By Ben Lightfoot
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Techflow Marine Senior Cup Final
Thursday, May 5th 2022
NEWCASTLE UNITED U23 2-3 BLYTH SPARTANS
Blyth Spartans win the Northumberland Senior Cup after beating Newcastle 3-2.
A dominant first half saw Djalo, Dale and Buddle score for Blyth, but Newcastle fought back with Turner-Cooke and Muñoz also on the scoresheet.
Coming into the cup final, Terry Mitchell made two changes to the starting 11 that won 1-0 against Curzon Ashton on Monday. Michael Liddle (injured) and Dan Barlow (ineligible) make way for Nicky Deverdics and Toby Lees, who are brought back into the team at St James Park.
Blyth Spartans started off the game strong as Lewis McNall broke down the right-hand side and into the penalty box before his attempt was blocked.
Rhys Evans broke down the right-hand side and played a whipped ball into the box as Corey McKeown’s shot was blocked and the resulting corner was well defended by Newcastle.
Newcastle’s Josh Scott played a lofted ball over the Spartan’s defence to Jay Turner-Cooke, but Patrick Almond make a heroic sliding challenge to regain possession.
After 21 minutes Blyth broke the deadlock as McKeown drove through the Newcastle defence before playing a backheel pass to JJ O’Donnell who crossed the ball to a leaping Djalo who headed the ball in.
However, Newcastle nearly had an instant impact after a cross into the box was hit wide by Dylan Stephenson, but the linesman flagged for offside.
Robbie Dale doubled the lead after 24 minutes by scoring directly from a corner, which Thompson wasn’t able to deal with.
Bondswell and Scott linked up with a one-two which beat Rhys Evans, but Bondswell’s cross was cleared out by Toby Lees.
Nathan Buddle made it three-nil after leaping above everyone else to get his head onto the end of Dale’s corner after 33 minutes.
Almond broke past five Newcastle players to get into the box, but couldn’t get his shot off in time as it was blocked by the Newcastle defence.
Two minutes into the restart McKeown’s right-footed curled shot from the outside of the area went wide of the post.
However, moments later Newcastle scored as Turner-Cooke struck the ball from the edge of the area that beat Mitchell after 49 minutes.
After 60 minutes Blyth broke on the counter as Deverdics played a ball through the McNall, but the attack was wasted after McNall’s cross went wayward.
Substitute Connor Thompson played the ball to McNall as Blyth looked for a fourth, but his shot was hit wide after getting into open space.
The young Magpies grabbed a second after 67 minutes after Santiago Muñoz ran onto the ball and slotted it under Mitchell.
Buddle’s long ball was controlled by McKeown who drove across the whole box before striking his effort into the top right corner, but Thompson made an excellent save to deny a fourth for Blyth.
Dale played the ball out to Jordan Watson on the right-wing, whose cross was perfectly placed onto the head of O’Donnell, but his header was straight at Thompson.
With 7 minutes to play, Dan Maguire played a swift one-two with Dale, but Maguire’s shot ends up in the arms of Thompson.
86 minutes in Maguire played Hickey in on goal, but his effort was saved at the near post.
As three minutes of added time was shown by the fourth official Blyth managed to control possession in the corner and see out the game as they lifted the Northumberland Senior Cup.
Newcastle United U23 | Thompson, Carlyon (Oliver 63’), Bondswell, Brookwell (Stanton 84’), Wiggett, Savage, Allan ©, De Bolle, Stephenson, Turner-Cooke, Scott (Muñoz 63’) | Subs not used | Brown, Miley
Goals |Turner-Cooke 49’, Muñoz 67’
Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Evans (Hickey 71’), Buddle ©, O’Donnell, Dale, McNall (Maguire 78’), McKeown, Lees, Djalo (Thompson 58’), Almond | Subs not used | Reid, Watson
Goals | Djalo 21’, Dale 24’, Buddle 33’
Referee | Darren Williams
Attendance | 2,189