King's Lynn 2 Sheffield 1
30th April 2013
Linnets striker Sam Mulready says Tuesday night's title success is a moment he will cherish for the rest of his career.
Lynn lad Mulready headed The Walks outfit in front against Sheffield to maintain the recent record of local players scoring in title-deciding matches.
Chris Bacon was on target when Lynn won the league at Fisher, back in 2004, and Jack Defty achieved the same feat four years later at Merthyr.
Mulready, who turns 20 on Monday, said: "It's my my first title as a senior player and it's something I will cherish for a long while.
"I'd say it was probably the best moment of my career so far. I reached the last eight of the FA Youth Cup with Grimsby, but I've never experienced anything quite like this.
"The celebrations at the end are something which I will never forget."
While Mulready played a pivatol role against the oldest club in the world, it was substitute Shane Tolley who was the late hero as Lynn were crowned champions.
Tolley's close-range winner in the 77th minute sparked wild celebrations among fans as the Linnets clinched the title with a game to spare.
Mulready's first-half goal was chalked out by James Gregory as Sheffield threatened to spoil Lynn's planned promotion party.
But Tolley nodded home to elevate Lynn to Step Three ahead of Saturday's final league game at Belper Town.
In front of their biggest crowd of the season, the Linnets made the ideal start when Russell Dunkley's knockback found Mulready to head Lynn in front.
The game was played at a frenetic pace as Lynn piled forward for long periods of the first half, searching for a second goal.
Steve Spriggs was the architect of most of the danger and the wing wizard shaved the post before Dan Beaumont's follow-up was brilliantly saved by Liam Flynn.
Lynn goalkeeper Danny Gay was at full-stretch to tip over a Steve Woolley effort for a lively Sheffield outfit in an absorbing first period.
Sheffield's Matt Roney and Joel Purkiss gave the hosts some anxious moments, while Ryan Fryatt and Mulready almost doubled Lynn's advantage prior to the interval.
Lynn had penalty appeals for handball waved away at the start of the second period.
Sheffield's Purkiss came within inches of levelling matters when his shot flashed past Gay's left-hand post.
The equaliser eventually arrived 17 minutes into the second period when the Lynn defence went to sleep and the dangerous Gregory rounded Gay to score.
The tension began to build on and off the pitch as Lynn's play lacked the same intensity as the first half.
Substitute Fryatt headed just wide before Tolley's late winner sent The Walks into absolute delirium.
It was the first time promotion had been achieved in front of home fans since 1954.
: Gay, Watson, Yong, Lee, Gulliver, Thomson, Spriggs (Bunting 90), Quigley (Fryatt 32), Dunkley, Mulready, Beaumont. (Tolley 70) Unused Subs: Jepson, Butt, Scorers: Mulready 10, Tolley 77 Booked: Tolley, Fryatt, Watson
: Flynn, Burrell, Woolley, Cooksey, Hadfield, Stirrup, Roney, Gascoigne, Muldoon, Purkiss (McKenzie, 85), Gregory (Turner, 85). Subs not used: McKenzie, Hill, Al Hakam, Turner. Goal: Gregory (63). Booked: Gascoigne, Hadfield.. Scorer: Gregory 63
: 1,958. Referee
: Mr G. Sprague (Cambridge).