Blyth AFC 2-1 West Auckland Town
Blyth AFC came from behind to beat West Auckland 2-1 at Woodhorn Lane, courtesy of a stoppage-time winnerfrom David Robinson.
After a lacklustre first-half, Nathan Fisher fired West ahead from the penalty spot on 59 minutes.
The hosts equalised on 71 minutes after Craig McFarlane’s long-range effort took a huge deflection and wrong-footedShane Bland.
However, deep into injury time, Ben Harmison played the ball across to Robinson, who drilled it home into the bottom corner for a last gasp winner.
Gary Forrest made two changes to the side which beat Washington in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, Danny Parker and Lewis Dodds coming in to replace Ross Colquhoun and Anthony Bell.
West went close to breaking the deadlock after just four minutes when Liam Hegarty found Amar Purewal inside the 18-yard box, who turned his marker and forced a comfortable save from Chris Bannon.
The contest looked poised to be a scrappy affair and so it proved with referee Jonny Urwin handing out four yellow cards inside the opening 25 minutes.
Approaching the half-hour mark, Dylan Williamson saw his curling effort sail over the bar as both sides found it tough to get a foothold in the game.
Marc Lancaster was the latest player to be booked on 41 minutes for a high challenge on Parker and was perhaps fortunate he didn’t see red.
On the stroke of half-time, West had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Purewal’s pass was delivered towards the back post into the feet of Lewis Dodds, though Bannon did extremely well to gather his effort from just a few yards out.
After the restart, the game sprung to life.
Adam Mitchell’s free-kick curled narrowly over the bar and Tom Portas’ low strike was cleared off the line by Adam Forster as West upped their tempo.
On 58 minutes, Purewal was brought down in the penalty area and Fisher converted the spot-kick a minute later, placing it into the top left corner despite Bannon getting a hand to it.
Last season’s Division One top goalscorer almost doubled West’s lead on 61 minutes, though his effort was dragged just wide of the post.
Ten minutes later, Blyth forced two great saves from Bland. Firstly, Robinson’s effort was pushed round the post and substitute Ben Harmison also saw his shot parried away before the Braves finally got their reward.
On 72 minutes, McFarlane collected the ball and from 25-yards out, his shot took a wicked deflection and beat a helpless Bland on its way into the net.
Heading into stoppage time, the two sides remained on level terms, but it was the hosts that had the initiative.
In the third minute of additional time, Blyth made their pressure count and found a late winner when the ball was fired back into Harmison, who found Robinson and he fired his effort into the bottom corner to spark scenes of jubilation from the hosts technical area.
The defeat leaves West in 10th place in the Division One table and they now look to regroup for Saturday’s game against Whitley Bay. (15:00)
Blyth AFC – Bannon, Walker, Lancaster (Harmison, 67), Forster, Tumilty, Coppen, Taylor, McFarlane, Wilson (Chilton, 67), Robinson, Williamson (McRoberts, 62)
Subs not used – Hudson, Lowther
Goals – McFarlane (72 min), Robertson (90+3 min)
Bookings- Williamson (14), Coppen (25), Lancaster (41)
West Auckland – Bland, Hegarty, Cobain, Snaith, Parker, Price, Mitchell, Portas, Fisher, Purewal, Dodds (Francis, 69)
Subs not used – Doninger, Wearmouth, Morris, Colquhoun
Goal – Fisher (pen), (59 min)
Bookings – Snaith (10), Portas (16), Price (51)
Referee – Jonny Urwin
Attendance – 84
Report by Harry Crowe