F.A. Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

King's Lynn Town

Thomson (82) (penalty)

Hednesford Town

(0) 1

(0) 0



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James Hurst


Boston United (A) 4.10.14

Another scoreless week for the Pitmen sees them crash out of this season's F.A. Cup at the first hurdle, as their shot-shy attack failed to fire against Evo-Stik Premier League King's Lynn Town and allowed the hosts to got through to the next round courtesy of a late penalty kick

Frustrated at a lack of bite away from home this term, manager Rob Smith again elected to shuffle his pack off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Chorley last weekend. This saw a recall for teenager Jamie Ashmore in midfield, replacing Kris Taylor, and Marvin Robinson coming in up front to start instead of Tom Peers. New signing Archie Love was named amongst the substitutes after his switch to the club this week

King's Lynn had made a reasonable start to the season at step three level, although the Linnets had already suffered two home reverses this term. Nevertheless, Gary Setchell's side would prove to be no pushovers, further adding to the growing belief that there is very little - if any - difference between the capable sides in the Evo-Stik Premier League and the majority of the Vanarama Conference North clubs

Looking for a reaction to last week's reverse in Lancashire, the Pitmen started brightly, with James Hurst trying his luck from fully forty yards in the seventh minute of the game. Picking the ball up from long range, the athletic Hurst turned swiftly and hit a powerful shot wide of goal

Lynn keeper Alex Street was called upon for the first time in the afternoon on eleven minutes, as Hurst's first time shot found it's way to Danny Glover, whose own mis-kick was turned away by Street at his near post

A minute later, Glover thought he had given the Pitmen the lead as Street parried Robinson's effort into the path of Glover, who turned the ball home. The striker's celebrations were cut short, however, by a late offside flag against Hednesford's top scorer

Dan Crane made the first of three outstanding saves in the game on fifteen minutes, denying Sam Mulready a certain goal as the striker headed a cross goalwards, only to be denied by a superb flying stop from Crane at full stretch

The Pitmen were dealt a blow in the nineteenth minute, as Francino Francis was forced off with an injury sustained after he had fallen heavily inside his own six-yard box. Paul McCone came on in his place to join Ben Bailey in central defence

Crane produced his second wonder save of the game on twenty-one minutes, tipping away a header from Ross Watson after Tom Thorley had given away a free-kick just outside the Hednesford penalty area

Six minutes later, Crane claimed a hat-trick of brilliant stops to keep his side in contention, somehow keeping Michael Frew's header out with a wonderful one-handed stop from close range

The Pitmen's early attacking promise had dissipated as the half had worn on, with the hardworking Glover and the physical presence of Robinson failing to test a resolute Lynn defence

Jamey Osborne tried his luck with a long-range effort on thirty-seven minutes, driving a shot along the floor that was deflected wide for a Hednesford corner kick

Hurst incurred the wrath of the referee on the brink of half time, receiving a yellow card after catching Frew with a flailing leg after an acrobatic clearance

Alex Melbourne followed Hurst into the book two minutes into the second half, bringing down Mulready after the striker had stolen a yard on the utility man

A good passage of play involving Osborne, Hurst and Thorley saw the King's Lynn defence opened up on fifty-two minutes, with the ball eventually falling to Ashmore. The teenager failed to get his shot on target, drilling wide of goal from a good position

Both sides traded free kicks on the hour mark, with neither side forcing the opposition keeper into a meaningful save. A minute later, Bailey found himself in an advanced position down the right-wing. His low drive was parried out by Street, straight into the path of Hurst, whose follow-up shot whistled inches past the right-hand post

Love was given his Hednesford debut by Smith on sixty-one minutes, coming on in midfield to replace Ashmore

The game turned on a controversial moment that counted against the Pitmen on sixty-seven minutes, as Street rushed out of his goal to deal with a through ball and appeared to clearly handle the ball a good two yards outside his penalty area. To Hednesford's amazement, neither the referee nor his assistant on the far side spotted the handball and continued with the game

Street further frustrated the Hednesford players and fans five minutes later, as he made a great save to deny Glover low down to his left

With the Pitmen still lacking a cutting edge up front, Smith took the step of adding more pace to his front line with the introduction of Tom Peers in place of Robinson

The on-loan youngster went close to making an immediate impact with eleven minutes remaining, as his rising shot from the edge of the penalty area zipped just past the near post as Street struggled to get across to cover

With the game looking more and more likely to be petering out to a draw and a replay at Keys Park on Tuesday, the hosts were handed a great chance to win the game with eight minutes left; Melbourne was adjudged to have brought down Jake Jones just inside the penalty area, with the referee this time alert enough to spot the infringement and award Lynn the penalty. George Thomson stepped up and fired into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, despite Crane's best efforts to keep the ball out

A frenetic final few minutes for the Pitmen saw them struggle to carve out a clear chance, as Street and his defence fielded numerous set-pieces and crosses from a rattled and frustrated Hednesford team that looks low on confidence in front of goal at present

So, it's another year without an F.A. Cup run for the Pitmen, who will now concentrate on improving their league position in the next month or so with several interesting games to follow in October. A tough trip back to this part of the world follows next weekend, as the Pitmen make the journey to Boston United ahead of a home triple header which could shape their season after a spluttering first quarter of the campaign

King’s Lynn Town: Street, Stocker, Yong, Watson, Fryatt (Ward 65), Spriggs (Frohawk 88), Bell, Thomson, Frew, Mulready, Jones      Subs Unused: McLeish, McQuaid, Pearson

Hednesford Town: Crane, Hurst, Campion ©, Bailey, Francis (McCone 19), Ashmore (Love 61), Osborne, Melbourne, Glover, Robinson (Peers 76), Thorley      Subs Unused: Taylor, Westwood