FA Carlsberg trophy

BLYTH Spartans face a tricky FA Trophy third qualifying round replay at Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow after conceding a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.

BLYTH Spartans face a tricky FA Trophy third qualifying round replay at Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow after conceding a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.

Harry Dunn’s side looked on their way to the next stage but Trinity rallied.

Adam Bartlett needed two attempts to save Chris Hall’s drive in the first minute but Blyth took control.

Martin Houlahan broke the deadlock after 27 minutes following a period of pressure. A throw by Robbie Dale found Andrew Leeson unmarked and he picked out Houlahan who beat Adam Sollitt from six yards.

On the stroke of half time Spartans went two up. Gainsborough captain Danny Wood fouled Adrian Webster and Richard Forster sent Sollitt the wrong way from the penalty.

But in injury time Blyth conceded a goal to the visitors. Their defence failed to deal with a Wes Parker free kick which flew in from outside the penalty box.

Inspired by this unexpected success, Trinity turned up the pressure in the second half and Paul Clayton was close to an equaliser. Then Alex Callery split the Blyth defence, Ryan Mallon ran on to slot the ball past Adam Bartlett.

Trinity looked more likely winners but in the last minute a Blyth corner by man-of-the-match Adrian Webster was met by Forster but his header was wide.

Meanwhile, Gateshead eased past former Football League club Boston United 2-1 in the third qualifying round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy at the International Stadium.

It is a long time since Gateshead were relegated from the Football League when they played at Redheugh Park but it is not yet 12 months since Boston played in Division Two.

Yet Ian Bogie’s side matched their opponents and deserved a narrow victory which keeps alive hopes of a UniBond League Premier Division and Cup double.

Gateshead took the lead after 11 minutes with a penalty by Philip Cave who comfortably beat goalkeeper Lee Crockett.

The visitors twice went close to an equaliser before finding the net midway through the second period as a clinical finish by Jon Froggatt flew wide of keeper Peter Keen.

It took Bogie’s side just a couple of minutes to regain the initiative.

Captain Steven Bowey celebrated his return, finding the net in the 66th minute for what proved to be the winning goal.

MALCOLM PRATT

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