Attendance – 401
Blyth Spartans –
Mark Bell, Stephen Harrison, Gareth Williams, Michael Tait, Stephen Foster, Richard Pell, Neal Hooks, Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson (sub John Alexander 76 mins), Ian Graham, Rob Dale
Subs not used – Simon Todd, Jack Norton, John Brackstone & Richard Slaughter
Hyde Utd –
Mark Halstead, Ben Rowbotham (sub Daniel Douglas-Pringle 72 mins), Mark Lees, Scott Mcniven, Chris Lynch, Nathan D’laryea, Matt Burke (sub Domaine Rouse 26 mins), Ricky Mercer, David Mcniven, Kevin Holsgrove, Lee Rick (sub Nathan Arnold 61 mins).
Subs not used – Scott Mooney, Dean Stott.
AFTER establishing a three-goal lead, Blyth Spartans had to hang on when Hyde United mounted a spirited fightback in the last half-hour with Mick Tait’s side reduced to 10 men.
There was no stopping the Croft Park team in the early stages, however, and they romped into a two-goals lead by the 22nd minute.
Ian Graham found Stephen Harrison on the right and his low ball into the area was turned home by Michael Tait after 17 minutes.
Five minutes later and Tait doubled his side’s advantage. A long ball by Gareth Williams was chested down by Graham to Robbie Dale and his centre was fired home by Tait, giving goalkeeper Mark Halstead no chance.
Spartans were euphoric when they went in for the break. Just a minute before the interval they went three goals up with Williams and Dale again involved in the build-up.
Williams’ free-kick was picked up by Dale who dribbled past two defenders before finding Paul Brayson, and he doesn’t normally miss from close in.
Eight minutes into the second period though, Hyde were given a lifeline as Domaine Rouse picked out Scott McNiven who slotted the ball wide of goalkeeper Mark Bell.
It took Blyth only seven minutes to restore a three-goal cushion. A corner on the right from Dale was powerfully headed home at the far post by Richard Pell.
Hyde hit back with a second goal on the hour with McNiven again the scorer. A minute later Dale was controversially sent off, leaving Blyth to play the last half hour with 10 men defending a two-goals advantage.
The lead was down to just one goal with 15 minutes remaining when Chris Lynch headed in a corner and, although they endured some anxious moments, Blyth held on.