FOOTBALL: The resurgence under caretaker managers Neil Fryatt and Rob Back continued for King’s Lynn Town with a 3-0 FA Cup victory against Stafford Rangers at The Walks on Saturday.
Ryan Hawkins returned from injury to take the place of Nathan Stewart in the starting XI for the second-qualifying round tie against the Northern Premier League side.
That was the only change to the team that drew 2-2 at Halesowen the previous week and it paid early dividends.
Hawkins got Lynn off to a dream start in the third minute when his curling 20-yard strike on the run sailed past visiting goalkeeper Adam Whitehouse.
Hawkins again came close in the 19th minute, when a good passing move ended with him sending a dipping shot just over the bar.
Both Ryan Fryatt and Rory McAuley came close to extending the lead before half-time.
Lynn continued to probe after the break, Whitehouse denying Harry Limb from close range after good work from Frazer Blake-Tracy.
A second goal arrived after 65 minutes. Limb played in Aaron Jones to cross into the Stafford box and the ball found its way into the net via Harrison Holgate as he attempted to fend off Michael Gash.
Craig Parker put the result beyond doubt five minutes later, heading home a corner from Michael Clunan.
Stafford substitute Joe Cuff grabbed a consolation in the dying minutes when his strike beat Alex Street at his near post.
That left the managerial pair disappointed and Back said: “Neil likes to keep a clean sheet so he was left cursing when they scored so late.”
But that was a minor setback with Back enthusing about the role Hawkins played.
“For Ryan to come back in and score like that was tremendous. It was a fantastic goal. Their keeper didn’t know he was going to shoot from that angle.”
The victory earned £9,000 in prize money and a home Third Qualifying Round tie against Ashton United of National League North on Saturday, October 6. Winners of that match will earn £15,000 and move within 90 minutes of a possible money-spinning draw against Football League opposition.
- Oksana Imanalijeva scored four goals for King’s Lynn Town in the Eastern Region Women’s League Cup but it was not enough to secure progress, as hosts Stevenage Reserves netted five to win by the odd goal in nine.