Spartans exit Cup with loss of late goal
Blyth Spartans succumbed to an Emirates FA Cup shock of their own on Saturday - as Shaw Lane AFC profited from their persistent time-wasting to score in second half stoppage time and claim a 2-1 win at Croft Park.
Paul Clayton opened the scoring for the visitors on six minutes - as Blyth went into the break behind. Substitute Adam Wrightson then smashed home on 57 minutes, to give the Spartans hope of another run in England’s premier cup competition.
However, those hopes were dashed by the time-wasting antics of Ducks’ goalkeeper John Stewart - whose actions saw the five minutes of added time extended. That allowed substitute Damien Reeves the chance to head into an empty net on 96 minutes - after a defensive mix-up between Peter Jameson and Nathan Buddle - and consign Spartans to a second successive Emirates FA Cup Second Qualifying Round exit.
After beating Chorley 2-0 to extend their winning Vanarama National League North run to four games on Tuesday night, the hosts named an unchanged side for the visit of the Evo-Stik Premier League newcomers.
Shaw Lane took the lead with their first real chance of the contest.
Serrant profited from Dean Watson’s decision to play advantage following a Blyth foul on halfway and flew down the left wing. The left-back delivered a pinpoint cross into the near post and Clayton was there to nod past Jameson to put the Ducks ahead.
Spartans rallied after their early setback but were unable to find a breakthrough before half-time.
They managed to equalise however, when Dale drove forward from halfway, before spreading the ball out wide to Hopson on the right. The former Whitby Town midfielder played a fantastic cross into the area, which Wrightson duly smashed past Stewart and into the back of the net.
Reid missed a glorious chance to put Spartans in front when he headed over from an Ian Watson cross,
With a replay looking likely, Alun Armstrong’s side were stung in the 96th minute when, following a mix-up in communication,Walker crossed into Reeves, who had the simple task of heading into an empty net.