Blyth misery in Trophy exit

FOR the second time this season Blyth Spartans came away from Witton Albion’s Help for Heroes Stadium with nothing to show.

On the opening day of the season they could point to a controversial late penalty decision as the reason for the defeat, but on Saturday there could be no such complaints as they were dumped out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle.

Tommy Cassidy handed a debut to centre back Daryll Donnelly who joined the club on Friday and striker Callum Hassan was given a first start.

Another new signing made on Friday, Daniel Maguire was on the bench.

Spartans fell behind early when winger Daniel Andrews rolled the ball to Albion skipper Anthony Sheehan who made no mistake with a well controlled finish from the edge of the box.

Five minutes later and a top class save from Conor Grant prevented Spartans going two behind.

In a statistic that speaks volumes of the Spartans performance it took until the half hour mark for a chance of any note to be created, and it was a half one at best.

A handball gave Martin Brittain the chance to curl a free kick in from the right hand side and his cross was narrowly diverted away from the on rushing Wayne Buchanan and Hassan by the toes of Albion centre back Paul Booth.

Just after the hour Albion deservedly doubled their lead.

A long ball forward found striker Ashley Stott on the left wing, he held the ball up long enough to give left back Mathew Wood time to break inside the inside channel.

Stott played an inch perfect pass to the defender and he produced a classy finish from the angle with the outside of his left foot.

An inspired substitution from Albion boss Brian Pritchard saw the home side take the game away from Spartans.

Striker Shaun Tuck replaced Stott midway through the second period and it was a change that paid immediate dividends.

A long ball forward caught the wind and made life difficult for Grant in the Spartans net.

The extra pace on the ball meant the keeper couldn’t hang on and Tuck stole it and went past Grant before coolly finishing past Buchanan on the line.

As the clock ticked past the 90-minute mark a Neal Hooks cross to the back post found Donnelly who headed goalwards but the ball deflected of Callum Hassan’s back and into the net.

As if to rub salt into already open wounds the hosts would get a fourth as a ball into the Spartans box only just narrowly avoided Shaun Utterson and ran to an unmarked Tuck who rolled the ball calmly past Grant to cap a miserable day Tommy Cassidy’s side.