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Page last updated at 22:04 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

FA Cup third round as it happened

Blyth 0-1 Blackburn


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

2204: Time for me to wrap up tonight. We didn't get our Cupset, but my oh my, we were close, weren't we? Hope you enjoyed the end of a fabulous FA Cup weekend, would love to have you back tomorrow for the first Carling Cup semi-final, Tottenham v Burnley from White Hart Lane. See ya.

2159: "Unlucky Spartans... you did yourselves and the Blue Square Leagues proud. Well done on what you achieved."
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2157: The Blyth players return from their dressing-room to go on a lap of honour around Croft Park, and the locals will stay and applaud their heroes for a monumental effort.

2155: "I think we could have snatched a draw at the end, we had a couple of chances and we'd have been over the moon if one could have gone in. It was hard work, they had a lot of the ball and we were chasing a lot, but we've all put a good shift in."
Blyth striker Robert Dale

2154: "Blackburn dominated the game but got their goal and sat back and Blyth had a real go, they could have ended up getting something. They should be really proud of their performance today."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2153: Full-time Blyth 0-1 Blackburn

2151: A throw from the right is acrobatically kicked over his own head and goalwards by the gangling Robert Dale, but Mark Bunn catches and we are into the final few seconds.

2149: We are into the three minutes of stoppage time now.

2149: Until the goal you thought Blackburn could win it comfortably, but the last 15 minutes, give Blyth credit, they could not only have equalised, but won this game."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2147: "So close..."
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2145: Gareth Williams' cross is straight on to the head of Alex Gildea, but he can only nod over from six yards. Harry Dunn cannot believe it.

2144: Blyth have another free-kick just outside and to the right of the Blackburn box after a foul from Johan Vogel. Less than five minutes left. Can they do it?

2143: That was it. That was the chance. Andy Wright, who hasn't been on for long, sends the ball wide on the volley from eight yards after a stunning left-wing cross from Alex Gildea. What a moment that could have been. It's missed by four inches.

2142: Shaun Reay hits a cracking right-foot volley from 20 yards but it's blocked, just as he thinks he might be about to write his name in FA Cup folklore. Blackburn take off Matt Derbyshire for debutant Bryan Hodge.

2141: Zurab Khizanishvili heads over from five yards out from a Rovers corner from the left. Golden chance to wrap it up.

2141: (See 2127) You're absolutely right. That is sour grapes. Come on Blyth! I'm sick of playing Blackburn. This would be the fourth time this season!"
Luke, Sunderland fan, via text on 81111

2139: Jason Roberts creates a yard of space inside the Blyth box but smashes his left-foot shot over from 10 yards and gets a boot in the ankle for his trouble, too.

2137: A Gareth Williams punt into the box is headed away to Alex Gildea on the edge of the Rovers box, but his sweet left-foot strike sails a few feet over the crossbar.

2135: Aaron Mokoena heads away a Blyth corner from the left after the South African previously did well on the stretch to clear away from Simon Todd.

2135: (See 2123) I'm sorry, but to say Keith Andrews is a bad signing is ludicrous! He has adapted to the Premier League brilliantly considering he was in League Two last season, he for me has been one of the better players of Blackburn's negative season."
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2133: Keith Andrews blazes over from six yards after good work down the right from Alan Judge, but the ball did bobble in front of the Rovers midfielder.

2132: Aaron Mokoena is the first man in the book for a foul on Robert Dale.

2130: Gareth Williams has a shot instead, from 30 yards, but it bounces in front of Mark Bunn and the former Northampton keeper collects comfortably.

2129: Shaun Reay does really well to run at the Blackburn defence but he delays a pass too long - he's lucky he gets a free-kick after a foul from Aaron Mokoena. Now, listen to Chrissy Waddle - float it in there!

2129: 18-year-old Ged Dalton, who struck Blyth's winner against Bournemouth in the last round, is taken off and replaced by Andrew Wright.

2128: The official crowd tonight at Croft Park is 3,445, attendance fans.

2127: "I know this sounds like sour grapes, but Blyth were pretty toothless in attack when they played us (both times). They're certainly not a threatening non-league side, attacking-wise, like Havant were last year and I can't see them equalising."
Simon, Bournemouth fan, via text on 81111

2125: Gareth Williams' ball in is headed away by Matt Derbyshire. "He puts too much pace on them every time," bemoans Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 Live. "He should float it up and let the big men attack it."

2124: Ged Dalton is fouled down the Blyth right and they have a free-kick just outside the Blackburn box. If they are to score tonight, it will be from one of these positions.

2123: "Keith Andrews - worst signing of the season?"
Jack on 606
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2121: Simon Todd, who is on loan from Darlington, comes on for Blyth in place of debutant Alex White.

2120: Blackburn want more and Keith Treacy hits a sweet, dipping left-foot volley that takes a deflection and clips the top of the Blyth crossbar.

2119: Keith Andrews has a half-chance straight away, but he cannot adjust his feet and the chance goes begging after great work down the right from Danny Simpson. Another goal and this one's all over.

2117: GOAL Blyth 0-1 Blackburn
In the deepest, darkest depths of Northumberland, a piece of pure South American poetry lights up proceedings, Carlos Villanueva earning a free-kick it and curling it sublimely into the top corner from 25 yards, giving Marc Bell absolutely no chance whatsoever. It's the Chilean's last action as he and Vince Grella go off, with Jason Roberts and Keith Andrews coming on.

