Old boy Harris turns heart-breaker
Dereham 1 King's Lynn 2 Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon insisted Norfolk football was the true winner after watching the Linnets edge a tense FA Vase first qualifying round derby at Dereham.
Dereham 1 King's Lynn 2
Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon insisted Norfolk football was the true winner after watching the Linnets edge a tense FA Vase first qualifying round derby at Dereham.
The massed ranks of travelling Town fans guaranteed the Magpies' biggest attendance for a competitive fixture in years as the county's two best non-league teams on early-season form clashed at Aldiss Park.
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Robbie Harris returned to haunt his old side with an extra-time winner in front of 689 supporters to set up a home tie against fellow Norfolk neighbours Yarmouth at The Walks on September 18.
Dereham striker Kyle Downes had earlier broken the deadlock in first- half stoppage time for the Ridgeons Premier Division pacesetters following a rapier counter.
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Town skipper Jack Defty snatched a dramatic equaliser in the fifth of 14 stoppage-time minutes after Magpies' defenders Matt Cross and Jay Eastoe-Smith had both been stretchered off in a bruising second half.
Defty then spurned two more chances in normal time before Lynn's highly-rated teenage keeper Alex Street denied Danny Beaumont with a superb reaction stop in a breathless finish.
'That was a cracking advert for Norfolk football and it was a shame there had to be a loser,' said Boon. 'King's Lynn has gone through but they are a good side with some good players and this game could have graced a quarter-final tie.
'Everyone here was probably thinking, 'just who is the second best team in Norfolk?' but for myself and Setch (Gary Setchell) as managers we didn't look at it like that. For me, Norfolk football is the winner. Dereham is a great club with great facilities and so is King's Lynn
and now both clubs have to move on from here.
'We've got to try and have a run in these types of competition. It's everyone's dream. We went up and watched the Wroxham final last year at Wembley and with three of those lads in our team again they know what it is all about. I just hope we can go on a marvellous run.'
Lynn started brighter but Dereham were full value for their interval lead after powerful midfielder Adam Smith teed up Beaumont whose angled strike was bundled home by Downes at the second attempt.
The visitors set up base camp inside the Magpies' half on the restart but needed Defty's scrappy late equaliser to force extra time. Strike partner Harris then drifted onto the back post to head Jamie Thurlbourne's pin-point cross past ex-Linnet Shaun Marshall from close range.
'That was a big game for me and Kevin,' said Lynn joint boss Setchell. 'People, I think, will go away from today actually believing in us.
'I know we've had a good few results in the league but this was an acid test for not just us two but the players because make no mistake people were looking at this game and using it to compare the Ridgeons and the UCL leagues.
'Dereham are hoping to win the Ridgeons but St Neots have beaten them in the FA Cup and we have beaten them as well so I don't think the Ridgeons is as strong as it once was. We've had some hard games in the UCL already and I don't think people are giving our league the credit it deserves.'
Dereham: Marshall, O Willis, Cross (Morgan 62), Eastoe-Smith (Thomson 76), Gusterson, Beaumont, Roberts, Smith, Downes (Harley 68), S Willis, Foster. Subs (not used): Reeves, Higgs.
King's Lynn: Street, Bexfield, Alsop, L Thurlbourne, McNeil, Stone (Buhlemann 45), Kelly (Harris 55), White, Defty, Smith (Spriggs 63), J Thurlbourne. Subs (not used): Cubberley, Hails.
Ref: P Burnham (Norfolk) Att: 689
n Several of the other Norfolk sides involved in the FA Vase will have to replay the tie on Tuesday night.
Fakenham drew 0-0 at Long Melford, Thetford Town shared four goals with visitors Rothwell Corinthians and Gorleston and visitors Ely ended up 1-1 after extra time.
Meanwhile, Wisbech march on in the Vase after a 4-0 win over Stewart & Lloyds Corby.
But it was a swift exit for Diss Town, who lost 3-0 at Newmarket after a controversial penalty award which saw Brendan Foley sent off for protesting about the decision.
And Mildenhall were knocked out by Huntingdon Town 2-1. Other results are on supplement Page 8.
Watch a slideshow of pictures from the Dereham v Lynn FA Vase derby only on edp24.co.uk/sport