FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
King’s Lynn Town 1 Harlow Town 0
King’s Lynn Town player-assistant boss Gary Mills was the match winner in an explosive cup tie which saw both sides end the game with nine men following an ugly 30-man melee.
Mills headed Lynn into the next round 11 minutes from time, but there was still time for the goalscorer to be sent-off as tempers reached boiling point late on in a bruising encounter.
Lynn’s first chance came on four minutes when Jordan Yong’s long ball released Toby Hilliard his cross being flicked on by Lee Stevenson to Jacek Zielonka but his shot was diverted wide by former Reading and Ipswich defender Ibrahima Sonko.
Sonko was on hand to deny Lynn’s next chance, blocking Hilliard’s effort.
The Hawks were reduced to ten men 14 minutes before the interval when Jared Small, booked just three minutes beforehand, made a reckless tackle on Gary Mills to receive his second yellow card.
The trainers had a busy first period with Stevenson receiving attention after being on the end of a crunching tackle from Alain Moges and then Harlow leading scorer Alex Read being grounded by Alex Street.
Harlow were quick on the break with their first chance of note coming on 20 minutes when Mario Noto’s cross was headed down by Sonko but Read’s flick flashed across goal.
Five minutes later, a stinging drive from Lynn defender Jordan Yong was brilliantly turned over the woodwork by visiting goalkeeper David Hughes.
Lynn missed a glorious chance to take the lead heading into the final quarter when Lee Stevenson, one-on-one with Hughes following a flick-on from Leon Mettam, dragged his shot wide of the target.
But nine minutes later, Danny Emmington released Hilliard down the right and his cross was met by the head of Mills to beat Hughes and spark wild celebrations from the home bench.
The flashpoint arrived with five minutes remaining when Dylan Edge and Sonko squared up to each other to spark a huge fracas between both sets of players and benches.
Once the ugly scenes had been calmed down, Syrus Gordon joined his team-mate Small for an early bath, while Lynn substitute Mettam and Mills were also dismissed.
There was still time for Harlow’s Leon Antoine to have a header ruled out for a foul on home goalkeeper Alex Street as the hosts clung on to a precious cup win and their first clean sheet of the campaign.
Lynn: Street, Emmington, Yong, Gaughran, Castellan, Mills, M. Clunan, Stevenson, Zielonka (Edge 56), Quigley (Mettam 56), Hilliard (L. Fryatt 90+1). Subs not used: A. Clunan, McQuaid, Pearson.
Scorer: Mills 79.
Booked: Edge. Sent-off: Mettam, Mills.
Harlow: Hughes, Pope, Eadie, Moges, Sonko, Gordon, Small, Yiga (Antoine, 88), Read (Bishop, 73), Simms, Noto. Subs not used: Benjamin, Wixon and Thompson.
Booked: Small, Gordon.
Sent-off: Small (second yellow), Gordon (straight red).