Blyth Town 0-1 Heaton Stannington
Ernest Armstrong 2nd Division Cup 1st Round, Wednesday 19 October 2016
The Stan made their 1st visit to Blyth Town since the seasiders’ promotion to the Northern League and this cup tie definitely had all the excitement of one. There were 4 changes from Saturday including the return of Gary Dixon from injury who had a great game. Blyth gave a debut to forward Malcolm Morien, signed from Dunston. The 1st 10 minutes were played mainly in the Stan half as the home side attacked. Blyth’s 1st real chance though didn’t come until the 8th minute when a forward was 1 on 1 with Smith who blocked him. A Blyth free kick resulted in a corner which was headed across goal. The Stan countered but the home keeper put the ball out and for a throw in before Blackett could get to it and Stoddart then shot wide. The Blyth defence found Blackett’s pace difficult to handle all night and in 11 minutes he sent a great ball into the box but Bailey and Jones were blocked. Both sides were trying to attack but the Stan were now getting more of the ball. In 14 minutes, a sustained Stan attack saw the ball eventually passed to Blackett in the box who was brought down. He took the penalty which was saved by the keeper who judged correctly by diving to his left. The Stan were dominating play and in 19 minutes, after a Jones pass, Blackett was obstructed in the box but nothing was given. In between further Stan attacks, Blyth had a rare attack cleared in 22 minutes. Smith kicked clear in 27 minutes followed by a Blackett run that saw him then blocked. 2 minutes later and another Stan counter attack saw Blackett beat a defender and shoot across goal with the ball going just wide. In the 31st minute, Blyth shot just over and 3 minutes later a Stoddart cross come shot also went just over. After another sustained Blackett attack, Blyth had the ball in the net in 36 minutes but the headed effort was off-side. The last 7 minutes of the half were quieter but saw Smith catching the ball 3 times.
The start of the 2nd half saw mainly Stan attacks although without coming to anything. There was a rare Blyth attack in 53 minutes which led to a Stan counter attack where Johnson passed to Blackett who was brought down for a free kick that was then wasted. Both teams tried to attack although the Stan were getting more of the ball and half time sub Walton was looking dangerous. In 64 minutes, he passed to Stoddart whose deflected shot went over the bar and the resulting corner was headed clear. 2 minutes later and Smith got down low to stop a Blyth shot with his hand and Deagle then cleared. The pace of sub Robinson was also troubling Blyth and in 71 minutes his solo run resulted in him being brought down in the box. Sam Walton took the penalty and blasted the ball into the net to the goalie’s right. It was Blyth who next came closest when they headed just wide in 80 minutes. Walton then counterattacked but was brought down. The resulting free kick saw him shoot well over. The Stan kept attacking and in 84 minutes Blackett’s shot, from a Deagle pass, was blocked. The ball went to Robinson but he shot wide when he should have scored. Blackett was then brought down in the box but nothing was given. In 87 minutes, Blackett was blocked then Walton shot high and over. In 89 minutes, the Blyth keeper only held the ball at the 2nd attempt. The 4 minutes of injury time, played in torrential rain, saw Blyth pressurise for an equaliser. In the 92nd minute a Blyth attack hit off a Stan player and then hit the bar, went up in the air and was caught by Smith. In the last minute, Blyth come closest to equalising when 1st a header from a from a free kick was saved by Smith then he saved another shot (and the cup win) on the goal line. With no finger nails left, the Stan Army can now look forward to a home tine in the 2nd round against Bedlington terriers.
Stan Team: Smith; Stoddart; O’Brien (Deagle); Leighton; Williams; Bailey; Walker (Y) (Walton); Johnson; Blackett; Jones (Robinson); Dixon. Unused subs: Doyle; McCabe.