In a game that was beamed live on TV around the world, following Newcastle United’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, neither League Two’s Bournemouth nor Northumberland side Blyth Spartans, could get a goal to see them through to the 3rd round of the FA Cup, but they are both still in today’s 3rd round draw.
It was good that Blyth had goalkeeper Marc Bell in top form, as he played exceptionally well all afternoon and in particular made two brilliant saves from Bournemouth’s dangerous Lee Bradbury.
Bell first dived full length to tip a curling Bradbury shot bound for the corner, around the post, and the 26 year old, who is a roofer when not between the posts, showed terrific form to block another Bradbury’s header from almost point-blank range.
That header came late in the game and could so easily have seen Blyth knocked out, as Bournemouth players held their heads in their hands. But now at least the Blyth lads are in the 3rd round draw, to take place today.
Hero Bell said after the game:
“I played my part in the game. But it was a team effort – it was a very big pitch but the lads put their fitness levels to the test.
Without doubt this is the best game I have played in my career.” “I will definitely enjoy tonight.”
It’s the sign of a top player when you can play at your very best in a big big match, which is exactly what Marc did yesterday.
Nobody can deny the part-timers from the north east coast their place in the hat for today’s Third Round FA Cup draw and Blyth boss Harry Dunn will be forever grateful that his goalkeeper’s heroics ensured a replay at Croft Park.
Manager Harry Dunn paid tribute to his local heroes and warned there will be no sore heads in the morning.
“Our keeper was exceptional, this is probably the best moment in my career.”
“There’s a few tired legs out there and there will be a few tired hands from holding all the drinks tonight – but we’ll make sure they’re in bed by 10pm.”
Ahead of the intimidating replay at Croft Park, Bournemouth manager Jimmy Quinn said:
“We should have nicked it, we dominated the game without producing the goal.”
“Their keeper pulled off some great saves but the main thing is that we’re in the draw.”
“It’s disappointing but it’s not the end of the world. We will have to battle up at Blyth.”
Such is the magic of the FA Cup when good local teams, like Blyth Spartans, can get their day on the national and even yesterday the world stage, but it’s not over yet.
Well done lads, and now to finish them off at Croft Park.
Bournemouth: Jalal, Guyett, Cooper, Pearce, Garry (McQuoid 75), Hollands, Anderton, Molesley, Bartley, Igoe (Pitman 63), Bradbury (Lindfield 90).
Subs Not Used: Pryce, Ward, Cummings.
Booked: Bradbury, Molesley.
Blyth Spartans: Mark Bell, Leeson, Pell, Brown, Boyle, Gildea (Watson 83), Williams, McCabe, Dale, Hume (Poole 65), Reay (Dalton 90).
Subs Not Used: Farman, Wright, Fenton.
Booked: Brown, Mark Bell.
Ref: Andy Hall (W Midlands).