Spartans exit FA Trophy at Leyton

Blyth Spartans AFC.
Blyth Spartans AFC.

Leyton Orient 1-0 Blyth Spartans

Blyth Spartans exited the FA Trophy in the last 16 following an 84th minute Jamie Turley goal for Leyton Orient.

The centre-back rose highest from a Dale Gorman’s free-kick to head home what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Spartans almost snatched a deserved equaliser through Robbie Dale and Adam Wrightson. However, it wasn’t to be for Alun Armstrong’s side.

The visitors started on the front foot and Dan Maguire oversaw Blyth’s best opportunity of the half – this time found space in the penalty area with a deflected effort sailing agonizingly over the host’s crossbar.

From that point on, Orient began to test the Blyth back line, with Peter Jameson called into action on a number of occasions.

The Blyth goalkeeper was left rooted to the spot when Alabi missed a sitter, glancing a Maguire-Drew cross wide from close range.

And shortly after, Spartans survived another nervy moment. James Brophy’s cross was turned toward his own goal by Nathan Buddle, straight into the chest of Jameson.

Early in the second half, the hosts missed another golden opportunity. Maguire-Drew’s set piece was turned over the bar by Dan Happe at the back post – to Blyth’s relief.

In the 57th minute, Spartans had a huge appeal for a penalty. Substitute Shadrach Ogie man-handled Maguire in the penalty area but referee Lloyd Wood was left unmoved.

From a free kick, Connor Oliver went close with an effort tipped around the post.

With 20 minutes to go, Maguire went when he fired wide.

Devastatingly for Blyth, the sucker-punch came six minutes from time when Turley rose highest from Gorman’s cross, powering a header into the top right corner as Spartans’ defenders slumped to the floor at the cruel breakthrough.

Spartans almost levelled with a minute of normal time remaining when Oliver whipped in a left-wing set piece that fell at the back post for Robbie Dale.

His effort from close range was denied brilliantly by Brill, the rebound falling to Wrightson who took his time before connecting sweetly with a half volley, a diving block by an Orient defender securing a quarter-final berth for the National League leaders.