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Blue & Gold Trust Official Website

Bedford Town 2 King's Lynn 2
19th April 2005
David Staff's late brace has given The Walks outfit, who were 2-0 down after 73 minutes, a great chance of lifting this cup for the first time.
As away goals count double, a 0-0 or 1-1 draw or any Lynn win will be enough next Tuesday. It was a smash and grab raid by the Linnets, who at times were poor and would have settled for a narrow loss to take back to the second leg.
But manager Tommy Taylor's substitute gambles - including replacing a shaky Steve Wilson between the posts with John Higgs - paid off.
The tie had few clear-cut chances and both sides were at times bamboozled by the bounce of a dry pitch.
Centre-half Simon Clark was frequently off the pitch with a blood injury and bandaged head following an early clash of heads with Derwayne Stupple, and the away defence was generally disorientated and disorganised afterwards.
Lynn had the first chance in the eighth minute, Matt O'Halloran setting up Mark Camm to centre for Sam McMahon to head straight at keeper James Robinson.
McMahon became the sixth skipper this season as Mark Angel was a surprise late addition to the treatment table, joining Jack Defty.
Lynn were saved by the bar from Daniel Purzycki's header when Danny Hammond miskicked a swinging cross on 18 minutes.
The visitors' weaknesses on set-pieces again cost them, though. On 34 minutes Rene Howe was virtually unopposed when nodding home a Stuart Wardley corner from the left. O'Halloran almost got an equaliser just before the break, his volley being deflected by Bedford's James Taylor for a corner.
Seconds after the interval Darran Hay came even closer with a left-foot snapshot that somehow was blocked on the line.
Lee Hyde, making his first senior start of the season, headed over Camm's cross, but then the Linnets entered a worse phase with bad passing and were looking uncomfortable at the back.
The Eagles looked likely to score again, and did so after 73 minutes. Wardley was allowed to cut inside and fire a deflected effort into the top corner past Higgs - his first goal conceded in the competition after three clean sheets.
Taylor used the rest of his subs (Hay trotting straight back to the dressing-room) and the introduction of Ludo Quistin again seemed to revitalise the side. O'Halloran put the ball in again from a corner and the previously-quiet Staff headed home in the box with 11 minutes to go.
Then with just a minute left, O'Halloran earned a free-kick just outside the box which Gary Setchell dummied to take, and Staff needed no invitation to fire a trademark free-kick over the wall and to the helpless Robinson's right, to send the hundreds of travelling fans delirious and set up a thrilling home leg.
Deep in stoppage time, Howe was lucky to escape a red card when he appeared to headbutt Clark, both players being booked in the resulting fracas.

Bedford: Robinson, Jackman, Taylor, James (Blake 88), Howarth, Wardley, Challinor, Stupple, Purzycki (Okai 55), Howe, Lawley. Subs not used: Danaher, Winton, Guiney.
Booked: Howe 90+3.
Lynn: S. Wilson (Higgs 68), Hyde (Jones 80), Setchell, Clark, Hammond, Camm, Staff, McMahon, Hay (Quistin 78), Bloomfield, O'Halloran. Not used: J. Wilson, Forshaw.
Booked: Hay 37, Clark 90+3.
Referee: P. Barnes (Peterborough). Attendance: 681.
FACT fileShots on
Shots off
Free kicks
Bedford 434211 Report by permission of the Lynn News