Fab Alfreton goalkeeping denies King’s Lynn Town FC a spot in next FA Cup round

Michael Clunan sinks to his knees at the end of the game.
Michael Clunan sinks to his knees at the end of the game.
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Emirates FA Cup Third Qualifying Round

King’s Lynn Town 0

Tim Smith

Tim Smith

Alfreton Town 2

King’s Lynn Town’s romance with the FA Cup is over for another season but they were far from disgraced against higher-league opposition at The Walks.

National North Alfreton Town had goalkeeper Fabian Spiess to thank as the Reds overcame a tricky Third Qualifying Round tie.

Spiess made a number of fine saves to thwart brave Lynn who were undone by a first-half double from Adam Priestley.

Lynn welcomed back Toby Hilliard from injury before the game, but went into the clash without the cup-tied Kurtis Revan who joined a long list of absentees.

The Linnets should have had their noses in front after six minutes when Sam Gaughran spooned an effort over the woodwork from a Jacek Zielonka corner.

Both Zielonka and Hilliard wasted further chances before Ryan Wilson crossed from the right for Priestley to steer the ball home from close range with his chest in the 16th minute.

Perhaps the most decisive moment of the tie arrived midway through the first half when Danny Emmington burst into the box to meet a Zielonka set-piece.

His connection looked destined to find the back of the net until Spiess launched himself to his left to claw the ball away.

Priestley almost profited from a sloppy back header by Emmington on 29 minutes, then at the other end Spiess dealt with a difficult cross from Zielonka before racing out to block as McQuaid played Hilliard through.

Moments before scoring the second goal, Priestley was just beaten to Wilson’s through-ball by home goalkeeper Alex Street’s header on the edge of his area.

The Linnets suffered another hammer blow seven minutes before the interval when Priestley was on hand to stick out a leg and turn in another Wilson cross as looked for an offside flag.

Lynn went into the half-time break regretting their lack of accuracy in front of goal and the theme continued after the interval with Alfreton content to soak up the pressure.

Their best chance after the break came courtesy of a well-struck Clunan free-kick on the hour, but Spiess was up to the task with a brilliant save low down to his left.

Hilliard also dragged an effort wide as Lynn desperately tried to break down a stubborn Alfreton rearguard.

The home fans most probably realised it wasn’t going to be their day when Zielonka and Hilliard failed to aim anywhere near the target after finding themselves in good positions.

Lynn: Street, Emmington (L. Fryatt 88), Yong, Gaughran, Quigley, Castellan, M. Clunan, McQuaid, Zielonka, Edge, Hilliard. Subs not used: A. Clunan, Frohawk, Shipp, Pearson.

Alfreton: Spiess, Wilson (Ottley 63), Kennedy, Heaton, McGowan, Jordan, Monkhouse, Mantack, Allan, Priestley (Clayton 79), Westcarr (Smith 79). Sub not used: Heaton.

Booked: Heaton. Scorer: Priestley 16, 38.

Attendance: 847. Referee: Daniel Middleton (Chesterfield).