Spartans safely through in Trophy
Blyth Spartans secured a safe passage to the Buildbase FA Trophy second round in horrendous conditions at the Giant Axe on Saturday.
Michael Liddle’s 15th minute free-kick set Alun Armstrong’s men on their way, before two goals in five minutes from Dan Maguire and Jamie Holmes on the hour-mark sealed the tie for the visitors.
Lancaster then had two defenders sent off for denying goal-scoring opportunities – Craig Stanley bringing down Sean Reid in the 79th minute before Paul Dugdale brought down Holmes in identical fashion three minutes from time.
After a bright start, Spartans took the lead after a quarter-of-an-hour when they were awarded a free-kick.
Liddle stepped up and curled a delicious strike into the top right hand corner of Aiden Stone’s net.
Maguire began to show his class on the half-hour mark, he reacted quickest on the edge of the area after a well-worked move to stroke a left-footed effort just past the left-hand upright.
Three minutes later, he tried his luck again, from 12-yards, again a left-footed effort rolling just the wrong side of the post.
With the wind at their back in the second half, Lancaster started brightly and had a number of chances to equalise. Three minutes into the second period, substitute Ryan Winder raced clear, beating Jameson with his effort, but not the post.
Two minutes later, Jameson was in the action again, tipping away a Tom Kilifin effort.
With 59 minute played, Maguire hit the woodwork. Allowed to run free of the defence, Maguire hit a left-footed effort across goal, but saw his strike cannon off the post.
A minute later, Spartans doubled their lead against the run of play. Stone’s goal-kick was poorly hit and fell at the feet of Reid, who played in Maguire for identical chance the one a minute earlier – this time he stroked the ball home for his 147th in a green-and-white shirt.
Five minutes later, the game was put to bed, Reid again the creator as he broke down the right. He hit a shot across goal with the wind assisting it into the path of Holmes who netted from inside the six-yard box.
The hosts never gave up, but in driving winds and heavy rain, conditions were far from ideal and both sides were happy to hear the final whistle.