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REPORT | Blyth Spartans 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Late equaliser means fourth qualifying round fixture goes to a replay

15 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Blyth Spartans 1-1 Wrexham AFC

Late equaliser means fourth qualifying round fixture goes to a replay

15 October 2022

Tom O’Connor’s deflected free kick was cancelled out by Michael Richardson’s last-gasp strike, sending the Emirates Fourth Qualifying Round tie to a replay.

The two teams battled it out in the North East, with nothing separating them at Crofts Park.

Tom O’Connor’s set piece from 25 yards out put Wrexham ahead, but Richardson’s free kick somehow evaded everyone in the penalty area and went past Howard.

Phil Parkinson named four changes to the side that beat Barnet in last weekend’s barnstorming 7-5 victory.

Sam Dalby made his first start of the season, Bryce Hosannah returned, along with James Jones and Jordan Davies.

Max Cleworth dropped out of the starting eleven for the first time this campaign, with Tom O’Connor joining the back three.

Blyth began the tie on the front foot, testing the Wrexham defence, as Cedric Main ran to the by-line, cutting back to Cory McKeown, but his shot was blocked by McFadzean.

Wrexham grew into the contest, and Sam Dalby came closest in the opening stages, as latched onto James Jones’ cross and his effort hit the crossbar.

The home side continued to pressure the Red Dragons, and JJ O’Donnell was inches away from breaking the deadlock, as his looping header landed inches wide of Howard's goal.

However, Wrexham continued to probe the hosts with Jones and Hosannah linking well, but the midfielder’s shot was dragged wide of the post.

The visitors threatened the Blyth moments later, with Lee threading through McFadzean, but Alex Mitchell was on hand to make a smart save.

Both sides started the second period as they ended the last, with neither able to take a foothold in the contest.

Neither side truly took a foothold in the half, with neither Howard nor Mitchell forced into action.

Parkinson made changes before the hour, with Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer introduced to provide more attacking impetus.

Fourteen minutes from time however Wrexham took the lead; a deflected Tom O’Connor free kick left Mitchell rooted to the spot, as it rippled the net.

Spartans were left chasing the game, and substitute Cornish lashed a shot well wide of Howard's far post.

One minute from time they found the leveler, as Richardson’s free kick missed everyone on its way into the area, but snuck its way into the bottom corner of Howard’s goal.

Parkinson’s men had four minutes of additional time to try and salvage a late winner, but Palmer’s late strike somehow went wide of the post sending the match to a replay.

Blyth Spartans: Mitchell, Richardson, Lees, Eldson, Liddle, Ravenhill, Hickey, Deverdics, O’Donnell, McKeown, Main (Cornish 73’)

Subs not used: Evans, Gilles, Dopson, Alexander, Cornish, Joisce

Bookings: Hickey (54’)

Wrexham: Howard, Hosannah, Hayden, Tozer, O’Connor, McFadzean (Forde 79’), Jones, Young ©, Davies (Palmer 58’), Lee, Dalby (Mullin 58’)

Subs not used: Watson, Tunnicliffe, McAlinden, Cleworth

Bookings: McFadzean, Young

Attendance: 2787

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