Blyth SpartansFootball

Blyth Spartans 1-1 Alfreton Town: Late equaliser forces a midweek replay

Alfreton Town landed a sucker punch on Blyth Spartans levelling the scores up and earning a replay in the FA Trophy.

Both sides scored from their only shot on target which sets up a replay on Tuesday.

Michael Sweet smashed home on the turn to give Blyth Spartans the lead after 27 minutes.

Harvey Grice got Alfreton Town level with a long-range effort after 82 minutes.

Alfreton had the ball in the back of the net after eight minutes when Olly Scott was dispossessed and Amari Morgan-Smith squared for Declan Bacon who had strayed offside.

Callum Roberts won and took a free-kick 25-yards out and with the Jack Atkinson rooted to the spot he could only see his shot curl agonisingly wide after 18 minutes.

Sweet was the first to react to a loose ball in the area from Rhys Evans’ cross before taking one touch on the turn and firing home into the bottom right corner.

Right on the stroke of half-time Robbie Dale cut inside from the left corner of the box before curling one beyond Atkinson but was denied by the post.

Alfreton almost levelled things up in added time when Bacon beat Lewis Ritson for pace but could only fire wide under pressure from Zach Hemming.

The visitors should have levelled things up three minutes into the second-half when Morgan-Smith got on the end of a cross but failed to make contact on the ball from six-yards out.

Robbie Dale found himself unmarked in the penalty area as Jack Hunter picked him out beautifully, however, the captain could only send his half volley over the bar and out the ground.

With 15 minutes to play Roberts beat his man inside the box before cutting it back to Dale who saw his volley rebound away off an Alfreton defender.

After 79 minutes, Damen Mullen tried his luck from 30-yards out which had Atkinson scrambling across his goal but it went just wide of the post.

Spartans won the ball in Alfeton’s final third and Dale crossed back post for Roberts who got up early but could only see his header go aimlessly wide.

A long ball from Alfreton saw Hemming come and punch the ball straight to Grice 20-yards out who sent a looping effort into the top corner.

Josh Clackstone almost snatched the win in added time for Alfreton as he progressed into the box, however, his curling effort went wide of Hemming’s far post.

Drama after the final whistle as Lee Clark received a red card for shouting in the referee’s face.

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