The U23s ended their season empty-handed on Thursday night, failing
to recover a three-goal deficit against their National League North
visitors in the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup at St. James'
Conceding goals has been a recurring problem for Elliot Dickman's
side in PL2 this season and their generosity extended to this
competition, with the defence breached three times in just 13
Blyth went ahead when JJ O'Donnell's cross from the right was headed
home at the Gallowgate End by Sado Djalo in the 21st minute.
Robbie Dale's flag kick from the Strawberry Corner three minutes
later was then palmed into his own net by Max Thompson under
pressure from ex-Magpie Lewis McNall for an own goal - Dale claiming
the goal on what is scheduled to be his penultimate game for the
2-0 became 3-0 in the 33rd minute when another Dale corner from the
Blyth left was played long; the unmarked Nathan Buddle burying a
header at the back post.
United got one back five minutes after the break when Jay
Turner-Cooke swept home a fine effort from the edge of the box.
Substitute Santiago Munoz then added another in the 69th minute,
playing a neat one-two with Lucas De Bolle before flicking the ball
beyond the 'keeper.
Blyth redoubled their efforts though and kept United at bay as a
third home goal that would potentially take the tie to penalties
never really looked likely.
Thompson kept the home side in the contest in the 76th minute with a
fine save from Corey McKeown's rising shot, before O'Donnell headed
straight at the 'keeper from close range.
Victory for Blyth ended a marathon wait for trophy success against
Newcastle - this the first time since 1935 that they've beaten them
in the Senior Cup Final and only the second time in a dozen
The bulk of this Spartans line-up inflicted a 3-0 friendly defeat on
United in pre-season, while only two of the starting XI for the
black and whites here kept their place from that night at Croft
The names may have changed, but the feeling of underachievement
remains - and virtually all of those involved tonight are set remain
at the club, with most of those players released already dropping
out of the squad.