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Late twist in the tale at Croft Park

29th December 2018
Match Result
Blyth Spartans Logo
Blyth Spartans
2
York City Logo
York City
1
Croft Park
Saturday 29th Dec - 15:00

Substitute Bradley Fewster settled a close contest with a controversial late goal for Blyth Spartans - just seconds after a City 'winner' had been disallowed.

Macaulay Langstaff's header was ruled out for offside in the 84th minute yet play resumed while City's players were still celebrating or out of position.

Play moved swiftly to the opposite end of the field and former City striker Fewster drilled the ball home to give hosts Blyth Spartans victory.

It was cruel luck on City who had equalised through Jake Wright in the 36th minute after Blyth took the lead courtesy of a Sean Reid penalty.

Manager Sam Collins had made five changes to his starting line-up following the 5-1 Boxing Day defeat at Darlington.

On-loan Liam Agnew made his full debut as a replacement for Wes York in midfield, Hamza Bencherif and Kennedy Digie replaced Dan Parslow and Joe Tait in defence, while strikers Langstaff and Wright were preferred to loanees Joe Ironside and Alex Bray.

City could have taken the lead in the 10th minute but Langstaff's close-range effort struck the legs of Blyth goalkeeper Peter Jameson.

Goalkeeper Adam Bartlett produced a flying save to deny Kieran Green but, from the subsequent corner, Blyth were awarded a penalty as Bencherif pushed Aaron Cunningham.

Reid duly sent Bartlett the wrong from the spot to give Blyth a 15th minute lead.

City shrugged off the setback and pushed hard for an equaliser.

Wright showed neat skill on the edge of the box to beat his marker and curl a shot narrowly wide after 18 minutes and was unlucky again in the 33rd minute when his side-footed effort struck the legs of the goalkeeper following an excellent through ball by Agnew.

City's pressure paid off in the 36th minute as Wright pounced for his fourth goal of the season.

The striker slid in to meet a low cross from Langstaff and, although his initial shot was clawed off the line by Jameson, Wright reacted quickly to slam the loose ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

Referee Barlow incensed the home crowd just before the interval when stopping play to book Bencherif for handball.

The City defender had swung his arm at the ball in the centre of the park without making full contact and Blyth appeared to be in a strong attacking situation.

Barlow waved away a Blyth penalty appeal in the 51st minute when Maguire went to ground under pressure from Digie.

But the game was decided by events in the 84th minute and a rapid change of fortunes that saw City go from possible victory to defeat in a matter of seconds.

A freekick from Josh Law was headed on by Jordan Burrow and Langstaff headed the ball past Jameson.

The goal was ruled out and Blyth's quickly taken freekick resulted in a goal for Blyth at the opposite end of the pitch as Fewster nipped in between Law and Ferguson and drilled the ball past Bartlett..

Although disappointed with the result, City's travelling supporters showed appreciation for an improved performance at the final whistle.

City host Darlington at Bootham Crescent on New Year's Day (kick-off 3pm).

Blyth Spartans: Jameson; Nicholson, Liddle, Green, Buddle, Cunningham, Rivers, Oliver, Maguire (C) (Watson 90+2), Reid, Holmes. Unused substitutes: Fewster, Wrightson, Horner, Watson.

York City: Bartlett; Dyer, Bencherif, Digie, Ferguson; Agnew, Law (Ironside 87), Moke (Heslop 80); Wright (Harris 78), Burrow, Langstaff. Unused substitutes: Davis, Whitley.

Referee: Michael Barlow

Attendance: 1,122

Bookings: Rivers, Liddle (Blyth), Bencherif, Heslop (City)

Goals:

Blyth: Reid (Pen) 15, Fewster 84, City: Wright 36.

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