ANY dreams Worksop Town had of FA Trophy glory were washed away on Saturday, with a lacklustre performance and 1-0 defeat by Kings Lynn Town in the pouring rain.
The visitors, from the division below Tigers, scored a winner with three minutes remaining to book their place in the second round and earn £5,000 in prize money.
Tigers, who ousted Blue Square Bet North side Chester in the previous round, simply weren’t on top form and needed the woodwork to stay on level terms three times, before Russell Dunkley won the tie on 87 minutes.
With rain teeming down neither side got to grips with the ball particularly well early on, the only highlight of the first 10 minutes an Ash Burbeary shot that drifted wide.
For the visitors winger Stephen Spriggs flew past Lee Ridley and delivered a dangerous ball into the box and Kern Miller did well to clear.
Settling a little quicker, Kings Lynn Town came within an inch of taking the lead when a corner into the six-yard box was powered onto the bar by the head of Dan Quigley.
At the other end Burbeary slipped Leon Mettam in and although the striker found the back of the net, the assistant referee found him to be offside.
In an attritional 25 minute period the conditions made life hard for both sides, but Worksop’s best move of the game should have produced an opener.
Miller came storming out of defence, strode into midfield and played a lovely ball in for Mettam, the striker teed up Burbeary and he somehow failed to get his shot on target from 20 yards.
Ridley got the better of Spriggs with a vital challenge in the Worksop area, the winger claiming a foul and referee Mr D. Meeson siding with the home defender.
Seconds later Lee Beeson was scythed down by Ross Watson, and the full-back’s third foul of the game earned him a yellow card.
As the first half entered its final five minutes George Thomson tested Paul Bastock from distance and the Tigers keeper gathered at the second attempt.
Another Kings Lynn Town corner had Bastock under pressure and the woodwork came to his rescue once more, this time Phil Gulliver heading against the bar.
A sloppy start to the second half saw Tigers give away possession far too easily on more than one occasion and Dunkley tried to make them pay, but his long range shot was always going wide.
Excellent defending from Steve Towers forced Quigley to fire over when a fantastic cross was sent into the Worksop area, the Tigers skipper putting just enough pressure on his opposite number in the six yard box.
Having struggled to find a team-mate for 57 minutes, Beeson’s afternoon came to an end as Owain Warlow made an entrance.
Just after the hour mark an audacious 40-yard attempt from Watson caught Bastock off his line but mercifully the crossbar denied Kings Lynn for a third time.
Shortly after winning their first corner of the game Worksop had a glorious chance, Matt Young curling in a wonderful cross that an unmarked Kern Miller managed to head straight at the diving Alex Street.
A poor clearance from Bastock then landed straight to the feet of Dunkley, 40 yards from goal, and the big man sent it straight back over the stopper’s head but Tigers survived again as it fell wide.
Warlow’s pace and skill took him past three men before Burbeary flicked the ball into the path of Mettam and he elected to shoot first time when he had space to run into, Street saving with ease.
More slack play almost gifted the visitors a goal, Thomson streaking clear after disposessing Miller, but the defender got back to make a great tackle and Jason Turner subsequently shot wide.
With three minutes remaining the Evo-Stik First Division men took a deserved lead, Spriggs’ shot saved well by Bastock and Dunkley tucking home the rebound.
The goal came just a minute after Worksop had replaced forward Mettam with defender Luke Shiels, and left them with an awful lot to do.
Towers had a blast at goal as the game entered four minutes of injury time, Street diving to his left to tip it away to safety.
That was to be the last chance of the game for either side as the full-time whistle sent Kings Lynn Town into the second round, and their boisterous travelling support into raptures.
Worksop Town: BASTOCK 6, Clarke 6, Ridley 6, Young 5, Miller 6, Hawes 6, Beeson 4 (Warlow 57), Towers 5, Burbeary 5, Mettam 5 (Shiels 86), King 6 (Menga 65). Not used: Ludlam, Telling.
Kings Lynn Town: Street, Watson, Yong, Fryatt, Gulliver, Bunting, Spriggs (White 89), Quigley, Dunkley, Thomson, Thurlebourne (Turner 82). Not used: Buhlemann, Lee, Johnson.
Referee: D. Meeson. Assistants: N. Day, S. Royston.
Goalscorers: Dunkley 87.
Yellows: Watson 29.