Spartans lose Northumberland Senior Cup final to injury time goal
Blyth Spartans' season ended with another agonising defeat as North Shields won a seven-goal Northumberland Senior Cup final.
Following their play-off semi-final defeat to Workington the previous week, Spartans were hoping to end the season on a high.
However, they lost to an injury time strike from Ryan Carr for the Northern League side.
North Shields started on the front foot with Blyth keeper Adam McHugh called in to action after only four minutes, saving from Gary Ormston.
Shields striker Gareth Bainbridge then eluded the Blyth defence before firing across the face of goal with Ryan Carr coming close to tucking the ball in from close range.
Spartans replied when a 22-yard Robbie Dale effort rebounded off the bar.
North Shields went ahead on ten minutes when Carr found space in the Blyth penalty area. He dragged a pass back to Ormston who found the top far corner of McHugh’s net from 16 yards.
The set-back stung Blyth in to action. A neat move involving Matty Wade, Sean Reid and Dale resulted in Michael Richardson firing narrowly wide of Chris Bannon’s goal.
Richardson came close again but was denied by a smart save by Brannon.
Blyth were now dominating and Alex Nicholson shot from 25 yards, but his effort fizzed past the post.
Bannon was in the thick of it again, reacting swiftly to deny Blyth’s Jordan Watson before the Shields keeper pushed away a Dale free kick.
Spartans dominance paid off when, after 30 minutes, a deep cross was met by the head of Wade. His goal bound effort appeared to go in off a Shields defender.
Blyth went in front seven minutes later when Sean Reid calmly stroked the ball past Bannon’s right hand and in to the bottom corner of the net.
Reid and Richardson had shots blocked before former Spartan Lee Mason fired just over the bar on the stroke of half-time.
Shields had clearly regrouped during the interval and they proceeded to take the game to Blyth and drew level after five minutes.
Jordan Summerly, in space on the edge of the penalty box, picked out Bainbridge, who was able to slide the ball past McHugh from six yards.
Only a minute later the ball was played over the advancing McHugh but defender Parker was on hand to clear the danger.
On 55 minutes the energetic Bainbridge sent a delightful chip over McHugh’s head which hit the bar before ending up in the back of the net to put Shields 3-2 up.
Ben Richardson and Ormston went close for Shields, whose tails were up, but Wilson Kneeshaw did come close for Spartans when his shot, from a narrow angle, was palmed away by Bannon.
The Blyth striker again tried his luck but this time Bannon saved with ease.
Spartans made it 3-3 on 78 minutes when Dale found Neal Hooks six yards from goal and the midfielder was able to fire strongly high into the net.
Richardson fired straight at Bannon as the final whistle approached.
But in added time Shields sewed up the game with a superb goal Ryan Carr; turning and then firing powerfully over McHugh from 16 yards.
Blyth Spartans: A McHugh, A Nicholson (A Cartwright 60), J Watson, N Buddle, D Parker, D Mullen, M Richardson, S Reid (W Kneeshaw 65) D Maguire, M Wade (N Hooks 70), R Dale. Subs not sued: P Robinson, A Wearmouth.