Report by Sam Donovan
In association with:
Alan McLean FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Consultant
Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup
Wednesday 31st January 2018
Morpeth Town 8 – 2 Blyth Spartans
A bitterly cold evening in Northumberland saw Morpeth Town host local rivals Blyth Spartans in the semi-finals of Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup. A much changed Spartans lined up with youngsters Callum Uddgren and Euan Anderson making their first senior starts after impressing in the Reserves.
There was a magnificent ten at Craik Park on Wednesday evening as Blyth turned in undoubtedly their worst performance for many a season; a rampant Morpeth Town side recorded a thoroughly merited 8-2 victory to seal their place in the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup final.
The hosts started the game in the ascendency and duly took the lead on 5 minutes when Sean Taylor was allowed to cut inside and his effort took a slight deflection that wrong footed Shaun MacDonald and the ball nestled in the back of the net.
The Spartans responded in the best possible way. Adam Wrightson was allowed time and space on the right side of the pitch, he drove in at goal and stood up an inviting cross to the far post where Dylan McGlade was able to nod home from 6yds out.
Keith Graydon put the hosts back ahead when he rifled in from the edge of the area. It was a well struck effort that flew past the stationary MacDonald but would have been helpless to stop the ball anyways.
Mark Davison added to the tally on 14 minutes, Joe Walton used his pace to go past Euan Anderson, the full back was conscious not to make any contact with the flying winger and his cut back allowed Davison to side foot home.
Blyth were forced into an early change with Shaun MacDonald picking up an injury and Peter Jameson coming on to replace the stricken ‘keeper. There was a brief holdup in play as Jameson clearly wasn’t expecting to be called into action so early in the game.
Morpeth had chances to add to their tally, firstly Graydon let fly from the edge of the area again but this time Peter Jameson was equal to the task. Chris Reid was then found from a free kick that was swung into the box and it took a fantastic fingertip save from Jameson to keep the score at 2-1.
The dominance of the home side continued to tell and their lead was extended just before the half hour mark. Ben Sayer was found in space on the edge on the 18yrd box and was given the time to turn. His curling effort was bent to perfection and nestled in the back of the net.
Blyth finally mounted another attack on 36 minutes, Greg Rutherford skipped away from the sliding Chris Reid and the pullback from the former Berwick striker found the returning Lewis Horner who struck a sweet enough shot but it was comfortable for Dan Lowson.
David Carson almost added a fifth shortly before halftime. He twisted his way into the box and from a narrow struck a venomous shot that narrowly crept wide of the far post.
The hosts almost added a fifth, a minute after half time, as Carson hit a swerving effort that hit the bar and came back off the back of Jameson before the custodian gratefully clutched the ball at the second attempt.
Adam Wrightson won a free-kick 30yds from goal after a little ankle tap. Jordan Laidler stepped up and curled a delightful effort but it was straight into the arms of Lowson who didn’t have to move.
That miss was to prove costly as the hosts switched play forward and Sayer released a through ball for Walton to chase after, his pace proved too much for the Spartans backline and he expertly lifted the ball over the advancing Jameson.
On 63 minutes, the Spartans horror show continued as Morpeth added their 6th. Ben Sayer collected the ball and as in the first half was able to turn. The goal was similar to his first of the evening as he curling effort was placed perfectly into the top corner of the net with a diving Jameson unable to get near it.
Unfortunately, the embarrassment for the Spartans wasn’t finished and within a minute, Sayer had completed his hat-trick. Sayer was given ample space and opportunity to smash home his third of the evening.
Blyth were able to grab a consolation on 76 minutes and it was a goal for one of their debutants. Euan Anderson was unmarked from a corner and he was able to bullet home a header at the far post.
The scoring wasn’t complete and a minute after Blyth had pulled a goal back, the Highwaymen added their 8th of the evening; a corner wasn’t dealt with by Spartans and after pinball in the box, it dropped to the feet of Davison who calmly slotted home.
There was to be no further scoring as Blyth exited a competition that they won last season.
Next up for the Spartans is another local derby as they make the trip to Darlington to face the Quakers as they return to Vanarama National League North.
Morpeth Town: Lowson, Forster, Turner, Sayer (Phillips, 69), Coppen, Reid, Taylor (Henderson, 75), Graydon (c), Davison, Carson, Walton (Elliott, 65).
Subs not used: Fry, Coombes
Blyth Spartans: MacDonald (Jameson, 14), Uddgren, Buddle, Anderson, Laidler, McTiernan (Wotherspoon, 46), Horner (Murray, 46) McGlade, Dale, Wrightson, Rutherford.
Subs not used: Lazzarri, Shepherd
Referee: Mr. David Pill