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King's Lynn held to a draw by lower-league Bedford Town in the FA Cup





King's Lynn Town produced a flat performance in the FA Cup as lower-league Bedford Town forced a replay on Tuesday night.

The Southern Central Premier Division visitors – managed by former Lynn boss Gary Setchell – were well worth a second bite of the cherry after giving the Linnets an almighty scare at The Walks.

Drew Richardson put the Eagles in front on the stroke of half-time time before Michael Clunan spared Lynn's blushes with an equaliser eight minutes into the second half.

The Linnets made two changes to the starting line-up which defeated Alfreton 3-2 in midweek with both Olly Scott and Joshua Barrett coming into the team at the expense of Cameron Hargreaves and Jordan Ponticelli.

Former Lynn boss Gary Setchell gives instructions to his players before the game. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403286)
Former Lynn boss Gary Setchell gives instructions to his players before the game. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403286)

On the Lynn bench there was a welcome return for defender Kyle-Callan McFadden after 10 months out with a serious injury.

Former Linnets Alex Street, Sam Warburton Charley Saunders and Danny Setchell all made the starting line-up for the Eagles, who had Setchell and Darren Edey overseeing matters from the bench.

Bedford Town boss Gary Setchell and Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve before the game. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403301)
Bedford Town boss Gary Setchell and Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve before the game. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403301)

The first real save of the tie saw Alex Street deny Gold Omotayo after a clever little ball from Ben Stephens.

Two minutes later, Bedford's Sam Dreyer made a brilliant clearance on the line to thwart Barrett as Lynn began to up the ante.

Bedford's first sniff in the box came in the 19th minute as Connor Tomlinson forced Paul Jones into a routine stop.

Midfielder Joshua Barrett. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403288)
Midfielder Joshua Barrett. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403288)

Lynn were forced into an early change midway through the first half as Zain Walker replaced the injured Stephens.

Walker's first involvement saw him drill into the side netting while at the other end Adam Crowther made a great interception after Drew Richardson found a pocket of space in the home penalty area.

Adam Crowther wins a header. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403290)
Adam Crowther wins a header. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403290)
Defender Aaron Jones tries to create an opening for the hosts. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403292)
Defender Aaron Jones tries to create an opening for the hosts. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403292)

The visitors enjoyed a good spell of possession themselves, but Lynn seemed to lack their usual energy with both Cameron Hargreaves and Jordan Ponticelli sitting in the dugout.

Aaron Jones was the recipient of a yellow card after clattering into Street and the pedestrian hosts were give a warning of Bedford's capabilities when Paul Jones brilliantly clawed away Tyrone Lewthwaite's header from close range two minutes before the interval.

But there was still time for the visitors to get their noses in front as Richardson bundled home a Tomlinson cross at the far post in first half injury time.

Lynn needed to reply early in the second half and they did just that as Clunan curled the ball past Street from just inside the box eight minutes after the restart.

But clear-cut chances for the hosts were few and far between as the visitors continued to bely their lowly league status and frustrate Lynn for long periods.

Defender Aaron Jones tries to create an opening for the hosts. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403294)
Defender Aaron Jones tries to create an opening for the hosts. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403294)
Lynn's Zain Walker. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403296)
Lynn's Zain Walker. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403296)
Former Linnets goalkeeper Alex Street clears the danger. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403298)
Former Linnets goalkeeper Alex Street clears the danger. Picture: Tim Smith. (59403298)

Lynn introduced Ponticelli into the fray and the substitute immediately picked out Omotayo but the striker's header was straight at Street.

Lady luck was also on Bedford's side as Josh Coulson's header from Theo Widdrington's free-kick, came back off the post and bounced into the arms of a relieved Street.

But a late Lynn winner would have been cruel on brave Bedford who were magnificent throughout the 90 minutes.

In fact the visitors could have nicked it right at the death had it not been for a brilliant block from Coulson on Hugh Alban-Jones in the box while Omotayo headed over from a few yards out at the other end of the pitch.

King's Lynn Town: P. Jones, A. Jones, Scott, Denton (Ponticelli 71), Coulson, Crowther, Widdrington, Clunan, Barrett, Stephens (Walker 23, Keller 81), Omotayo. Subs not used: Fleming, Callan-McFadden, Hargreaves, Knowles.

Booked: A. Jones, Walker.

Scorer: Clunan 53.

Bedford Town: Street, Richardson, Warurton, Dreyer, Sanders, Jones, Tomlinson, Donnelly (Thorne 68), Lewthwaite (Mackail-Smith 83), Setchell, Butterworth (Keeble 55). Subs not: Thorne, Moloney, Summerfield.

Booked: Richardson, Keeble.

Scorer: Richardson 45.

Attendance: 1099.



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