Saturday 24th October 2009
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Attendance – 642
BLYTH SPARTANS: Mark Bell, Stephen Harrison, John Brackstone (Kenny Boyle), Mick Tait, Gareth Williams, Darren Craddock, Chris McCabe, Mark Donninger, Paul Brayson, Ian Graham (Josh Gillies), Rob Dale.
Disappointing, frustrating and at times not enough tempo – meant that on paper two evenly matched sides meet again this coming week. The winners were given a great incentive having a home draw in the 1st round proper with Football League 2 side Lincoln City the next up for the team who progress on Tuesday evening.
Two early bookings with both possibly being more, saw John Brackstone rashly go in high on Danny Nurse and Telford’s Lee Vaughan steaming from behind with both feet putting Mick Tait on his backside.
Telford had the edge in possession in the first half with Blyth having the better chances via Tait (twice) Ian Graham and a good downward header from Chris McCabe which somehow came back off the keepers knees – the half ended with Rob Dales shimmy and cross shot being deflected away by Gavin Cowen.
Telford’s best chance had come early on with Gavin Hurren’s hook back across goal from a good cross from the right being cleared by Tait a yard from the line.
Mark Bell just did enough to push away a great ball in from Sean Newton early in the 2nd half before Hurrens sending off on the hour-the usual jostling before a Blyth corner ended with the Telford’s number 6 push/ slap/ punch into Dales face. The defender went down, trying to mask the incident and Telford’s players surrounded the ref -eventually out came the red card.
Blyth forced corner after corner against a side now playing only 1 up – to be fair to them they got bodies in the way and blocks and deflections were the order of the day.
The keeper did well to turn Gareth Willams deflected free kick over the bar and with Paul Brayson twice hitting the side netting, as did McCabe, the best opportunity came 3 minutes from time – a nice move down the right, an inviting cross to the back stick ended with Brayson heading wide from close in.
Spartans nearly lost it in time added on when Williams attempt to let the ball roll over the line for a goal kick was nicked by sub Andrew Brown to go inside and lash in a shot which Bell finger tipped over.