"VILLAIN of the piece" Sir Trevor Brooking was the first to offer his congratulations after Lynn marched into the second round proper for the eighth time in the club’s history.
Brooking – at the centre of the first round draw controversy – was a guest of honour at Woodside Park in one of the ties of the first round.
The former England and West Ham midfielder, an FA Cup winner himself, said: "King’s Lynn played very, very well and fully deserve their place in the next round.
"They passed it around very well and Michael Frew linked up very well with Jack Defty up front.
"It was a really good cup tie and both teams deserve a lot of credit for the way the game was played."
This eight-goal thriller had everything and Lynn could even afford the luxury of a missed penalty in a breathless 90 minutes.
Caretaker boss Shaun Carey hardly batted an eyelid at the final whistle as the Lynn players and fans celebrated in style.
A calm and collected Carey said: "I was buzzing at the final whistle and was made up for the boys. I told the players to enjoy this moment but remember the focus is still on winning the league.
"The FA Cup is a bonus. People didn’t expect us to get this far and we have to enjoy it, but the next game is a few weeks away now.
"I just knew from how we’d trained in the week that the lads were right.
"I was delighted with their attitude and work rate. The only disappointing thing is that we switched off for Bishop’s Stortford’s first two goals and I told them that at half-time."
Chances arrived at either end as the game ebbed and flowed from start to finish.
Eighteen minutes in, Jack Defty was hauled down in the box by Michael Stambrook, but the resulting Mark Warren spot kick was well saved by Chris Wright.
Lynn eventually took the lead eight minutes later. Gareth Gwillim conceded a free-kick, which Adam Smith fired into the bottom right-hand corner of the Stortford goal.
Lynn switched off and their hosts took advantage in the 36th minute when Davis Collis sent in a perfectly-weighted ball and Essandoh bundled home.
The Blues took the lead four minutes later when Essandoh’s flick fell into the path of Danny Morgan, who rifled home an unstoppable shot past Shaun Marshall.
Lynn were in need of some divine intervention and they got it in the shape of home keeper Wright, who guided a Smith free-kick into his own net in first-half stoppage time.
Lynn were rampant at the start of the second period and they were gifted a third goal when Frew’s weak effort bobbed between Wright’s legs and into the net in the 56th minute.
The goal proved to be the turning point of the afternoon and six minutes later Smith played in Frew again and the striker left Wright no chance with his finish.
Morgan had a goal ruled out for offside 20 minutes from time, before Lynn broke up field and Frew turned provider when his cross from a tight angle was glanced home by Matt O’Halloran.
Even at 5-2 up there was never a sense that the game was over and Alex Martin pulled one back for the Blues when his 25-yard shot took a wicked deflection past Marshall.
Marshall was on hand to foil both Morgan and Anton Innocent late on, but nobody could deny that Lynn thoroughly deserved the win and their place in the second round draw.
Bishop Stortford: Wright, Collis, Gwillim, Porter, Stambrook (Mason 76),
Gillman, Howell (Lockett 76), Morgan, Essandoh (Innocent 72), Midson, Martin.
Subs not used: Steward, Young. Booked: Porter, Stambrook, Morgan.
Goals: Essandoh (36), Morgan (40), Martin (82).
Lynn: Marshall, West, Smith, Warren, Cooper, Camm, J. Defty (Nolan 80),
McMahon, Frew, Notman (Norris 90), O’Halloran (C. Defty 86).Subs not used:
Gaughran, Higgs. Booked: Warren, Cooper.
Goals: Smith (26, 45), Frew (56, 62), O’Halloran (71). Attendance:
Referee: S. Tomlinson (Hampshire). Man-of-the-match: Michael Frew.