Blyth Spartans upbeat despite FA Cup exit

Craig Hubbard insists a smaller budget at Croft Park has enhanced team unity and made Blyth Spartans the exciting new team they have become

Craig Hubbard insists a smaller budget at Croft Park has enhanced team unity and made Blyth Spartans the exciting new team they have become.

Disappointed by a 3-1 defeat in Saturday’s FA Cup first qualifying round tie at home to AFC Fylde, he is also proud of his side’s achievements then and thus far.

Hubbard said: “As an onlooker you can see the budget here is less than last season, but if anything it is probably that lesser budget which has made us the team we are.

“It has brought us together and it has meant we have players who want to play for the club and want to play for our supporters.

“We can be proud of what we have achieved, despite the result, and so far this season, and we all want to do well for Blyth Spartans.”

That much was clear when underdogs Blyth took a fifth-minute lead through Matthew Wade, the midfielder’s first goal for the club, and set up by Damen Mullen.

Hubbard added: “He took it really well, didn’t he?

“I think I would have missed that. To be fair, he has done well since he came in and his confidence will only grow and grow, playing in games like that.”

Alas, the Spartans’ lead would not last.

Danny McGoldrick equalised for the Evo-Stik Premier favourites and, though Dan Maguire twice went close before half-time, shortly after the interval Matt Blinkhorn gave the Coasters the lead and late on Jamie Rainford sealed his side’s victory.

Hubbard said: “It is disappointing as in the first half we were the better side.

“You could see they came here expecting to win and to turn us over in the way they did last season but we deserved something from today.

“We put in a good fight and that was exactly what Tom and Colin asked of us.

“I really believe if the first half had been five minutes longer we would have gone into the half-time interval in the lead.”

 

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