Last gasp Spartans force a replay with Wrexham in FA Cup

Goalmouth action from Spartans v Wrexham on Saturday. Picture by Bill Broadley.Goalmouth action from Spartans v Wrexham on Saturday. Picture by Bill Broadley.
Goalmouth action from Spartans v Wrexham on Saturday. Picture by Bill Broadley.
Blyth Spartans 1Wrexham 1Michael Richardson last gasp freekick earned Spartans a replay at the Racecourse Ground in a hard-fought FA Cup tie.

The sun was out at Croft Park and so were the fans with an attendance of 2,787. Blyth started well with some good early possession and tested the keeper forcing a corner. Wrexham struggled to get a foothold in the game early on giving away possession cheaply.

Blyth looked to have cracked the Wrexham defence when JJ O’Donnell was played through after a tangle with a defender, only for a freekick to be given the opposite way.

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On the 14th minute Cedric Main shrugged off heavy pressure from Wrexham fullback Brice Hosannah to force his way into the box to square it to Corey McKeown who was in space, only to be denied by Ben Tozer.

Wrexham pushed back with a looping effort from the wing from Sam Dalby which bounced on the bar and out of play. Fantastic opportunity for Blyth in the 37th minute when a deep cross was played into the far post by Liam Ravenhill to pick out O’Donnell who nodded the ball just wide of goal.

The Welsh side saw a chance of their own from James Jones go just shy of Alex Mitchell’s left post. Mitchell was called into action minutes later when a clever bit of play on the edge of the area from Elliott Lee and Callum McFadzean saw the left wingback in space and firing an effort on goal, Mitchell got a strong hand on the ball to prevent the National league side going ahead.

The second half began with the away side getting the game underway. Blyth pressed high and forced errors, having a few efforts on goal with McKeown’s blocked shot on the edge of the box and another long-range strike going wide. Lee’s long-range strike from the edge of the area was charged down by O’Donnell from a short throw and the rebounding ball was crossed but went out of play.

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Wrexham brought on strikers Paul Mullin and Olly Palmer to try and impose themselves on the game. The Welsh side took the lead with a freekick just on the edge of the from Tom O’Connor was struck took a deflection off the wall and bounced into the top right corner.

Spartans brought the game level when a freekick on the left deep in the Wrexham half was driven in by Michael Richardson and bounced through the crowded penalty area and past a bemused Howard in goal 1-1.

Well in to added time Blyth’s fans hearts were in their mouths when Paul Mullins shot rebounded to Olly Palmer who hit the ball just wide of the far post.

The referee brought the game to a close finishing 1-1 with Blyth impressing throughout. Spartans will now head to Wales and the Racecourse Ground hoping to progress to the next round of the FA Cup.