Spirited fightback not enough to rescue Lynn
Workington 4, King's Lynn 3: King's Lynn manager Keith Webb twice saw his side fightback in the rain and mud in Cumbria only to to be knocked out of the FA Trophy when they were on the wrong end of an eventful seven-goal cup tie.
Workington 4, King's Lynn 3
King's Lynn manager Keith Webb twice saw his side fightback in the rain and mud in Cumbria only to to be knocked out of the FA Trophy when they were on the wrong end of an eventful seven-goal cup tie.
Making their second long journey to Workington's aged Borough Park stadium just a week after securing a 1-1 draw in the league, the Linnets started poorly and found themselves two down inside the opening 12 minutes.
Goals from Michael Frew and Luke Graham then pulled Lynn level before a controversial penalty restored Workington's lead, only for a Shaun Vipond own goal to tie the scores at 3-3.
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Reds' on-loan Carlisle United defender Darren Campion then grabbed the winner but it was the penalty that gave the home side fresh impetus and turned the game.
"We had done well to claw our way back into the game in difficult conditions and were on top and looking set to go on and win the tie when the referee gave Workington a lift," said Webb.
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"It was a very harsh decision. Our player was so close when the ball was driven at him and he didn't raise his hands and the linesman didn't raise his flag, yet the penalty was given.
"I can't fault the players for effort and we did well to keep coming back but Workington adapted better to the conditions. Sometimes you have to win ugly and we haven't got enough players capable of doing that at the minute."
The Linnets haven't been good enough defensively on too many occasions this season and it is a situation that Webb admits is causing concern.
"The leaking of goals concerns me a lot but it's not just down to the defenders," he said. "You have to look at the whole team and, while it's disappointing to go out of the Trophy, we must remain positive and upbeat to push on in the league."
Phil McLuckie opened the scoring after just six minutes at Borough Park when he slid in at the far post to convert Gary Rowntree's pin-point cross from close range.
It got worse for the visitors soon after when Vipond's pass into space beyond Lynn's last line of defence was collected by Gareth Arnison who rounded 'keeper Scott Howie before rolling the ball into an empty net.
At the other end, Frew had a well struck shot saved by Adam Collin and the former Newcastle United academy keeper then smothered Ben Sedgemore's shot through the mud.
The same two players were involved as Lynn reduced the arrears in the 40th minute when top scorer Frew deflected Sedgemore's effort from outside the box past Collin following a Greg Crane free kick.
As was the case in the league game between the sides a week earlier, Lynn came out of the dressing room in a positive frame of mind and restored parity almost at once.
Awarded a free-kick out wide on the edge of the box, Frew's driven cross was glanced home by the unmarked Graham to level the scores.
The penalty, when Vipond drove the ball at Crane, came against the run of play but it did not dent Lynn's confidence and they were soon level again when John Turner's low cross from the right resulted in Vipond deflecting the ball into the net for an own-goal.
There was still a twist to come however as the Cumbrians, like Lynn in the bottom half of the Blue Square North, went on to claim the winner.
The Linnets could only partially clear a corner and the ball fell to debutant Campion who drove home from the edge of the area with Howie possibly unsighted by a combination of legs and bodies among the thick mud.
Even then Webb's battlers almost forced a replay when Joe Francis' 87th minute shot towards goal was sensationally cleared off the line by home defender Rowntree to send Lynn out of the competition.
Workington: Collin, Hewson, Rowntree, May, Campion, McLuckie, Vipond, Langford, Wright J, Arnison, A Wright. Subs: Robinson, Hardman, Coleman, Edmondson.
Goals: McLuckie (6), Arnison (12, 58), Campion (70).
King's Lynn: Howie, Weaver (Thomas 50), C Defty, Graham, Crane, Camm, Sedgemore (Turner 56), Mitchell, J Defty, Frew, Smith (Francis 76). Subs (not used): Joachim, Murray.
Bookings: Weaver, Graham, C Defty.
Goals: Frew (20), Graham (50), Vipond og (65).
Referee: Mr M J Denton (Todmorden)