AFC Telford 1, Blyth Spartans 2

BLYTH Spartans produced their best performance of the season in beating Telford before a crowd of 1,120 in the first round of the FA Trophy.

BLYTH Spartans produced their best performance of the season in beating Telford before a crowd of 1,120 in the first round of the FA Trophy.

A fortnight earlier, Telford emerged 3-1 winners from a Blue Square North game but on that occasion Spartans were unfortunate. They believed they could at least bring their illustrious opponents back to Croft Park for a replay.

They went one better, settled the tie at the first attempt and deserve to be in the hat for today’s money-spinning second round draw.

Blyth’s faithful followers cheered their side on, especially after Andrew Johnson gave the visitors the lead on 19 minutes following a defence-splitting pass by Gareth Williams.

Telford immediately replaced Richard Teesdale with Chris Cornes who tested keeper Adam Bartlett with a tremendous 30-yard drive.

Harry Dunn’s side had two opportunities to increase their advantage shortly before the interval. First, Martin Houlahan shot high into the side netting with only the keeper to beat before Spartans missed a penalty. Johnson was brought down by Lee Vaughan but Richard Foster’s spot kick was well saved by Young.

Telford went on the offensive from the start of the first half and their pressure was rewarded with an equaliser on the hour. Simon Forsdick ran at the visiting defence before slotting the ball past the advancing Bartlett.

The home fans’ joy was short-lived. Just two minutes late, Kenny Boyle linked up with Alex Gildea down the left before a neat one-two between Johnson and Houlahan gave the latter the chance to rifle home.

Blyth maintained the offensive and both Gildea and Hedley had chances to increase their lead.

AFC TELFORD UNITED: Young; Vaughan, Charlton, Turner, Teesdale (Cornes), Rogers, Adams, Fitzpatrick (Lewis), Birch (Reynolds), Moore, Forsdick.

BLYTH SPARTANS: Bartlett; Christensen, Boyle, Leeson, Foster, Williams, Webster (Snowdon), Johnson (Logan), Hedley, Houlahan, A Gildea.

Attendance: 1,120.

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