Spartans land FA Cup derby tie

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Blyth Spartans continue their FA Cup run with a North East derby.

They have landed a trip to League Two side Hartlepool, following the Second Round draw on Monday.

Spartans won their place in the next round with a 4-1 destruction of Conference side Altrincham on Sunday.

Braces from Robbie Dale and Dan Maguire added style and quality to a team display of dogged determination as Tom Wade’s side ensured they would be in the Second Round.

With Croft Park expectant, Spartans started well. Dale danced, Maguire and Rivers buzzed, Turnbull dictated and Spartans were in business.

It was Dale who drew a foul from Robins full-back and captain Shaun Densmore and referee Martin Coy had no option but to point to the spot.

Dale picked himself up and from the spot calmly rolled the ball to Stuart Coburn’s right, the Robins keeper choosing to go to his left.

That goal kept up Dale’s record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition.

Spartans swarmed over their opponents, seemingly intent on suffocating any enthusiasm out of Lee Sinnott’s side.

It worked and it was nearly two just eight minutes in as the recalled Dan Hawkins drove narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

The play finally settled down and while Spartans dominated possession their visitors finally got into the game.

They should have equalised midway through the half as former Leeds United academy striker got through on goal but dragged his shot wide of Peter Jeffries’ far post.

As if insulted by Altrincham’s chance Spartans hit straight back. Jarrett Rivers was causing problems for the Robins defence and his persistence forced an error from Gianluca Havern and that allowed Rivers a sight of goal. However his low drive stung the palms of Coburn.

The Robins had a great chance as the half made it’s way towards the half our mark. Winger James Lawrie crashed a low shot towards the far corner but Jeffries parried it away from goal although the ball fell to Densmore who struck the outside of the post.

The woodwork was struck again by the visitors as the half time whistle approached. Centre back Tom Marshall was afforded time to advance from his position at the heart of his team’s defence and smashed a thirty yard effort against Jeffries right hand upright.

The second half was a slow burner although Spartans were comfortable in possession and dictated the pace of the game. Maguire and Turnbull tried their luck from distance but to no avail.

The Spartans doubled their lead just after the hour mark. A wonderful one-two between Maguire and Matthew Wade allowed the former to curl a low shot off the inside of the near post and into the net.

However, rather than following the BBC’s instructions and getting carried away Spartans were pegged back. Substitute Kyle Perry ran on to a through ball and calmly chipped Jeffries to halve Spartans lead and give his side a route back into the game.

Far from letting nerves kick in, Spartans simply dusted themselves down and got on with it. They hassled and harried the Robins and once the ball was back in their possession they maintained it. With the clock ticking down a third goal would come.

Buddle strolled out of defence and curled a wonderful cross field pass to Dale. The winger’s touch was perfect and he strode towards the edge of the box. As he was faced with Densmore, Croft Park knew what was coming, Dale’s team mates knew what was coming and the man himself knew what was coming. A chop inside his marker gave Dale a sight of goal and he rolled the ball to Coburn’s right to wrong foot the Robins custodian.

Croft Park vibrated to the noise and bounce of the Green Army and to their delight a fourth goal was to arrive just before the 90th minute. Dan Hawkins bulldozed his way through midfield and if strength had got him there it was sheer style that saw him release Maguire in on goal. The forward never looked like missing and he duly rolled the ball past Coburn to set the seal on another wonderful day in the remarkable FA Cup history of Blyth Spartans.


Spartans: Jeffries, Nicholson, Watson, Buddle, Hutchinson, Rivers, Hawkins, Turnbull, Maguire, Wade, Dale Subs: Hooks, Wearmouth, Dixon, Bell, Quinn, Parker, Harrison

Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Griffin, Moult, Havern, Leather, Richman, Reeves, Marshall, Williams Subs: Gillespie, Perry, Wilkinson, Swift, Parton, Cavanagh, Crowther.