Match Preview | Blyth Spartans vs Morpeth Town


Venue: Croft Park, Blyth (NE24 3JE)
Date: Saturday September 17, 2016
Kick Off: 3pm

Radio Blyth Live

£10 – Adults (+1 under 10 free with every paying adult)
£5 – Concessions
£1 Extra – Entry to Port of Blyth Stand

Blyth Spartans face a tasty local Northumberland derby against FA Vase holders Morpeth Town – as both sides look to progress into the next round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

Spartans saw off fellow Evo-Stik Premier League side Frickley Athletic 3-1 in the last round at Croft Park, which will also host this Saturday’s second round qualifying round tie. Meanwhile, the Northern League side will be hoping to record another cup upset – after they recorded a 4-2 home win over Colwyn Bay in the first qualifying round.

Blyth go into the game in excellent form, having won each of their last five games in all competitions and recording clean sheets against Sutton Coldfield Town and Marine in their last two victories.

Town currently sit in sixth-place in this season’s Northern League, with 14 points from eight games. They stunned Shildon with a 2-1 win last Saturday, but Morpeth will be disappointed that their impressive victory over the league leaders came before a heavy 3-0 midweek defeat at Penrith.

Tom Wade’s side were all smiles when Alex Nicholson made his comeback from injury off the bench during Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Marine, but would have been left worrying over the fitness of Emirates FA Cup hero Jarrett Rivers on Thursday night – after the winger appeared to pull up in training.

Blyth Spartans – WWWWW
Morpeth Town – DWWWL

Nick Gray and Dave Malone – Formerly of Northampton Town, Durham City, Bedlington Terriers, South Shields and West Allotment Celtic, Nick Gray took Morpeth to a fourth place finish in his first season at Craik Park – after the club narrowly avoided relegation the season before he joined – and has led the club to an improved finish every year.

Dave Malone was brought in as co-manager by Gray at the start of the 2014/15 season and he was a big hit on and off the field – as the pair led Town to FA Vase glory with a 4-1 win over Hereford at Wembley last season.

Paul Robinson – “Robbo” needs no introduction to the Spartans supporters, having enjoyed two spells at Croft Park before making the switch to Craik Park with Damon Mullen over the summer.

Robinson has hit the ground running at Morpeth and is already the club’s top scorer this season with 11 goals in 11 appearances, more than double that of his nearest challenger. That total includes his brace at Colwyn Bay in the last round, so he will surely be desperate to net in the Emirates FA Cup again against his former employers.

Morpeth Town 0-2 Blyth Spartans – Monday April 27, 2015 – Northumberland Senior Cup Final

Played – 11
Won – 9
Lost – 2
Drew – 0
Scored – 42
Conceded – 16

(Info provided by Graham Usher – Blyth Spirit)

There have been nine previous cup meetings between Blyth Spartans and Morpeth Town, with all of them coming in the Northumberland Senior Cup:

2/2/1963 – NSC First Round: Blyth Spartans 10-2 Morpeth Town
Scorers: Robson (4), Glendinning (2), R.Smith (2), A.Smith, Hogg.

7/11/1987 – NSC First Round: Blyth Spartans 5-1 Morpeth Town
Scorers: Pyle (2), Nicholson, Harmison, Howie.

13/2/1996 – NSC Second Round: Blyth Spartans 5-0 Morpeth Town
Scorers: Bond (2), S.Young (2), Own goal.

11/2/1998 – NSC Second Round: Morpeth Town 6-2 Blyth Spartans
Scorers: Todd, Pyle.

18/10/2004 –  NSC First Round: Blyth Spartans 2-1 Morpeth Town
Scorers: Priest, Williams.

8/5/2007 – NSC Final: Blyth Spartans 2-3 Morpeth Town (played at St James’ Park)
Scorers: Snowdon, Hodgson.

4/3/2008 – NSC Semi-final: Morpeth Town 0-2 Blyth Spartans
Scorers: P.Bell, Williams.

24/11/2009 – NSC First Round: Blyth Spartans 3-1 Morpeth Town
Scorer: Bains, S.Turnbull, Doninger.

27/4/2015  – NSC Final: Morpeth Town 0-2 Blyth Spartans (played at St James’ Park)
Scorers: Richardson, Maguire.

There have only ever been two league meetings between Blyth Spartans and Morpeth Town, when took place during the 1946/47 Northern Alliance League season:

12/10/1946 – Northern Alliance League: Blyth Spartans 5-0 Morpeth Town
Scorers: Hunter, Chicken, Gardner, Coughlin, Barber.

5/4/1947 – Northern Alliance League: Morpeth Town 2-4 Blyth Spartans
Scorers: Chicken, Barber, Hunter, Gardner.

Ryan Hutchinson
Matthew Wade
Damon Mullen
Chris Swailes
Lee Picton
Ben Sayer
Niall Harrison
Nick Thomson
Paul Robinson

Referee: Elliott Heward
Assistants: Robert Musgrove and Lewis Game

Posted by Glen Maxwell