King’s Lynn Town’s FA Cup dream was ended at the hands of League One Portsmouth as the gulf in leagues shone through with the home team handing out a 6-1 beating, reports Chris Milsom from Fratton Park.
It took the home side just 108 seconds to get on the scoresheet. The impressive Cam Pring delivered a corner for Rasmus Nicolaisen to get above Rory McAuley and head past Archie Mair into the net.
Lynn then saw plenty of the ball and had chances of their own. Sonny Carey flashed a header across the Pompey goal as he was quickest to get on the end of Michael Clunan’s corner and minutes later Adam Marriott forced home goalkeeper Alex Bass into a good low save as his quick turn and shot nearly found the bottom corner.
Simon Power then had a chance for the Linnets. His driving run created an opening and the Irishman cut back on to his left foot but shot narrowly past the post.
As the clocked ticked on to 30 minutes Lynn were very much in the game, that was until Pompey captain Tom Naylor lashed home an absolute bullet from 25 yards, giving Mair no chance.
Minutes before the break Lynn nearly fell further behind when Ronan Curtis struck a rocket from distance but this time it was the crossbar that came to Lynn’s rescue.
The second half started much like the first with the hosts netting an early goal. Pring’s corner looked like it had missed everybody until Sean Raggett popped up at the back post to head past Mair.
Five minutes later and the hosts had another. Rory McAuley was caught in possession on the halfway line and Ellis Harrison laid the ball on a plate for Marcus Harness to curl past Mair.
Lynn got themselves a goal back after 68 minutes. McAuley, who had remained up field following a corner, played the targetman role as he held off his marker well to roll in substitute Dayle Southwell who fired across Bass and into the corner of the home net.
Hopes of a comeback were swiftly dashed. In Pompey’s very next attack they were awarded a penalty with Ross Barrows guilty of fouling Pring and Ellis Harrison coolly dispatched the resulting penalty kick, sending Mair the wrong way.
Jordy Hiwula then added his name to the scoresheet as he curled another fine goal past Mair to cap a professional job for the 2008 FA Cup winners.
Linnets manager Ian Culverhouse admitted the home team’s attitude had been spot on to ward off any threat of a giantkilling.
“The gulf in class showed and they were ruthless,” said Culverhouse. “We were hoping to catch them if their attitude wasn’t right but, fair play to them, they attacked it really well and their attitude from start to finish was spot on. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything else from one of (Portsmouth manager) Kenny Jackett’s sides. He gets them playing well and you could see the quality.
“When you analysis the goals, they were preventable. We were in possession of the ball a couple of times and gave it away sloppily and next thing you know we are picking the ball out the net, but that’s the gulf in class.
Even so, our character after conceding so early was good. We got a little bit of belief and broke on them a couple of times.
“We knew they would have bags and bags of possession and when a chance arose we just had to take ours. Full credit to Portsmouth they were professional from start to finish.”
The Linnets return to National League action on Tuesday, when they welcome Bromley to The Walks for what, hopefully, will be their final match behind closed doors before a limited number of fans are allowed back in once the lockdown ends.