At the third time of asking, Blyth and Scunthorpe finally faced off at Croft Park as Jon Shaw’s men managed a late draw.
Danny Elliott scored the only goal of the game in the second half for Scunthorpe and the game was levelled in the last seconds by a Billy Gordon strike on goal which seemed to be bundled into the net following Ross Fitzsimmons weak parry with Will McGowan reeling away and leading the celebrations.
In the opening minutes, the Iron drove forward with Dion Sembi-Ferris, who slotted the ball forward for Michael Clunan and struck an effort goalwards, but the Spartans’ defence blocked it.
Danny Whitehall was fouled on the edge of the Blyth penalty box and won Sunthorepe a free-kick. He took the resulting free-kick before Dan Langley produced a brilliant save to his top left corner.
The Spartans thought they had conceded after 28 minutes through Kian Scales, but it was ruled out following a discussion between the referee and assistant referee as Whitehall was offside in the build-up.
Scunthorpe continued to pile on the pressure as Danny Elliot had a chance on goal which was swiftly blocked by Elliot Forbes.
The Iron put the ball in the net again after 41 minutes, but the ball trickled out of play for a goal kick before they brought the ball back into play to take the strike that went past an unphased Langley who had already heard the whistle prior.
Half-time: Blyth Spartans 0-0 Scunthorpe United
Whitefield had another free kick from shooting range at the start of the second half, he struck the ball low along the ground towards Langley, but Langley had it easily covered.
Scunthorpe had the ball in Blyth’s territory and Clunan and Charlie Aitken challenged for the ball and the referee deemed that Aitken made a foul and awarded the Iron a free-kick. The ball was swung into the back post and Langley made a diving save to parry the ball behind for a corner, which Blyth dealt with.
The Iron broke on the counter-attack with Michael Kelly and substitute Cameron Wilson linking up together, but the Spartans managed to re-group as Forbes managed to get his foot in to get the ball away from any danger.
Langley produced another fine save just moments later as he managed to stop a strong strike from Wilson.
Again, Scunthorpe had the ball in the Blyth half as Scales put an inswinging cross into the box which bounced through to Langley as he was able to easily collect the ball.
Wilson was shown a yellow card by the referee just before the 80th minute for simulation as he went down very easily inside the penalty area.
Danny Elliott opened the scoring after 81 minutes as he latched onto the ball from Sembi-Ferris and tapped the ball into the net.
In the dying embers of the game, the Iron decided to keep the ball next to the corner flag to defend their one-goal lead until the final whistle.
However, Spartans pushed to try and get an equaliser following an untidy attempt to retain the ball in the corner for the visitors. Billy Gordon collected the ball, drove into the box and took a shot on goal, Ross Fitzsimmons parried it upwards and a flurry of players rushed towards the goal line to bundle the ball into the back of the net, Will McGowan reeled away and spearheaded the celebrations as Croft Park erupted.
Full-time: Blyth Spartans 1-1 Scunthorpe United
Blyth Spartans | Dan Langley, Rhys Evans, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Jack Bodenham, Oli Thompson, Jordan Hickey (Harry Arnison 84’), Charlie Aitken (Billy Gordon 81), Elliot Forbes Nicky Deverdics ©, Will McGowan, Harry Gardiner
Subs not used | Harrison Clark, Michael Hogan
Goals | Billy Gordon 90+4’
Scunthorpe United | Ross Fitzsimmons, Reagan Ogle, Michael Kelly, Max Kouogun, Will Evans, Michael Clunan ©, Danny Elliott, Tom Pugh (Cameron Wilson 66’), Kian Scales, Dion Sembi-Ferris (Ross Burrows 90+2’), Danny Whitehall (Alfie Beeston 82’)
Subs not used | Andrew Boyce, Jacob Butterfield
Goals | Danny Elliott 81’
Attendance | 810
Referee | Tom Wilson
Spartans next face off against Buxton at Croft Park on Saturday, February 10, 2024, with a 3pm kick-off.