Blyth AFC exit Vase to injury-time goal
Daniel Candlish scored a dramatic late goal as Blyth AFC crashed out of the FA Vase in the Second Qualifying Round, losing 3-2 to Whickham.
Andy Brown handed the hosts the lead midway through the first-half, but Gary Day levelled the game from the penalty spot on 70 minutes after he had been fouled in the box.
Sean McRoberts gave Blyth the lead with four minutes to go, but Kyle Wharton replied two minutes later and Candlish popped up to score the winner deep into injury time.
The two sides are set to meet once more, this time in the league, next Saturday afternoon.
Mick Connor and Andy Bowman’s side come into the game off the back of a 5-0 thrashing against Crook Town.
It was the visitors that had the first opening, with Liam Gillesphey’s free kick swirling in the wind and almost catching out Whickham ‘keeper, John Mordey.
Chris Bannon was called into action on 15 minutes, the shot-stopper reacted well to get down to Kallum Broadhead’s strike across goal.
Ryan McGorrigan’s shot from 20-yards our was parried by the ‘keeper, but Blyth couldn’t capitalise in th loose ball, and just before the hour mark, the hosts broke the deadlock.
Broadhead played the corner into the box and Brown was allowed time and space to run on to the ball and slot through the defenders legs and into the net.
A resilient Whickham side started the second half well, and Bannon made another top save nine minutes after the restart. Broadhead’s reverse pass found Wharton, who broke through and was denied by the ‘keeper.
The Braves started to work their way back into the game and were denied an equaliser by some superb goalkeeping. Jake Armitage stormed in to the penalty area and his shot was pushed over the bar by Mordey.
However, Blyth had the chance to draw level under two minutes later as G.Day was fouled by Sam Hedley in the penalty area. The striker stepped up on 70 minutes and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Whickham’s Brown guided Chad Collins’ cross goalwards five minutes after the equaliser, and Bannon managed to push the ball round the post.
The two sides were locked at 1-1 going into the final stages of the game, and Blyth managed to go ahead for the first time with a few minutes remaining. Sean McRoberts cut in from the left and curled goalwards, and the ball sailed over the ‘keepers head and into the top corner.
However, the Braves failed to hold on to the lead for more than two minutes as the Lang Jacks struck back straight away. Martin’s free kick into the box wasn’t dealt with and Wharton stooped low to head home from close range.
Bannon kept the game at 2-2 in the third minute of additional time, Steven Aiston’s cross found Candlish in acres of space. The striker helped the ball goalwards and Blyth’s ‘keeper kept across to deny Whickham.
Extra time was looming, and there was a matter of seconds remaining in the game and the hosts struck a hammer blow. Broadhead worked the ball across to Candlish on the left, and the forward cut inside and struck across goal, into the bottom corner, to spark jubilant celebrations from the home bench and supporters.