Lynn player-manager Frank Wignall was instrumental in pushing aside the challenge of Clacton’s plucky amateurs in the FA Cup second qualifying round tie on Saturday.
He scored the vital second goal for Lynn 12 minutes from the end and was involved in the build-up for the two other goals.
But although Clacton held out for so long, Wignall said after the game that he was not worried. "I thought it a fair result on the play. They did not worry me, but it made it more difficult when they scored first.
"Clacton were a fair side, but we restricted them to just one direct shot at goal and some scrambles."
Clacton player-manager Roy Massey said "We were beaten by the better side. The difference was that King’s Lynn were more confident on the ball than some of our lads.
"While it was 1-1 it was on the cards for us to get a result.
"We held our own for a time in the second half, but then we were under some pressure for a quarter of an hour. Then King’s Lynn scored and that did it."
Now Wignall and his team face their first away test in this year’s competition, travelling to Harwich in the third qualifying round on October 20.
It took both Lynn and Clacton some time to settle down although Lynn were constantly pushing the Eastern Counties League side back. When goalkeeper Bob Catchpool made a hash of a goal kick, debut winger Ron Caley promptly sent the ball back into the area where Catchpool nervously saved.
At the other end Mick Wright - making his 750th senior appearance for the club - and Trevor Painter had their work cut out stopping tall strikers Rick Robinson and Massey.
It was Massey who helped Clacton open the scoring with their scrambled 14th minute goal. Wignall conceded a corner and Neil Partner’s kick swung into the six-yard danger zone. Massey put young John Willis under pressure and the goalkeeper dropped the ball and then punched it over the line when trying to clear.
A minute later David Brooks put a dipping volley just over the top and this was a foretaste of the Lynn equaliser in the 17th minute.
Wignall took over a Lynn move 25 yards out and pushed his centre over tall defender Alan Dennis to the left where Caley was waiting to hammer in a sizzling volley from 10 yards which left Catchpool gasping.
It was a dream goal for Caley and later Wignall paid him this compliment: "I thought the lad did tremendously well. He did just the job I wanted him to."
But Clacton were still a fighting unit and almost regained the lead in the 35th minute. A bad back pass from Nigel Smith let in Partner who just beat Willis to the ball, but there was little power in his shot and the covering Paul Morris raced back to clear.
Going into the second half, the Linnets had early shots from Brooks and Rudd cleared, but they were still not really asking many questions of the Clacton defence.
The game was losing its atmosphere and although Wright tried to lift it with some surging runs the players and crowd becoming restless.
Then the Linnets made their big effort and Charley had a couple of chances, but did not really test Catchpool. The breakthrough came after Robinson conceded a corner from Rudd’s shot on the right. Elliot went over to take the kick and his centre to the near post was met perfectly by Wignall with a header which ended up in the opposite side of the goal.
Two minutes later, the 80th of the game, Wignall stretched the defence with a wide pass out to Elliot. He beat his defender and centred quickly to Rudd who headed into the top corner of the net, well out of the reach of Catchpool - the third tremendous goal of the match.
Clacton tried hard to get back into the game, but they must have realised that their cup run was over for another year.
The Lynn defence, rearranged when John Richardson went down with flu, was in no mood to conceded any late goals.
|Lynn: Willis, Morris, Smith, Brooks, Painter, Wright, Lindsay, Elliott, Rudd, Wignall, Caley, Woolmer.
Clacton: Catchpool, Hillier, Hazelton, Elden, Dennis, Brock, Patner, Cracknell, Robinson, Massey, Trovell (sub Davidson 76 mins)
Referee: T A Richardson (Wisbech St Mary)