Report | Blyth Spartans 2-0 Billingham Town | FA Youth Cup | 21/22

Blyth Spartans advanced into the FA Youth Cup Second Round Qualifying after a 2-0 victory over Billingham Town at Croft Park 

A goal in either half from Jamie Norvell and Sammy Watson saw off Town, who beat Scarborough Athletic 10-1 in the previous round. 

The young Spartans now wait to learn their next opponents, with the tie to be played on the week commencing September 27th. 

It was a fast start at Croft Park with the young Spartans overseeing the better of the early opportunities as Sammy Watson hit a fierce volley just past the post. 

Moments later, Colby Agnama was found in-behind the Blyth defence but could only find the side netting with his shot as goalkeeper Callum Elliott took a blow in the face for his troubles. 

But within four first-half minutes, Norvell, on three occasions, cut inside on the right. One effort was blocked, the other went narrowly over the crossbar before another agonisingly struck the near post. 

Just as Billingham looked to have gained a foothold in the game after Jack Whitge’s audacious attempt dipped narrowly past Callum Elliott’s far post, Norvell produced the spectacular. 

It was a rocket of a strike by the Spartans winger, with his left-footed shot from 20 yards leaving George Briggs in the Billingham goal with no chance.

Indeed, only a vital block from Ben Heeley prevented Norvell from firing home a quick-fire double from inside the area.  

The visitors ended the half strong and Spartans left-back Dawson Carr produced two heroics blocks to deny Billingham on 43 minutes. 

The opening exchanges of the second-half were end-to-end. Norvell might have added a second had he opted to shoot rather than fail to find a teammate. 

Billingham’s Joshua Shilham then showcased his lightning pace. Following a ricochet, the ball fell to Leighton Harris on the edge of the box and he shot narrowly wide. 

After those chances, however, efforts on goal were at a premium. On the one occasion Billingham did threaten through Oliver Cairney, the offside flag was raised anyway. 

With that in mind, it was no surprise that the second goal of the evening came from a set-piece, and thankfully it was in Spartans’ favour. 

Josh Walker’s floated free-kick was met by central defender Watson, whose header looped over Briggs for 2-0. 

Six minutes later, Walker went in search of a third when his powerful attempt stung the palms of Briggs. 

Norvell, Matthew Dopson and Matthew Nesbitt all registered late efforts but the standout moment came late on as Elliott preserved his clean sheet. 

Elliott, rooted to the floor, somehow kept the Billingham attacker from close range. 

Blyth Spartans XI: Elliott, Dopson (C) , Carr, Walker, Cave, Watson, Norvell, Morpeth (Shilling, 77), Mitchell (Joisce, 60), Hepple (Errington, 60), Nesbitt. Subs not used: Spencer, Hartley, Chapman. 

Goals: Norvell (27), Watson (75)

Referee: Daniel Van Hymus

Posted by Jordan Cronin