Three goals in extra time at Gorleston on Saturday put Lynn through to another Norfolk Senior Cup final. Not until then did their superior skill and stamina tip the scales against old rivals, who produced such a fighting brand of football — despite their poor season — as to peg Lynn back to a 2-2 draw at the end of 90 minutes. However they faded during the half- hour's extension.
Lynn, slow to assert themselves, had the tonic of an early penalty goal, but with three- quarters of the game gone, were facing a 2-1 deficit and the risk of a surprise defeat.
Then they began to get a grip on the play and Ryder - switched into the middle earlier in the second half - rescued them with a 77th minute goal equaliser.
Gallant Gorleston made a spirited reply and only narrowly failed to regain the lead. Then their tiring defence began to falter against powerful Lynn thrusts. Twice the resourceful Edwards was beaten during the first quarter of extra time and another
Lynn goal two minutes from the end put the issue firmly beyond doubt.
Gorleston this season but a shadow of the team that matched the best that Lynn could offer a few years back, nevertheless came out of this renewal of old rivalries with plenty of credit.
Their blend of young amateur and experienced players produced some wholehearted and enthusiastic football and with a bit more steadiness in front of goal they might well have sprung a major surprise. Although the teams had a goal
apiece at the interval the first half honours were Gorleston's, for they knocked Lynn right off their stride by resolute tackling and quick and accurate use of the ball. It was, indeed, much against the run of the play when BANNISTER put Lynn ahead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute after Lee had been brought down by Davidson.
Lynn's form was still giving their supporters a lot of misgivings when Manning was beaten after 31 minutes by a speculative long-range shot by ARNOLD. When Gorleston went ahead soon after the restart - HUNTER nodded home a superb header from Smith's corner kick — Lynn really looked in trouble.
In the end Ryder's switch with Lee - who supplied a stream of well-placed centres in the closing stages - paid dividends, but luck was more than once on Lynn's side, notably when a Hunter header was only inches wide with Manning well beaten.
At the other end Clarkston inevitably owed much to Edwards as Lynn finally began to touch the most formidable form. But the Greens goal-keeper could not be darned for the
TODD and RYDER extra-; time goals which enabled' Lynn ,to coast to victory.
At this stage Gorleston's defensive powers began to fade and their inability to counter Lynn's blow was increased when Rumsby, a former Reserve player who was the pick of a sound Gorleston half-back line, was crippled by a leg injury.
Lynn, ponderous and over-methodical at times, took almost an hour to get their attack moving with any real effectiveness. During this period their goal was often threatened by Gorleston raids. led in versatile style by Hunter, with some excellent support from left-winger Smith, one of the Gorleston's teenage players.
Few reputations were enhanced, however, in a Lynn side which almost paid the penalty of under-estimating the opposition.
|Gorleston: Edwards; J, Noble, M. Soaves; R. Rumsby. N, Powles, W. Dowell; J. Nutman, D. Davidson, J. Hunter Arnold, B. Smith.
King's Lynn: Manning; Neal, Bannister; Grant, Heagren, Bunn; Ryder, Todd, Williams