Blyth Spartans 0-2 Gateshead

13/11/2011, by Jeff Bowron

Micky CumminsGateshead produced almost the complete performance to sweep aside near neighbours Blyth Spartans and reach the 2nd round of the FA Cup for the first time in 11 years.

The Tynesiders were superior in every department and the only tinge of disappointment was that more of the 21 attempts at goal didn't find the net.

That was down to good goalkeeping from Blyth's on loan goalkeeper David Knight, some unlucky near misses and some wasteful finishing, particularly with the head.

That aside this was a Croft Park master class from Ian Bogie's men on a pitch that played far better than expected.

James Curtis and Ben Clark were imperious at the back while left back Chris Carruthers also had a fine game.

The midfield three of Kris Gate, Micky Cummins and Phil Turnbull pulled the strings all afternoon and also contributed several efforts at goal.

In Cummins' case it was a second goal in two games that sealed a one-sided 1st round tie.

Jon Shaw was again a major threat up front scoring the all important opening goal, again gift-wrapped by the generous Spartans just as they had in February's Trophy clash.

An outclassed Blyth managed only one shot in the first half, by former Heed favourite Wayne Phillips, and that was blocked before it got anywhere near the goal.

Spartans only threat came in the opening minutes of the second half when Jamie Mole fizzed an angled shot that only just cleared the bar.

Former Heed hero Graeme Armstrong, clearly lacking match fitness, had a shot on the turn deflected past the post but that was about as good as it got for the home side.

Gateshead were a class above and Bogie was delighted by his side's professional performance that brought the most comfortable of passages into the 2nd round.

This was much to the delight of the thousand strong travelling Heed Army, over a third of the official 2,763 crowd.

Turnbull was inches wide from 25 yards and then Clark fired over the bar after his first shot had been block.

The early momentum was with Gateshead and it was not long before Blyth shot themselves in the foot with another defensive howler.

Chris Swailes' sliced own goal had given Bogie's men an early advantage at Croft Park eight months ago and this time the villain was stand-in centre back Danny Groves.

Dallying on the ball near the edge of the box the predatory Shaw nipped in to steal the ball and then round Knight to shoot into an empty net - his 19th goal in 20 games.

Cummins' free header from Carruthers' cross was well saved by Knight who then made an even better save to deny Shaw his second.

The hapless Groves missed Carruthers' cross and Shaw's shot was destined for the top corner until Knight somehow finger-tipped over at full stretch.

Another Carruthers cross saw Cummins head wide at the near post and then Gate went past former Heed team-mate Phil Cave on the right of the box.

His cross picked out Shaw whose volley cleared the bar. Cummins had another effort saved and Martin Brittain sliced wide as the one-way traffic continued.

Shaw had a great chance to make it two on the stroke of half-time after creating space for himself in the box from Brittain's corner but headed straight at Knight.

Despite hardly having the ball Blyth were still very much in the tie at the halfway stage.

Richie Slaughter's measured ball out of defence four minutes into the second half then almost brought the Conference North strugglers level.

Mole got down the side of Clark on the right of the box to strike a vicious shot from an angle that clipped the top of the net.

Normal service, however, was soon resumed when Shaw unselfishly layed off Carruthers' cross into the path of Cummins.

The experienced midfielder drilled a low shot into the bottom corner from outside the box to seal the game.

Cue delirium in the massed ranks of the Heed Army in the Plessey Road end of the ground.

Gate and Turnbull both shot over the bar while a rare Blyth break saw Armstrong's shot deflected past the far post.

A beleaguered Blyth afforded Gateshead far too much space in midfield all afternoon allowing the Heed trio to mount wave after wave of attack.

Nathan Fisher could have made it three from another excellent Carruthers cross but his header lacked conviction and was deflected wide.

Cummins put a free header over the bar at the back post from Brittain's cross while Clark headed over from sub Chris Moore's flag kick.

Turnbull cut inside only to see his shot deflected for a corner while Shaw headed wide of the far post from Baxter's deep cross.

Blyth sub Glen Taylor shot straight at Jak Alnwick in the dying seconds - the on loan Magpie's only save of the game.

Having now won two North East derbies against Hebburn Town and Blyth Spartans at a canter Gateshead are hoping today's 2nd round draw will again be kind to them.


Blyth Spartans: Knight, Slaughter, Cave (Forster 72), Phillips, Groves, Pearson, Mason (Offiong 66), Hooks, Armstrong (Taylor 77), Mole, Emms.
Subs (not used): Anzevui, Crook (gk), Purvis, Hunter (gk)

Bookings: Armstrong (45)


Gateshead: Alnwick, Baxter (Henderson 80), Carruthers, Clark, Curtis, Brittain (Moore 69), Cummins (Nix 85), Turnbull, Gate, Fisher, Shaw.
Subs (not used): Deasy (gk), Rents, Mulligan, Gillies.

Goals: Shaw (14), Cummins (54)

Bookings: None


Referee: Daren Bond (Burscough)

Att: 2,763


. The FA Cup 2nd round draw will take place on ITV 1 today (Sunday) after the televised clash between FC Halifax Town and Charlton Athletic, sometime around 2:40pm.

Gateshead are ball number 13.


Jon Shaw and Nathan Fisher celebrate the opening goal

Jon Shaw and Nathan Fisher celebrate the opening goal


Second goalscorer Micky Cummins looks to turn on the edge of the Blyth box

Second goalscorer Micky Cummins looks to turn on the edge of the Blyth box


Phil Turnbull pulls the strings in midfield

Phil Turnbull pulls the strings in midfield


Gateshead celebrate the second goal

Gateshead celebrate the second goal


The Heed Army celebrate the goal

The Heed Army celebrate the goal


The Heed Army look forward to the FA Cup 2nd Round

The Heed Army look forward to the FA Cup 2nd Round. Photos by Martin Avery.