Blyth youngsters hit the road and put on a classic performance to win silverware in their first ever national tournament.
Blyth Town Under-9 Whites turned giant-killers at the Cleethorpes Classic and were rewarded when ex-Newcastle and England star Chris Waddle presented them with the trophies after a great performance.
Coach Michael Conner said: “We decided that after a great season in the second tier of the Pinpoint Recruitment League the team was ready to test themselves in this tough competition. And they didn’t let us down.”
The Blyth youngsters kicked off with Waltham Mariners and started slowly. Waltham capitalised on a mistake, taking an early lead and their first game ended with a defeat.
Next up was AFC Oakley Real Madrid, and after some encouraging words from the coaches the boys went out and played their normal style of passing football, walking away with a 3-0 win.
Feeling much more relaxed, the lads took on AFC Oakley Barcelona playing some lovely football, hitting the crossbar and the post. Unfortunately that elusive goal would not come and the game ended 0-0.
The next day Blyth took on local teams Grimsby Borough Athletic and Grimsby Borough Colts, the latter were top of the league having won all their previous games.
The players knew that they needed to win both of their fixtures to give themselves an opportunity of making the final.
Manager Alex Ridley said: “They went out and did themselves proud winning both games 2-0 and 2-1 respectively.
“That put Blyth in second place with ten points and we had an anxious 40-minute wait for other results to see if we’d done enough to make it into the final – we had.’
“The boys were nervous prior to kick-off until we explained that it was a great opportunity to have reached the final and they needed to enjoy the atmosphere and have some fun.’’
Twenty nail-biting minutes later Blyth were crowned champions, having scored the only goal of the game.
“What a fantastic experience for the boys, coaches and parents alike. Well done Blyth Town Under-9’s,” said the coaches.