Match Report | ‘Spartans extinguish Robins’ cup hopes’

Last night, the Robins reached the end of the road in this season’s Northumberland Senior Cup as they were defeated by Graham Fenton’s Blyth Spartans, in somewhat unfriendly conditions as it rained for the entirety of the encounter.

Despite the adverse weather conditions both teams battled well, the visitor’s tried early to control the tempo of the game, moving the ball well but the Robins pressed well and applied pressure forcing miscued passes and turnovers in possession.

Shields grew into the game, looking to break down the spartans defense, Chris McDonald and Regan Paterson both with attempts from outside the area but both rose too high of the target.

Shields continued to press and looked the most likely to open the scoring, forcing multiple corners but were not able to capitalize on.

Marc Nash was forced into an early change after Liam Doyle was unable to continue after providing a crucial interception to keep the Spartans’ out, replaced by Stephen Forster.

Cam Cunningham then got in on the action with two chances, first one deflected for a corner and the second dealt with comfortably by Alex Mitchell between the posts for the Spartans.

The Robins carved out their best opportunity of the half, winning back possession inside the Spartans half, JJ Chrisp and Paterson linked up well for the latter to curl an effort just over the bar.

On the verge of half time, the Spartans who continued to move the ball well causing issues for the Robins defense, should have taken the lead at the break, youngster Jay Errington broke clear but was denied brilliantly by Finlay Hodgson to keep the tie scoreless at the break.

A long ball over the top unlocked the Spartans defense, David Robinson beating Alex Mitchell to the ball, trying his luck from outside the area, only to see his effort held up in the wind.

The Robins’ the happier of two teams at the break, having created more chances but unable to cause any great concerns or issues for Alex Mitchell, the Spartans as mentioned moved the ball well, linked up well to move up the pitch but were only able to carve out the one real chance.

The second half continued and as did the rain, if not heavier than the first, the Spartans came out and looked like a different side, but it was Shields with the first chance as Cunningham was played through, he slid the ball across the six yard box, just beyond Regan Paterson steaming in at the back post.

At the other end, the Spartans were denied by a great block inside the penalty area by Tom Bexton to keep them out. Curtis Round for the visitor’s the swung in a dangerous cross evading everybody inside the box, the ball pinballing around before another shot blocked well by Hodgson.

GOAL 69’ North Shields – Cam Cunningham, 1-0

A long ball over the top appeared to be misjudged by Hodgson as it bounced over him but he was able to save his blushes, recovered well before firing a long ball up the pitch of his own, picking out Cam Cunningham who drove towards the Spartans goal with the wind behind him, he danced his way through the Spartans defense before sliding the ball beyond MItchell to give the Robins the lead.

GOAL 71’ Blyth Spartans – MIchael Liddle, 1-1

The lead only lasted a couple of minutes, as LIddle who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes himself, worked well to give himself some space before turning and hitting a cross come shot, as the ball floated over everybody inside the penalty area before nestling in the far corner to draw the visitor’s level.

Not letting the equalizer get them down, the Robins almost hit back immediately as Cunningham looked to round MItchell who had rushed out of his goal, only for Cunningham to slip on the soaked surface.

GOAL 80’ Blyth Spartans – Jay Errington, 1-2

The spartans took control of the play and looked the most dangerous of the two sides, causing the Robins to defend well to keep the visitors out. However, with around ten minutes left on the clock and fluid passing move, the ball worked its way to the youngster who slotted home to give the Spartans the advantage.

With time running out, the Robins went in search of salvaging something to take the game to penalties, the pressed forward well and moved the ball around, looking to carve out an opportunity, the closest they came was when McDonald picked out Wilson in the middle, whose effort was deflected the wrong side of the post.

North Shields: Hodgson, Doyle (Forster), McDonald, Oliver, Bexton, Walker, Robinson (Heppell), Chrisp (Van-Zandvliet), Wilson, Cunningham, Paterson (Turner).

Subs not used: Steavens

Attendance: 258

Next Up: Carlton Town (A) – Saturday 4th March – 3pm