Blyth Spartans 2 Ilkeston Town 0 (Match Report)

Saturday 12th December
FA Trophy 1st Round Proper
Attendance – 419

Blyth Spartans -
Jack Norton, Darren Craddock, John Brackstone, Michael Tait, Gareth Williams, Rikki Bains, Mark Doninger (sub Chris McCabe 77 mins), Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson, Ian Graham (sub Robert Dale 78 mins), Josh Gillies (sub James Marwood 69 mins).
Subs Not Used - John Alexander & Mark Bell.

Ilkeston -
Dan Lowson, Aaron Mitchell, Rory Prendergast (sub Jermaine Palmer 78 mins), Dan Holmes (sub Josh Burge 66 mins), Charlie O’loughlin, Luke Waterfall, Jack Watts (sub Tom Bonner 46 mins), Neil Hooks, Gary Ricketts, Amari Morgan-Smith, Sam Duncum.
Subs Not Used - Liam Green & David Coomes.

Spartans reached the last 32 of the FA Trophy when they recorded a 2-0 win over League rivals Ilkeston at Croft Park on Saturday.

Goals from Stephen Turnbull and Michael Tait in a fine first-half performance saw Spartans book their place in the next round of non-league’s premier cup competition. Blyth gained quick revenge for a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of the Derbyshire outfit back in October.

The Ilkeston early on through a Rory Prendergast effort and Sam Duncan lifted his shot over the bar.

Ian Graham tried his luck with a 25-yarder before Turnbull gave Blyth a 20th-minute lead when he whipped in a low cross which eluded everyone as it sailed into the far corner of the net.

Graham miss-kicked in front of goal before the rampant home side doubled their lead five minutes later through Michael Tait’s powerful header from Turnbull’s right-wing corner.

Jack Norton did well to tip over a Charlie O’Loughlin header before Spartans quickly regained control as Paul Brayson and Gareth Williams both went close.

The visitors enjoyed a massive let-off when Graham and Tait had shots cleared off the line and Riki Bains drove the rebound off the underside of the bar.

Ilkeston enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the second half but clear-cut chances were at a premium as the Blyth defence stood firm.

Prendergast was unlucky to see a left-foot shot hit the keeper’s left-hand post while Amari Morgan-Smith was denied by a fine save in the closing stages.

Spartans, who extended their unbeaten run to five games, created little after the break although Graham scuffed his close range shot after being set up by Turnbull.