Match Report


FA Cup First Round Proper match
played on Sunday, 9 November 2014, at 2pm


Altrincham were very much second best to an impressive Blyth team, led by an impressve attacking force of Dale, Maguire and Rivers. From the off Altrincham were shaky and they conceded a very early penalty which Dale converted in only the fourth minute.

Reeves missed a chance and Marshall rattled the woodwork just before the break but Blyth doubled their lead shortly after the hour mark, when Maguire finished off a smart move. Alty substitute Perry made it 2-1 with an astute lob (73 mins) but two late goals exposed Alty's defensive frailties, with Dale and then Maguire netting.


REFEREE: Mr Martin Coy


Altrincham were without Nicky Clee (broken toe) but Ryan Crowther returned on the bench, as did reserve striker Joel Swift.


BLYTH SPARTANS (Green & white striped shirts, black shorts) 1. Peter Jeffries, 2. Alex Nicholson, 3. Jordan Watson, 4. Ryan Hutchinson, 5. Nathan Buddle, 6. Stephen Turnbull, 7. Jarrett Rivers, 8. Daniel Hawkins, 9. Daniel Maguire, 10. Matthew Wade 11. Robert Dale. Subs: 12. Arran Wearmouth, 14. Neal Hooks, 15. Jonathyn Quinn, 16. Damon Mullen 17. Joel Dixon, 18. Danny Parker, 19. Niall Harrison

ALTRINCHAM (Yellow and blue): 1. Stuart Coburn, 2. Shaun Densmore (c), 5. Gianluca Havern, 16. Tom Marshall, 6. Scott Leather, 8. Simon Richman, 4. Jake Moult; 18. Sean Williams, 3. Adam Griffin, 7. James Lawrie, 10. Damian Reeves Subs: 9.Steven Gillespie, 14. Kyle Perry, 15. Greg Wilkinson, 20. Joel Swift, 17. Dave Parton, 25. Peter Cavanagh, 19. Ryan Crowther.


Billed as the clash of two historic giantkilling clubs, Alty arrived at Croft Park the favourites, given their league status, two levels above Blyth in the pyramid of non-League football.


BLYTH SPARTANS (Green & white striped shirts, black shorts) 1. Peter Jeffries, , 2. Alex Nicholson, Danny Parker, 3. Jordan Watson, 4. Ryan Hutchinson, 5. Nathan Buddle, 6. Stephen Turnbull, 7. Jarrett Rivers, 8. Daniel Hawkins ,9. Daniel Maguire, 10. MatthewWade 11. Robert Dale, Subs: 12. Arran Wearmouth, 14. Neal Hooks, 15. Jonathyn Quinn, 16. Damon Mullen 17. Joel Dixon, 18. Danny Parker, 19. Niall Harrison After a minute's silence for Remembrance Day, Altrincham kicked off. Following a mis-pass by Densmore, Dale got up the left and the visitors had to scramble the ball clear in the goalmouth. The home crowd was animated by this and became even more so when Maguire was tripped on the left edge of the box by Havern. The resulting freekick struck Reeves on the head but rebounded to Rivers, who was tripped by Lawrie to concede a penalty (3 mins).

Dale sent Coburn the wrong way from the spot to give Spartans an early lead (4 mins). Altrincham continued shakily with Blyth looking the more determined. After eight minutes, there was a little relief as Richman was caught late, 25 yards out. The freekick was poor by Lawrie.

Alty now conceded two freekicks through Moult and Williams. From the latter freekick for a foul on Dale, 30 yards out, Coburn just about got the ball clear but a corner followed (11 mins). Following this, Turnbull fired well wide.

For Blyth, Rivers, Maguire and Dale all looked a threat as as Alty misfired badly, giving the ball away with frequency and remaining on the back foot (17 mins). When a Griffin cross caused a collison between the Blyth keeper and a defender, the ball ran free but Altrincham had no one there to take advantage (20 mins).

Alty now improved a little as, first, Densmore got forward, a Lawrie cross was cleared and then Reeves was flagged offside. Altrincham had a great chance to equalize when a fine Richman ball put Reeves running at goal up the middle. But the striker shot wide (25 mins).

