The public address system at Heritage Park on Tuesday during Blyth’s FA Cup first qualifying round game against Darlington was insistent that ‘A fire has been reported’.
There was no sign of it in the stands but it was undoubtedly present in the bellies of the Spartans players as they put in a truly resilient performance.
“It was a great game,” said Blyth boss Tom Wade. “Darlington had the chances to win it, hitting the post and missing a penalty but then again we could have snatched at the end.
“I thought we edged the first half but Darlo came out stronger after the break which the home side would be expected to do. Plus we lost our legs a little.”
The home side were awarded a penalty early after the restart when Neal Hooks was harshly adjudged to have fouled Ryan Noble.
Wade commented: “It was never, in a million years, a penalty! But Peter [Jeffries] made a wonderful save to keep it out. Peter is one of the very best signings Blyth Spartans have made for many years. As well as Peter Robbie [Dale] was outstanding. He was man of the Match in my opinion. Playing him down the middle, as we did on Sunday, may turn out to be his long term position. He’s no spring chicken and doesn’t have to do the running there that is demanded on the wings!”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s replay at Croft Park Wade is expecting another hard fought encounter.
“It’s going to be a tough game. Both sides will have picked up injuries at the weekend but we have nothing to fear even though Darlington are a very good side,” said Wade. “We need our supporters to get down to the game and be loud. My message to them is to bring their voices and use them to get behind the lads and get us over the line!”