Spartans face FA Cup replay

Blyth Spartans will travel to Broadhurst Park on Tuesday evening for an FA Cup Second Round Qualifying Replay after drawing 1-1 with FC United of Manchester at Croft Park on Saturday.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 3:05 pm
Action from the FA Cup game between Blyth Spartans and FC United of Manchester at Croft Park on Saturday. Picture by Bill Broadley.

In truth, Michael Nelson’s side never really got going over the course of 90 minutes and were fortunate to lead at half-time courtesy of JJ O’Donnell’s fourth goal of the season.

FC United enjoyed most of the possession and made their pressure count when Cedric Main equalised 15 minutes from time.

With FC United on top, Spartans’ opener was perhaps against the run of play. Fantastic pace from Byrne allowed him to pick out McNall, he laid it off for O’Donnell, who took a touch before volleying home.

In the second half. with the visitors again pressing, Main scuffed a chance to put the teams level after 71 minutes, but but just a few minutes later he wasn’t to be denied and found the net after a good passage of play found him in the box, and he slotted the ball past Alex Mitchell.

After the game a disappointed Spartans’ manager Michael Nelson described it as “Our worst performance of the season.”

He said: “If we had done the basics right we should have come out 1-0 winners. But we were not at our best, especially in the second half.

"For their goal we tried to play our way out from the back and we shot ourselves in the foot. It was experienced players making the mistake, but we should have enough about us to know we are not playing well from the back and just get the ball up the field.

"We seemed sluggish today, right off the pace from the start. We were second best all over the pitch and never hit the standard we set against Darlington last week. Maybe we should just have taken out medicine, got out with the 1-0 win, but now we have to go down there on Tuesday for the replay.”

For the trip to Manchester Nelson says he is still likely to be without several key players through injury and suspension and it might just be a case of ‘putting a team together and seeing where we are.’

Shouold Blyth manage to overcome FC United of Manchester on Tuesday they will face Guiseley in the third qualifying round after the draw was made earlier this week.