After Alty had lost the ball again, Coburn half stopped a shot before the ball was scrambled clear (27 mins). When Altrincham were opened up a little later, Havern headed Wade's shot clear. The referee allowed play to continue as Reeves was fouled but got free into the box, before the advance was halted (31 mins).

After 34 minutes Altrincham had their best move of the game, so far, when Densmore got forward, a Lawrie shot was parried and a follow up by Densmore was blocked. After Griffin had lost possession he made a reckless challenge on Turnbull and could have no complaints at his booking (35 mins).

But Altrincham's lacklustre performance continued when Maguire dispossessed Havern but sliced wide after being clearly held by the Alty defender (40 mins). Blyth continued to be much sharper on and off the ball and, as half time approached, Lee Sinnott was already giving instructions to substitute Kyle Perry, suggestive of a change being made at the interval.

But in the first of two added minutes, Marshall advanced up the middle and his thunderous 35-yarder came back off the inside off the keeper's right post, the rebound being poorly crossed by Richman. So, Blyth held a deserved lead but Altrincham could have been level.


As expected Perry came on at half-time with Williams, who had played as well as anyone, being the one taken off. Reeves won an early corner but nothing developed before Blyth introduced Dixon for Nicholson (49 mins).

When Densmore was tripped, there was a card for his Blyth opponent. Following a Griffin error, Marshall covered well versus Dixon but hurt himself before running off his knock (52 mins), Yet again, Alty gave the ball away and Turnbull got in a shot at Coburn.

WHen Perry was held, Griffin hit the freekick, from 30 yards central, into the wall. After 57 minutes, Hooks replaced Turnbull for Blyth. Next, Moult committed a blatant handball before Densmore's challenge on Maguire elicited penalty apeals.

Just after the impressive Maguire had cut in and shot wide, Wade and Maguire combined well and the latter scored off the post (61 mins).

After some Alty pressure, Buddle upended Lawrie on the edge of the box but Densmore's freekick was saved (65 mins). The home crowd roared as Maguire nutmegged Marshall to advance on goal but his resulting cross was cleared. Next, Marshall was lucky as Maguire threatened; the defender went down too early for his tackle but got a rebound for an Alty goalkick.

Moult, annoyed that he had not won a freekick, was then booked for a foul and rashly pushed the referee after being booked (70 mins). With Spartans having justifcation for appealing for a foul by Marshall at the Alty end, play continued and the ball went to Moult whose fine through ball located Perry, who cleverly lobbed the keeper from outside the box to make it 2-1 (72 mins).

However, any thoughts that Spartans would crumble were disproved as it now took a great save by Coburn from a Rivers effort to keep them out and then a freekick was won for a Havern foul. Alty were thankful to get a goalkick when Maguire chased and got to a ball that Alty had given up on (75 mins). That epitomised the difference between the teams today.

Blyth brought on Mullen for Wade (76 mins) before a Leather error led to an excellent Maguire volley, which went over the bar, from 25 yards.

Now Wilkinson replaced Lawrie (80 mins). After Wilkinson had had a shot blocked, the referee went back and booked a Blyth man for an earlier foul. After 84 minutes, Altrincham committed suicide as they left just two men at the back when Blyth counter-attacked. Dale got past Havern and scored Blyth's third goal.

It got even worse when a through ball induced Coburn to rush out to the edge of the box but Maguire arrived first to toe end the ball into the net and make it 4-1 (89 mins). In the final minute of normal time a Densmore cross was mis-headed over the bar by Reeves.

In the four added minutes Blyth were still going forward as they rounded off a thoroughly deserved win. They had shown more appetite for the game against an error-ridden performance from Altrincham who squandered the chance of an £18,000 payday for the Club and the chance of a lucrative draw in the Second Round.

In the last few games, they have lost at home to Alfreton, yet won away at Lincoln City. Inconsistency is hardly an adequate word for it. In Maguire, Dale and Rivers, Blyth had players who outclassed Altrincham today.