Saturday 21st November
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Attendance – 442
Blyth Spartans –
Jack Norton, Stephen Harrison, Darren Craddock, Michael Tait, Gareth Williams, Rikki Bains, Mark Doninger, Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson, Ian Graham, John Alexander.
Subs not used –Simon Todd, Josh Gillies, James Marwood, John Brackstone & Mark Bell.
Stafford Rangers –
Lee Evans, Ashley Wooliscroft, Richard Vauls (sub Jon Patrick 32 mins), Tom Thorley, Bobby Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, Levi Reid, Jake Moult, Nick Wellecombe (sub Patrick Samba 72 mins), Fabrice Kasiama (sub Eugene Francis 69 mins), Andre Francis.
Subs not used – Joe Rodgers & Adam Whitehouse.
Spartans made it into the 1st round proper of the FA Trophy after overcoming the resistant Stafford Rangers at Croft Park.
The first half was well – probably quickly forgettable but Spartans should have gone in at the break 1 up. A free kick from Gareth Williams was picked up by Mark Doninger’s his pass to John Alexander on the edge of the penaly area. Alexander ran past goalkeeper Lee Evans and was already celebrating when the ball clipped the post, bounced back across goal and out for a goal-kick.
Spartans quickened the pace after the break.
Within seconds of the restart, Doninger sent Alexander clear, only for the striker to hit the side-netting, before the Michael Tait fired over.
Stafford did rally, with Tom Thorley volleying over, Jake Moult shooting straight at Jack Norton and Levi Reid dragging an effort across the face of goal.
Spartans opened the scoring on 70 minutes. Tait found Alexander, with a neat 1-2 with Ian graham the ball was released to Paul Brayson sidestepping past Bobby Wilson and shot left-footed past Evans.
Later still, Williams crashed his own dead ball from distance off the bar at the other end.
On 80 minutes, Reid took exception to a tackle by Tait, was booked for his remonstrations and – since he had already accrued a yellow card for an earlier foul – was sent off.
Five minutes later, Brayson latched on to Tait’s through-ball, cut in off the left flank and drilled a low, right-foot shot past Evans and into the far bottom corner of the net.