BY Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
FA Cup Second Round Qualifying
Saturday October 3, 2020
WHITLEY BAY 2-4 BLYTH SPARTANS
Blyth Spartans survived an FA Cup scare at 10-man local rivals Whitley Bay as captain Simon Heslop scored a hat-trick of penalties.
Michael Nelson’s men found themselves 2-1 down with 15 minutes remaining, however Heslop added to his first-half penalty with two more. Paul Blackett also got on the scoresheet.
Lewis Orrell opened the scoring for Whitley on six minutes before Heslop dispatched his first spot-kick of the afternoon.
The big moment in the game soon followed when Blackett’s shot was blocked by the arm of Bay goalkeeper Dan Lister outside the area, resulting in a straight red card.
Despite a man down, Whitley, up until 78 minutes, threatened an upset when Mark Robinson restored the hosts’ lead.
But Heslop’s second penalty spared a goal-laden few minutes for Spartans with Blackett scoring on his competitive debut before the Blyth captain completed his hat-trick.
Nelson handed debuts to eight new players and it was signing Connor Thomson who registered Blyth’s first shot on target – striking from outside the box that was comfortably saved by Lister.
Whitley Bay grabbed the lead in the 6th minute when Pearson made an error when trying to collect a low driven cross and the ball found the feet of Orrell, who tapped it in.
Blyth soon hit back when Blackett was brought down in the box. Heslop stepped up to take the penalty and buried it into the bottom right corner.
There was a chance for Bay to take the lead again in the 16th minute when a free-kick was sent into the box and found the head of Luke Taylor but his headed effort went over the bar.
Thomson managed to force a save out of Whitley goalie when he charged into the box from the right and had a strike at goal from a tight angle that was denied by the legs of Lister.
Blyth continued to put the pressure on Whitley Bay. Blackett had an effort at goal that was blocked by a defender but Scott managed to collect the ball and unleash a strike at goal that he dragged wide of the far post.
In the 37th minute, Whitley Bay were reduced to 10 men when Lister was shown a straight red for handling the ball outside the box. Whitley Bay had no keepers on the bench so striker Adam Shanks went in goal for the remainder of the game.
Blackett tested the makeshift keeper just before half-time from a tight angle but the shot was comfortably saved by Shanks.
Bay took a shock lead again in the 54th minute when Matty Weirs had a strike at goal that was parried by Pearson and collected by Robinson, who tapped home.
Blyth had a chance to equalise in the 59th minute when Blackett found space in the box but his effort towards goal went narrowly wide of the far post.
Moments later, Blackett got another chance to equalise when a ball was pinged over the top towards him but his headed effort went just over the bar.
Substitute Kurt Russell had an immediate impact – cutting inside on the left and laid the ball off for Rhys Evans, who had an effort at goal that was easily held by Shanks.
Blyth continued to look for an equaliser. Olly Scott sent a Thomson down the left. He then cut inside but his effort went curling wide of the goal.
In the 79th minute, Spartans were awarded another penalty when Blackett was brought down in the box. Heslop stepped up again and buried it into the bottom left corner to equalise for Blyth.
Spartans quickly took the lead when Gateshead loanee Blackett controlled a stunning ball from Heslop before firing past Shanks, despite him initially saving him.
Heslop then capped off a proper captain’s display to complete his hat-trick. Another penalty – this time he smashed it right into the bottom left corner of the net.
Spartans now look ahead to their first competitive league game of the season away to Guisely on Tuesday.
Spartans: Pearson, Evans, Scott, Elsdon, Sakellaroboulous, Guy (Griffiths, 66), Thomson, Heslop (c), Blackett, McKeown (Charlton, 76), Katsamagkas (Russell, 56). Subs not used: Nelson, Dart, Taylor.
Goals: Heslop (13 Pen, 79 Pen, 85 Pen) Blackett (82)
Whitley Bay – Lister, MacFarlane (Gillesphey, 71), Dunn, Lowery, Hamilton, Taylor, Orrell (Jasper, 87), Robinson, Shanks, Weirs (Annang-Colquhoun, 78), Coulson. Subs Not Used: Hennis, Thompson, Wilson
Goals: Orrell (5) Robinson (54). Sending off: Lister (Red – 37)
Referee: James Bancroft