Saturday 18th April 2009
Blue Square North
Blyth Spartans 1 Gainsborough Trinity 1
Attendance – 583
Blyth Spartans: Mark Bell, Kenny Boyle, John Brackstone (sub Alex Gildea 66 mins), Gareth Williams, Richard Pell, Andrew Leeson, Adrian Webster, Chris McCabe, Rob Dale, Anthony Shandran (sub Marc Walton 79 mins), Shaun Reay (sub Jed Dalton 70 mins).
Subs not used: Paul Farman & Simon Todd.
Blyth picked up the point needed to ensure they play in the Blue Square North next campaign in a scrappy affair against Gainsborough Trinity.
Spartans tested Trinity’s goalkeeper after only 4 minutes. A deep free kick taken by Gareth Williams was only punched as far as Anthony Shandran whose first time effort went over the cross bar.
At the other end, Nathan Peat’s short free kick was hit by Ashley Burbeary but it bobbled through to Mark Bell in the Blyth goal.
Spartans took the led on 23 minutes. A William’s right sided corner found its way to Shandran wide on the left wing. He played a deep centre to the far post for Robert Dale to head down to Chris McCabe who beat Sollitt to the ball clipping the ball back up across the 6 yard area for Shaun Reay to rise and head home.
The home side had two further opportunities to increase their led before the break. Another William’s corner was headed goalwards by Richard Pell only for Sollitt to turn around for a corner.
Then Shandran powered into the penalty and his curling right footed effort was parried away by Sollitt.
On a rock hard pitch and with the ball bouncing few chances were created. The last of the first half fell to Lewis McMahon, but his tame shot went straight into Bell’s hands.
Trinity struck back and got an equaliser 3 minutes after the break. Kenny Boyle failed to clear a routine clearance straight to McMahon who released Luke Beckett, he ran into the area before shooting past Bell.
In the remaining time Peat saw his curling effort tipped over by Bell.
With 10 minutes remaining Trinity were reduced to 10 men. Defender James Cullingworth picking up a second yellow card after hammering the ball into a group of young supporters!!
Spartans couldn’t make their extra man advantage count before they had to play out the last 5 minutes when sub Alex Gildea had to leave the field after picking up a groin injury and with Spartans having made all 3 substitutions.
With the final whistle the news that Hyde and Burscough had both lost saw muted celebration from the home supporters knowing that their side had survived to play Blue Square North football next season.