BLYTH bowed out of the League Cup last night but not without great credit.
North Ferriby are Evo-Stik Premier leaders and holders of the trophy otherwise known as the Doodley Sports Cup.
Yet the Spartans matched their opponents for lengthy spells of an engaging tie, almost forcing extra time, and ought to take much encouragement from it into what remains of their league campaign.
An encounter which was lively from the off saw Blyth give as good as they got.
As early as the second minute, Daniel Maguire sprang clear but drove over from the edge of the box,and later Richie Slaughter fired off target.
By then, Phil Airey had blocked Gary Bradshaw’s shot at the other end, and moments later Ryan Kendall lobbed over before Bradshaw headed wide and Russell Fry’s strike from distance was deflected behind.
Blyth were let off the hook on 19 minutes when, after Craig Pickering parried Ryan Williams’ angled effort, Liam King somehow contrived to stab over his follow-up from near-enough under the bar. However, the hosts continued to play their part before half-time, Jack Stanger chipping too close to Antoni Pecora, who also saved well from Damon Mullen, and Lee Mason (pictured left) shooting wide.
That much continued after the interval, Andrew Jennings shooting at Pecora and Mason hooking over.
However, they were reprieved again when Oliver Banks smashed against the post and Bradshaw pulled an effort across the face of goal.
Alas, such charity was not to last.
On 63 minutes, Kendall crossed, right-footed from the left and Bradshaw ducked to glance a header past Pickering. Yet far from capitulating, that setback brought better still from Spartans and 10 minutes later Mason cut inside from the right, sidestepped three challenges and steered a low strike beyond Pecora.
Suddenly, Blyth looked the likeliest winners, Hooks going close.
However, in the 85th minute Anthony Wilson slammed in at the near post following Nathan Peat’s cross from the left, and, after Tom Berj headed an injury-time effort over the crossbar, Blyth’s cup campaign was over.
BLYTH: Pickering, Airey, Slaughter, Buchanan, Mullen, Mason, Hooks, Hubbard (Berj 59), Stanger (Turnbull 62), Jennings (Hodgson 67), Maguire.
NORTH FERRIBY: Pecora, Robson, Anderson, Gray, Ridley, Banks (Peat 76), Fry, King, Williams, Bradshaw, Kendall (Wilson 76).