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King's Lynn 2 Soham Town Rangers 1
1st September 2011
A RARE headed goal from Steve Spriggs gave Lynn a deserved victory in this pulsating tie on Saturday and spared the blushes of home keeper Alex Street.
The winger's third goal of the season came just seconds after the 19-year-old keeper had gifted Soham a 63rd minute equaliser when he tripped over the ball, allowing Matthew Robinson an open goal.
But Spriggs' effort from Jamie Thurlbourne's corner sealed the win and booked Lynn a home tie against high-flying Ridgeons League premier division side Haverhill Rovers on September 17.
Joint Linnets boss Gary Setchell said: "It was a scrappy game in the heat and possession of the ball changed hands far too often for both sides' liking.
"We were the team on the front foot. I felt we had more of a cutting edge than Soham did and came out on the right side of the result.
"I felt the first goal today was even more vital today than any other game. I felt if Soham had scored first they would have rolled their sleeves up and made it very difficult for us.
"We've gifted them their goal but we've showed good character to go straight back up the other end and score the winner."
Opposing boss Andy Furnell said: "I thought we deserved something out of the match to be honest but that's football.
"King's Lynn are a big, big club. Everybody wrote us of before the game but I felt we deserved a replay at the very least as we created the better chances, especially in the first half.
"They always say in football that you are most vulnerable when you score a goal and we switched off for Lynn's second and that disappointed me."
The visitors, who ply their trade a league above Lynn, were stronger opposition than most who come to The Walks, but there had only looked one winner after Jack Defty's header had opened the scoring on the stroke of half time.
Back in the team after injury, Defty's inclusion meant the unlucky Robbie Harris - scorer of a hat-trick last week - was consigned to the bench.
But Big Jack proved his worth from the start. After five minutes he headed down for Danny Beaumont to shoot just wide, and four minutes later saw his strong header from Spriggs' cross well saved by the impressive Daniel Bircham.
Soham battled hard and saw Robinson and the busy David Cobb threaten before defender Stuart Wall went close for Lynn with a header.
Then, in first half injury time, Defty notched his fourth of the season from the hard-working Jamie Thurlbourne's cross.
After the break Andrew Coleman headed wide for Soham after the usually-impressive Street flapped at a cross, and then Bircham made a great save from a Spriggs drive.
Defty headed a Luke Thurlbourne cross just past the post and White fired straight at the keeper as Lynn looked to make it two.
Then came Street's clanger, falling over while dribbling the ball out of his box, followed by relief all round when Spriggs restored the lead.
That goal set up a grandstand finish, with Soham going for the equaliser and Lynn exploiting them time and again on the break.
Man of the match Spriggs fired just wide before substitute Craig Calver - signed from Bishop's Stortford - fired over with only his second touch. Other sub Harris went close too before another great save denied Spriggs.
Back came Soham, with Street saving from Cobb and the same player then being denied by a last-gasp tackle from final sub Ryan Fryatt.
Calver missed again after great work by Jamie Thurlbourne, and he spurned a third chance to score a debut goal four minutes from time.
Left back Jordan Yong cleared off the line for the home side after the ruffled Street came out of his area and was lobbed, and then the Lynn stopper saw a cross from Luke Hipwell strike the bar.
And there was still time for Calver to fluff his lines again before the final whistle. Lynn: Street, L Thurlbourne, Yong, Cousins (Fryatt 83 mins), Wall, White, Spriggs, Bexfield, Defty (Calver), Beaumont (Harris 70), J Thurlbourne. Sub (not used): Hails.
Attendance: 853.
Report by permission of the Lynn News