Preview | Bradford (Park Avenue) (H) | Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round | 2023/24

In a change of action this week, Blyth Spartans enter the Emirates FA Cup in the second qualifying round as they host Bradford (Park Avenue) at Croft Park on Saturday.

The Spartans faced late drama yet again as Chester were awarded a penalty in the 89th minute, which was converted by Elliott Whitehouse allowing the hosts to claim three points on the Welsh border.


You can buy tickets with cash or card at the gate on the day or online here. All ticket information is as follows:

  • Adults – £15 standing
  • Concessions (over 65) – £9
  • 11-16 Years & Students – £6
  • Under-10s are admitted for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

To be seated in the Port of Blyth main stand, an extra £2 cost will be incurred for each category. 


Billy Gordon, Lewis Knight and Nicky Deverdics all remain out of action, however, the latter worked individually in training last night at Wensleydale as he aims to gain full fitness to return to the squad.


After falling to defeat to Chester in the late stages of the game, Graham Fenton said: “It’s just disappointing to get done off that [the penalty]. We weren’t bad today, but we weren’t at our best.

“And us dropping off 10% or whatever from Tuesday’s game, ultimately we didn’t get the levels that we needed to get to, to win the game. We didn’t deserve to win it, I didn’t think we deserved to lose it either.

Graham Fenton’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Chester FC


Residing at the Horsfall Stadium, The Green Army currently play in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division, having been relegated from the National League North the season prior finishing in 23rd on 46 points, four behind the Spartans.

This season, Bradford (PA) have had a slow start to the season, having not won until their fourth league game. They sit 16th in the Northern Premier League on eight points, most recently losing 2-0 to FC United of Manchester.

In the FA Cup, Park Avenue joined in the first qualifying round where they beat Consett AFC 2-0 away from home at Belle View Stadium.


Following a 2-0 defeat on the road to FC United of Manchester, Mark Bower said: “We weren’t quite at it, we were loose in possession and gave the ball away while under no pressure. We were just that half-a-yard off it today.”

Looking towards the FA Cup tie, he said: “Well, they’re the highest position team we could have possibly drawn at this stage, but we’ve been up there and had some good results over the last couple of years. 

“We will have to have to be better than today, certainly when in possession, as Blyth play some good stuff and will pull us apart if we are wasteful.”

Mark Bower’s post-match assessment of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat against FC United of Manchester


The last meeting between the sides came on February 20th, 2023, as Blyth won 1-0 through a goal from Troy Chiabi just before the hour mark. The Green Army’s Reece Staunton was also sent off in the 95th minute of the match.

Last time at Croft Park, Bradford (PA) got the better of Blyth during their Tuesday night trip to the North East as Eddie Church’s early goal after 13 minutes was enough to secure three points in a 1-0 triumph.

The Spartans’ last home victory against Bradford (PA) came in 2018 during a 3-0 win which saw Jarrett Rivers score and Dale Hopson bag a brace.


Make sure to pick up a retro-covered style FA Cup edition of Spartans on Saturday at Croft Park.

  • FA Cup Rewind – a look back on last season’s fourth qualifying round tie against Wrexham
  • My Matchday Role – get to know about Club Physio Oscar Peverley’s position at Blyth Spartans
  • FA Cup Stats – Graham Usher’s rundown of Spartans’ outings in the world’s oldest domestic competition


You can follow all of the action on Saturday afternoon via our social media platforms and BlythLive on Mixlr from 2:45pm.

Posted by Ben Lightfoot