AFTER winning the NCYP Cup last weekend, Blyth Rangers Vakencia Under-16’s remarkable season continued with a giant killing performance to lift the North East Divisional Cup for the first time in their history at any level.
A whole-hearted display of grit, determination and desire from the league three title chasers saw them see off highly successful league one side Cramlington Juniors who have won this competition 12 times since 1989.
The match was played at Ashington’s Woodhorn Lane with both sides playing a high standard of football.
Blyth knew they would be up against it and a mammoth task lay ahead but morale was high before the game and ten minutes into the first half a break forward by Jack Young found him beyond the Cramlington defence but pulled his shot inches wide.
This give Blyth belief and it was Young again in an almost identical break five minutes later who this time made no mistake and fired in low past the keeper.
Twenty five minutes Blyth were growing in confidence and when Robert Goodall’s cool strike under pressure from the edge of the area beat the keeper to make it 2-0, Blyth were starting to believe that this could be their night.
A shell-shocked Cramlington could not find their way into the Blyth box or keep hold of the ball as Blyth captain Rhys Brown commanded his defence.
The midfield and forwards pressed every ball and keeper Alex Robertson denied Cramlington on three occasions.
With virtually the last kick off the half, Cramlington who passed well, carved open a chance and pulled one back.
The second half started with four Blyth substitutions and a change of formation.
But Cramlington came out full of fire and for 40 minutes Blyth defended with everything they had.
Attack after attack was broken down by the impressive Blyth midfield trio of Jordan Cochrane, Andrew Asman and David Cardill.
And when they did get round them, man of the match Mitchell Amatt and the Blyth defence were resolute.
Having switched formation to one up front, even forward Ross Laidlaw was chasing back and it was his determination that started a rare Blyth counter attack which could have finished Cramlington off with five minutes to go, but they managed to clear the ball before Asman could get his shot off in the box.
Cramlington threw everything at the Blyth goal, even their goalkeeper going up for a final minute corner, but they stayed strong, dug deep and defended resolutely to deny Cramlington.
Blyth manager Malcolm Cochrane said: “This is a massive result for the players and the club. They deserve this result after that second half display.
“To go two-nil up against Cramlington Junior and then defend the way we did was magnificent against such a top and well organised side.
“We have the league three title and promotion to concentrate on now, and maybe a treble.”
Blyth’s assistant Paul Brown added: “ I am so proud of each and everyone of the lads. They thoroughly deserved it after that performance.”
Blyth Rangers Valencia: Robertson, Amatt, R Thompson, Brown, Maddison, Carr, Asman, Cardill, Sinkinson, Young, Goodall, Subs: Laidlaw, Cochrane, Morris, RL Thompson.