Delaval take Challenge Cup against nine-man Blyth side

SEATON Delaval secured the Kicks Leisure Challenge Cup for the first time in 15 years after beating Blyth Town at Ashington’s Woodhorn Lane.

Delaval made a couple of changes from the team that beat Cramlington on Saturday with Fry and Wilson replacing Grey and Cook.

Blyth were the last team to beat Delaval, 3-0 back in November, and possibly entered the game as slight favourites as result.

The game itself made a mockery of that potential billing as Delaval dominated for 80 minutes before two crazy goals gave Blyth hope at the end.

Delaval were on the front foot from the kick-off and, after forcing a couple of early corners, took the lead in the sixth minute when excellent play from Anderson released Stephen Howes.

The forward’s first touch and pace took him away from the defence and he calmly slotted under the advancing keeper.

Just four minutes later it was almost 2-0 when Jordan Fry found himself unmarked at the back post from a long free kick into the Blyth box. But his header came back off the post and rebounded to safety.

A punt downfield by Mundy in the 23rd minute was brilliantly controlled by Anderson but the forward’s shot from 18 yards was blocked superbly by the keeper.

Two minutes later Anderson had another opportunity when a neat header from Wilson found him on the edge of the box, but this time his effort flew just over the bar.

On 27 minutes, Blyth threatened when a long throw into the box was helped towards goal but was turned round the post by Mundy.

The tide was definitely with Delaval and a neat ball from Howes found Craig Johnson motoring towards the box, but his touch was poor and the keeper was able to knock the ball away.

Blyth’s best chance came right on the stroke of half-time but the near-post effort was pushed past the near post by Delaval keeper Mundy.

Blyth started the second half with a renewed vigour and finally looked like playing a meaningful part in the final, but it was still Delaval who had the first opportunity when a great cross from Craig Johnson was volleyed tamely at the keeper by Anderson at full stretch.

On 52 minutes Delaval got the second their performance deserved.

Wilson did well to get to the ball ahead of the defender and was brought down for a penalty.

Anderson stepped up to calmly slot the ball home from the spot.

Delaval gained another penalty just after the hour mark when Anderson was clattered by the keeper inside the box.

The resulting sending off for the goalkeeper was inevitable and so was the result from the penalty spot with Anderson confidently stroking the ball home for the third goal.

With 30 minutes still to play, and with Blyth down to ten men, the game looked dead and buried as a contest, and it seemed to be heading to a comfortable victory for Delaval when Blyth were reduced to nine men following an injury having used all of their substitutes.

Then, in the 86th minute, Blyth pulled a goal back with a free header from a free kick.

And amazingly Blyth pulled another goal back in stoppage time when Mundy flapped at a corner and, as the ball was hooked goalwards, two Delaval players left it for each other as it bounced into the net in slow motion.

Fortunately for Delaval there was little time for Blyth to create any more opportunities and Delaval celebrated lifting the first piece of silverware of the season.

Jordan Fry, who was outstanding in midfield, deservedly picked up the man of the match award.