BY Liam O’Brien
In association with:
ALAN McLEAN FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Accountant
Emirates FA Youth Cup Second Qualifying Round
Wednesday, September 29th 2021
BLYTH SPARTANS U18s 0–0 GATESHEAD U18s (4-4 Pens)
Blyth Spartans advanced into the FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying after winning 4-3 on penalties – with Sammy Watson dispatching the decisive kick.
The young Spartans were unlucky not to win the game in normal time, however kept their composure to claim a dramatic shootout victory local rivals Gateshead.
Blyth started the game the strongest with Jamie Norvell curling a shot narrowly past the post before Luke Heppell forced the Heed goalkeeper into a save with a deflected effort.
The visitors registered their first opportunity of the game when Connor Pani managed to get his head on the end of a corner but the effort went wide of the far post.
Blyth continued to create the better chances. Owen Mitchell went one-on with Sam Wilson before the Heed goalkeeper cleared the danger.
Lennox Magalhaes got a chance for Gateshead when he dribbled his way through the Blyth defence but shot wide past the near post.
Moments later, Sammy Watson headed over from a Blyth corner. At the other end, Pani collected the ball outside the box and test Callum Elliott from distance.
A sliced clearance from Gateshead allowed Norvell to get the ball and be one on one with the goalkeeper but his effort went over the bar.
Spartans continued to put pressure on Gateshead with Dawson Carr attempting an audacious volley from outside the box that hit the Spartans Shrek.
This was followed by an effort from substitute Paul Dudgeon from outside the box that went wide of the far post.
In the opening stages of the second half, Pani got a great chance to score from 14 yards out but squandered the opportunity.
Spartans went up the other end with a big chance to score. A great move down the right ended with Mitchell cutting it back to Dudgeon, who wasted the chance.
Cameron Tiplady got on the end of a lovely ball from Magalhaes to get one on one with Elliott but the Spartans goalkeeper denied the Heed attack with an impressive save at the near post.
That started Gateshead best spell of the match as Pani, via the outside of his boot, forced Elliott into another save.
But Spartans ended the game strongly, and squandered further chances to win it.
Rio Joisce was sent one on one with the goalkeeper but his close-range effort was impressively saved by Wilson.
Josh Walker let fly from 30 yards, only to be denied by the woodwork.
Norvell then went in on goal but Wilson again produced another top save. The heroics of the Gateshead goalkeeper meant that the game went to penalties.
Jordan Plunkett and Pani hit their spot-kicks off target. Dudgeon missed for Spartans but that didn’t matter as Watson calmly slotted home the deciding fifth and final penalty.
The next round will be played on the week commencing Monday, October 11th. Win that, and the young Spartans are into the First Round Proper.
Blyth Spartans XI: Elliot, Dopson ©, Carr, Walker, Cave, Watson, Norvell, Morpeth (Livermore, 38), Mitchell (Errington, 80), Heppell (Joisce, 74), Nesbitt/ Subs not used: Shilling, Spencer, Chapman
Gateshead XI: S.Wilson, R. Wilson, Metcalfe (Brady, 70), Bradley, Plunkett, Bowers, Tiplady (Adok, 85), Pani, Magalhaes (Day, 70), Willoughby, Lowden. Subs not used: Walton, Maughan, Hudspith, Statton
Referee: M Webster