By Dan Rolls
An Injury hit Spartans side were dumped out the FA Trophy after losing 5-0 away to National League side York City with several key first team players still missing from the side.
McNall, Buddle, Evans, Liddle, Nicholson, Richardson and Barlow were all missing due to various injuries as well as Jordan Hickey, who started his 3-game suspension. Curtis Round was also cup-tied after appearing for Marske in the earlier rounds of the Trophy.
Josh Gillies was back in the side partnering with Nicky Deverdics in the centre of midfield. Centre back Matty Elsdon was also back after an injury lay off, partnering Toby Lees. Matty Cornish filled in as a makeshift right back, with 2021/22 player of the year JJ O’Donnell doing the same at left back. Issac Walker made his first start on the left flank, with Rio Joisce starting at right wing and both Josh Scott and Cedric Main lead the line up front.
York started brightly and when only a few moments in, midfielder Ollie Dyson broke forward but was tackled by Lees on the edge of the box, before former Hartlepool United Winger Nathan Thomas had a strike tipped onto the bar. Thomas created another chance for himself just moments later but blasted it over.
11 minutes in and a well worked corner routine from Spartans found Josh Gillies on the edge of the box who unleashed a volley but it dipped just over the cross bar.
By now Blyth we’re beginning to look like the better side as Matty Cornish broke down the right-hand side and managed to fire a shot across goal but Ryan Whitley was on hand to pull off a solid save.
Blyth had a let off just a minute later though when right-back Duckworth unleashed a cross high into the box that nearly dipped in at Alex Mitchell’s far post but thankfully, it flew just over the cross bar.
Some good build up player from Isaac Walker fed in Cedric Main who turned a York defender and managed to get a good shot away that was just deflected wide.
By now York had started to come into the game and on the 25 minute mark forward John-Lewis played in Burgess who forced a good save from Alex Mitchell.
33 minutes in though and York did break the deadlock. Duckworth’s cross into the box was met by the head of 6ft3 Manny Duku who beat his man to smash the ball home.
Following the goal, the action in the first half seemed die down, with the only highlight being when York’s Scott Burgess drilled a shot from outside the area wide of the mark right before half time.
At the start of the second half, York came flying out the traps and should have gone 2-0 up on the 50th minute as Duku beat Alex Mitchell to a ball in the edge of the box, took it round him, but Toby Lees managed to make the goal like stop.
Just two minutes later though York did double their lead, as Mitch Hancox crossed the ball in from the left flank and Lenell John-Lewis converted to make it 2-0.
By now though the floodgates were beginning to open, and it was 3-0 moments later as Nathan Thomas danced into the box on the right flank and which went in via a deflection.
John-Lewis had a chance to make it 4-0 more or less straight away but his bicycle kick from a Nathan Thomas cross was headed away by Elsdon.
63 minutes in and Josh Scott was replaced by Spartans academy prospect Jay Errington, who’s been a regular goal scorer for the under 19’s this season and for Percy Main where he plays on a dual reg.
3 minutes later though it was 4-0, as Duckworth again put a cross in, finding Nathan Thomas who took the ball past Elsdon and fired the ball past Mitchell. Thomas was in again soon after but this time his effort went over the bar.
With 20 minutes to go Josh Gillies was replaced by Josh Walker, a centre midfielder from Spartans you set up who’s also featured for North Shields and Heaton Stan this season.
York got their 5th and final goal a corner, as Thomas’ corner was headed across goal towards Manny Duku who got a touch on it and the ball rolled over the line.
Blyth then made a final change, with Cedric Main being replaced by Luke Heppell, another Spartans youngster.
It was nearly 6-0 late on though as Dyson put in a cross right in the path of Manny Duku but this time Toby Lees managed to clear away the danger.
York City | Ryan Whitley, Adam Crookes, Maxim Kouogun (Mitch Hancox), Paddy McLaughlin, Olly Dyson, Scott Burgess (AJ Greaves), Lenell John-Lewis (Alex Hurst), Sam Sanders, Nathan Thomas, Manny Duku, Michael Duckworth
Unused Subs | Ethan Ross, Ryan Fallowfield, Dan Pybus,
Blyth Spartans | Alex Mitchell, Toby Lees, JJ O’Donnell, Isaac Walker, Josh Gillies (Josh Walker), Matty Elsdon, Nicky Deverdics, Cedric Main (Luke Heppell), Matty Cornish, Josh Scott (Jay Errington), Rio Joisce
Unused Subs | Matty Alexander
Attendance | 1172 (26 away)