Spartans’ midfielder Turnbull wants ‘big club’ in FA Cup first round

Robbie Dale slots home a penalty for Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup win at Leek Town. Picture by John Hague
Robbie Dale slots home a penalty for Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup win at Leek Town. Picture by John Hague
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When analysing the FA Cup run that has seen Blyth Spartans into the first round proper for the 32nd time in their history, Stephen Turnbull felt that fate had a big influence on their achievement.

Indeed the former Hartlepool United man believed the similarities between this year’s run and the most famous cup run in the club’s history is proof of that.

He said: “Some years you feel it’s your year, and it feels that way, like we were meant to be where we are.

“I read somewhere online that in the run in 1977-78 the club had four home draws and faced one replay, just as we have this year.

“Seems like something is written in the stars.”

You would think nothing would surprise Turnbull with the Spartans midfielder in his third spell at the club.

However, even he admitted the second half display that saw his side overturn a two-goal half-time deficit at Leek Town had been a shock even to him, although he did take the time to pay tribute to the second half performance of long serving winger Robbie Dale.

“We were horrendous in the first half and the manager has hammered us at half-time,” he said.

“We were getting murdered in all honesty and we showed character to come back.

“I felt we could but to find ourselves 4-2 up at one point was a surprise.

“We changed how we played and got the ball out wide. We got it to Robbie Dale and, let’s be honest, he is the best player in our league by a long way so we knew with him on form we would get what we wanted.”

Attention now turns to Monday night’s first round draw and Turnbull’s demands are simple.

A big club is all he wants, but not just for himself.

With the backing of over 200 Green Army members, Spartans were roared past their hosts and Turnbull admitted the support his side receives is “brilliant”.

“I want a Sheffield United at home, or any really big club would do,” he said.

“It’s a magic competition and you saw at the end what it means to the fans and the players.

“We are all buzzing and especially for the supporters. There aren’t many clubs at our level that would take away support like that.

“It’s not just locals either, with the lads coming from Cannock and Coventry, it’s brilliant to have them behind us and to get a big club would be reward for them.”