Spartans make Trophy progress

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There was a collection of Motown hits played at Throstle Nest prior to Blyth Spartans’ FA Trophy tie with Farsley and after the week Tom Wade’s side have had, James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’ seems rather fitting.

FA Cup progress at Leek Town and a draw at FC United of Manchester were followed by a professional FA Trophy win in Yorkshire thanks to a Damen Mulen penalty and Nathan Buddle’s first goal of the season.

Spartans almost had the lead within two minutes after Arran Wearmouth won a free kick on the left hand side of the area. It was blasted low across goal by Damen Mullen and several onrushing Spartans players just failed to make contact with the cross at the far post.

A pretty uninspiring first half was played out with Spartans having the majority of possession without creating too much in the way of chances. The hosts’ only chance was a Kyle Hancock free kick that sailed harmlessly wide of Peter Jeffries’ far post.

The game burst into life just before the half hour mark as Mullen headed a clearance back into the area. The ball fell to Matty Wade on the penalty spot but his shot on the turn smashed the left hand upright and that was the final chance of a poor first half.

Within three minutes of the restart Spartans were ahead. Not for the first time Wearmouth caused problems and was dragged to the floor in the area by Harrison. Referee Bell pointed to the spot and Damen Mullen sent Tom Taylor the wrong way to put Spartans in front.

Spartans survived serious pressure from the home side as they tried to mount a recovery. Jeffries produced a smart stop to deny Ross Daly before Joel Dixon cleared a Kyle Hancock drive off the line.

After surviving that spell of pressure Spartans doubled their lead. Mullen’s low free kick from the left was flicked home by Nathan Buddle from point blank range for the big centre back’s first goal of the season.

As the half wore on there were chances for Spartans to add another goal that would have killed the tie off completely. Wearmouth went close with ten minutes only to be denied by a brave block by Taylor and Wade could only send the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

There was always going to be a surge from the home side and it duly arrived with minutes left on the clock. Some serious pressure saw Daly go close but his header was deflected wide by Buddle before a low drive from Gibraltar international striker Adam Priestley was deflected on to the post by a combination of Jordan Watson and Joel Dixon who cleared the ball to safety. That was enough to ensure that Spartans clean sheet was maintained and Spartans – for the second time in a week – make progress in a cup competition.

Blyth Spartans: Jeffries, Dixon, Watson, Buddle, Parker, Mullen, Bell, Hutchinson, Maguire, Wade, Wearmouth Subs: Perez, Quinn, Hooks, Cummings, Rivers.