FORMER Blyth Spartans legend Steve Pyle is hoping the Croft Park supporters heading to Whitby for the FA Cup third round qualifier on Saturday have a good day beside the seaside by watching their team progress to the next stage of the competition.
As soon as the draw was made last Monday, Spartans fans were busy planning their trip down the coast to North Yorkshire, and Pyle believes their support could act as the 12th man at the Turnbull Ground.
Pyle said: “It’s a great site when you get off the bus and you see all the fans that have made the journey down.
“It certainly makes a difference and it really could help them get through what is a tricky tie.”
Pyle added: “Everybody knows about Blyth’s tradition in the FA cup and I’m sure Steve Cuggy and Gavin Fell will not have to tell the players what this means to the club.”
In two spells at Croft Park, between the late 1980s and mid 1990s, Pyle scored a remarkable 207 goals in 315 appearances before leaving to join Whitby for a short but successful stint for the Seasiders.
Under the leadership of former Spartans boss Harry Dunn, Pyle added a league championship and FA vase winner’s medal to his mantelpiece, but says there will be no split loyalties when the two sides meet on Saturday.
“There is no question – I want Blyth to win.” said Pyle.
“I enjoyed my time at Whitby but I definitely had my best years at Blyth and I would really like to see them get through.”
Spartans of the Blue Square Bet North along with their opponents this weekend from the Evo-stik Premier division have both had difficult starts to their respective campaigns.
But after coming through difficult home ties in the last round, with Blyth defeating local rivals Bedlington Terriers 2-1 and Whitby disposing of North Ferriby by the same score, Pyle believes whoever continues their run in the FA cup could soon see an improvement to their league form.
He said: “A cup run can give you a big confidence boost and therefore you can start improving results in the league.
“It creates a lot of interest and brings money in for the club so overall it gives you a massive incentive to get through.”