In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
FA Youth Cup First Round Proper
Thursday, November 6th 2021
SALFORD CITY 3-0 BLYTH SPARTANS
Blyth Spartans’ remarkable FA Youth Cup journey came to an end following a 3-0 defeat at League Two academy side Salford City.
The young Spartans had already made history before kick-off after beating Darlington, Billingham Town, Gateshead and AFC Fylde to advance into the First Round Proper.
However, a professional Salford side ended their hopes going any further with a narrow victory at the Peninsula Stadium.
Salford took an early lead in the eighth minute when DJ Pedro beat goalkeeper Callum Elliott in the air to head home.
Indeed, it was the first time the young Spartans had trailed in the competition and only the third goal they had conceded after AFC Fylde scored two in the previous round.
Spartans responded well to going a goal down. Owen Mitchell got in behind before shooting into the side netting after being forced wide by the Salford defender.
That said, Harvey Walsh did miss a great opportunity to double his side’s lead when he headed over Ben Finley’s free-kick delivery.
Spartans were dealt an early injury blow. Injured left-back Dawson Carr was replaced by Jay Errington, meaning the attack-minded Matthew Nesbitt dropped back.
And not long after, Salford doubled their advantage. A free-kick from Alfie Henderson was headed goalwards by Kyle Cooper before Harvey Walsh directed the ball home.
Walsh almost found a second but drilled wide from the right before Elliott produced a fine save with his feet to deny Kelly N’Mai after he powered into the area.
Jamie Norvell counter-attacked for Spartans and delivered into Mitchell, however he was unable to direct his header on target.
Pedro found a pocket of space in the area but fired straight at Elliott before the Ambers striker was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Ahmed Habib.
N’Mai found joy on the left again, beating captain Matthew Dopson at the byline. He found Walsh in space, but he could only side-foot wide.
The home side ended the first half on top as Lucas Kirnon brought a routine save from Elliott as shot from inside the area.
Liam Humbles saw a shot deflected wide and from the following corner, Kirnon headed over. Henderson then drove to the edge of the box and shot narrowly wide of the right post.
Spartans were the better side in the second half and oversaw two huge opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes.
Brad Rose produced an incredible save to prevent Rio Joisce’s attempt from flying into the top corner. And from the following corner, Norvell squandered a golden opportunity from close-range.
Salford still carried a threat at the other end – Elliott had to be quick off his line to prevent N’Mai from poking home – but Spartans really did give it their absolute all.
Errington was played in on goal but substitute Finlay Bartram blocked the effort. Norvell then hit a tame effort that was gathered by Rose.
Josh Walker’s corner fell to substitute Alfie Livermore on the edge of the box but his rising shot crept over the crossbar.
There was a superb late save from Elliott to tip Walsh’s low shot onto the post, while Mitchell brought a save from Rose after a determined run on the left hand side.
Walsh added a third in injury time. N’Mai again the creator as Walsh tapped home his second of the evening from six yards out.
The young Spartans bowed out of the FA Youth Cup – but take a lifetime of memories with them.
Salford: Rose, Collins, Cooper, Berry, Henderson, Humbles (Lescott, 68), Walsh, Pedro (Bartram 58), Finley, Kirnon, M’Nai. Subs not used: Freckleton, Padrao, Lara, Roberts, Priestnall.
Goals: Pedro (8). Walsh (27, 90).
Blyth Spartans: Elliott, Dopson ©, Carr (Errington, 20), Walker, Habib, Watson (Spencer, 86), Norvell, Joisce, Mitchell, Hepple (Livermore, 76), Nesbitt. Subs not used: Dudgeon, Shilling, Hartley, Chapman.
Referee: Simon Kells.