yong, Watson, Fryatt (Ward 65), Spriggs (Frohawk 88), Bell, Thomson, Frew, Mulready, Jones
Subs not used: McLeish, McQuaid, Pearson
Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion, Bailey, Francis (McCone 19), Ashmore (Love 61), Osborne, Melbourne, Glover, Robinson (Peers 76), Thorley
Subs not used: Taylor, Westwood