Blyth Spartans Edge Gainsborough Trinity in Emirates FA Cup
Last season's league opposition, today's Emirates FA Cup obstacle, as Blyth Spartans travelled to Gainsborough Trinity for the third round qualifying.
Trinity entered the game as underdogs after last season’s relegation to the Northern Premier League, though the teams have proved to be very evenly matched over the past 20 years.
They have been drawn together twice before in The FA Cup while Blyth enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Trinity in their last league meeting.
Gainsborough have only exited The FA Cup before the fourth round qualifying once in the last four years. In that time, Spartans have not progressed beyond the third round qualifying.
Before the game, Trinity manager Lee Sinnott said: “The main aim was to get one step closer to that first round proper. As a non-League club, that’s the first major marker.
“When it’s a winner-takes-all scenario, they know what’s at stake. If you play in a league game and lose a league game, in the next two games you can get six points. In The FA Cup, if you get it wrong you’re and you’re not going to get another chance until the next year.”
Sinnott’s side started well as Shane Clark’s low effort found the corner of the net to give them a ninth-minute lead.
This advantage was nearly doubled just moments later as they continued to have the upper hand. Blyth started to put up more of a fight and equalised in the 38th minute. Then, just six minutes later, a penalty was awarded to Spartans as Adam Wrightson and Jamie Ture collided. Robert Dale stepped up and converted to put the visitors in front.
Sinnott said: “In the first 15 or 20 minutes, we got one up but we could have easily been three, maybe even touching four goals up if we’d have been more clinical.”
The second half was less inspiring. Though attempts on goal were plenty, the ball didn’t find the back of either net.
Trinity couldn’t pull it back and so Blyth Spartans progress to the fourth round qualifying and take home £15,000 from The FA prize fund.