By Stephen Burton
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Techflow Marine Senior Cup Semi-Final
Tuesday, 1st March 2022
BLYTH SPARTANS 1-0 BEDLINGTON TERRIERS
Sean Reid’s early goal secured Blyth Spartans a place in the Northumberland Senior Cup Final as they narrowly beat a resolute Bedlington Terriers.
Spartans took an early lead after Sean Reid nodded in at the back post after just four minutes, to seal Blyth’s place in the final at St James’ Park.
Terry Mitchell named a strong side with just the three changes from the team that lost to Fylde at the weekend, with Reid, Robbie Dale and Sado Djalo coming in to the starting line-up.
Reid headed Spartans ahead as the hosts made a lightening start, quickly showing their superior quality and dominating possession in the early stages.
And while it looked it could well be one-way traffic, Bedlington quickly settled, as they looked to strike on the break, with Jacub Zych seeing an effort deflect onto the roof of the net after doing well to find some space in the box.
Blyth soon threatened again and it was through Reid once more as he rose highest to connect to Corey McKeown’s corner, but his header was well blocked on the line.
Just a few minutes later, Dale headed a chance too close to the hands of former-Spartan Nathan Harker.
Blyth continued to dominate, although Zych did cause a brief scare as he fired a fierce strike from outside the box which stung the palms of Alex Curran.
Despite controlling possession, the chances began to dry up for Blyth as Bedlington held firm, so they tried their luck from distance as McKeown and Jordan Hickey saw efforts fly over the bar.
The visitors had an excellent chance to level as Ryan O’Connor latched onto a long pass and found himself clear on goal, but one touch too many allowed Nathan Buddle to close him down, although he still got a pass away to Zych, whose effort was denied by a last-ditch block.
Spartans peppered the Bedlington box with plenty of crosses, but struggled to break through, but again they were forced into shooting from distance, with Lewis McNall and Djalo struggling to seriously trouble Harker.
It was a similar story in the second-half as Blyth had plenty of the ball, but Bedlington carved out an early chance as Zych picked up a long-ball on the edge of the box, but he lashed a wild effort over the bar.
Spartans struggled to get going, and were almost punished just before the hour mark as another break saw O’Connor whip in an excellent cross, which the onrushing Dominic Price should blazed over with the goal at his mercy.
Bedlington continued to keep the hosts at bay, and again almost saw their hard work pay off as Price headed narrowly over with just 10 minutes left.
This seemed to be the shot in the arm that Spartans needed, as just a minute later Dale weaved in from the left in trademark style and smashed an effort off the underside of the bar.
Seconds later, a low cross from Patrick Almond found Djalo free in the box but his rushed effort was straight at Harker.
Reid then seemed more determined than ever to grab his second, as his close range effort was saved, before he nodded a header inches wide from a corner shortly after.
Blyth controlled the final few minutes as they booked their final place, where they’ll take on Newcastle United U23s.
Blyth Spartans | Curran, Almond, Lees, Buddle ©, Byrne (Watson 63’), Reid, Hickey (Painter 76’), Dale, McKeown, McNall, Djalo Subs not used | Watson, O’Donnell, Painter, Deverdics
Goals | Reid 4’
Bedlington Terriers | Harker, Cairns, Moran, Jones, Shepherd, Dinsley ©, Roys, O’Connor (Bradley 76’), Price, Zych, Harvey Subs not used | Bradley, Dos Santos Mateus, Barbour, Ward, Hall
Referee | Craig Chatten
Attendance | 526