2116: Jason Roberts is stripped down and coming on for Rovers.

2115: Gareth Williams' cross from the right is flicked on dangerously and Aaron Mokoena manages to clear, with a hint of desperation. Moments later, Mokoena has to be alert to get rid again with Mark Bunn coming tentatively off his line. Rare pressure, from the hosts.

2114: "The Blyth game is the only thing keeping me sane. If anyone has been to Trivandrum airport in India they'll know what I mean. The best shop here is called 'Visitors need shop', which offers a selection of chocolate and crisps. Says it all. Come on Spartans!"
Stu, from Wirral, via text on 81111

2112: Robert Dale concedes a corner and Blyth are coming under real pressure once again here, all the play in in their third. Blackburn really should be creating better chances with the amount of possession they have had.

2109: Carlos Villanueva looks a decent player. He twists and turns 25 yards out before creating a couple of yards to bend a shot just wide of Marc Bell's right-hand post.

2109: Forget us not, that the winners of this tie will travel to the Stadium of Light to face Ricky Sbragia's Sunderland.
Merseyside giants clash in FA Cup

2107: Matt Derbyshire mis-kicks from an angle on the left after Blyth fail to clear Danny Simpson's raking ball into their box. Big Sam does not look best pleased on the Rovers bench.

2104: "I told them to keep going, put a bit more pressure on the ball this half. If we're gonna get beat, let's get beat in style. We just have to give it a go again."
Blyth manager Harry Dunn

2103: We are under way in the second half.

2102: "I am struggling to recognise which team are from the Premier League!"
Anthony, Blackburn fan at Croft Park, via text on 81111

2100: Fair to say that the Blyth players are enjoying some lofty marks on the old Player Rater so far. Goalkeeper (it was always going to be thus) Marc Bell is flying high on 8.43 and defender Kenny Boyle has 7.21. Blackburn's 45-minute star is Carlos Villanueva on 6.82. Feel aggrieved? Then rate away.
Rate the players

2056: "The dream's still alive and we'll come out fired up for the second half. This is a community club and this game has given Blyth a second Christmas. It has set the town on fire. It's a great day for Blyth Spartans."
Blyth Spartans chairman Tony Platten

2052: "(See 2039) They clean the real players boots."
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2050: "You've got to give them credit, even though they rode their luck a bit. I've been disappointed with Blackburn, they've played in front of Blyth the whole half, never getting in behind them."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2048: Half-time Blyth Spartans 0-0 Blackburn Rovers

2046: Marc Bell claims a good catch at the back post after Keith Treacy did well to go around his man down the left and float over another dangerous ball.

2045: A minute until the break. Where's your money?

2044: "Hope Shaun Reay does well tonight. He signed for my hometown club in August, played once, scored a hat-trick, and disappeared - only to see him score two in the Cup first round. Come on Blyth! Do it for the north-east."
jervisd on 606
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2040: Vince Grella fires in a left-foot volley as Blyth struggle to clear a corner and it hits the head of Richard Pell, possibly deflecting on to his arm - would have been an unbelievably harsh penalty, though.

2039: "What are the Blackburn players' day-time jobs?"
Keith, via text on 81111

2036: You know, they might live to regret these missed chances. Alan Judge floats a ball into the Blyth box and Matt Derbyshire has found space, but he tries an audacious volley and slices it at keeper Marc Bell instead of taking a touch and slotting home.

2035: Talking point. Keith Treacy's shot is deflected into the path of Matt Derbyshire and the striker's miscued overhead kick is headed into his own net by Andrew Leeson - only for the assistant referee to rule it out for offside. Which it was. Just.

2032: "I know this Blackburn team has never played together, but they do train together, and they've been hopeless in the final third - they've got no idea."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2030: Keith Treacy needs some treatment for a painful-looking shove in the back from Andrew Leeson as Blyth try to attack a corner from the right. Yep, they've been in the Blackburn half.

2027: Interesting. Aaron Mokoena clears the ball in hapless fashion straight to the feet of Ged Dalton, with Rovers keeper Mark Bunn off his line. But Dalton panics and slices his shot miles wide from the right-hand side of the 18-yard box. Shame.

2025: Danny Simpson keeps threatening down the Rovers right, but his cross after a fine run into the box is cleared by a posse of green-and-white shirted defenders.

2023: "As long as it stays 0-0 I think Harry Dunn will be very happy, the only way Blyth are going to score is from a set-piece at the moment."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2021: "(See 1915) Double European champions Nottingham Forest caused the biggest cupset by beating the world's richest club Man City. Brave Forest Green gave Derby County a scare as the lost the lead twice to lose 4-3. David Foley scored a screamer to help Hartlepool to a shock 2-0 win against Stoke. Chelsea's woeful home record continues as they conceded a last-minute goal to earn Southend a replay. Ashley Young's theatrics gave Villa a penalty to help them beat Gillingham. Finally, non-league Kettering beat fellow non-leaguers Eastwood Town. Did I break the rules?"
Mark from Bristol, via text on 81111

2019: A Blackburn corner comes to nothing but Blyth are pretty much camped in their own half. Every time they launch it forward, it comes straight back. I bet they haven't spent more than a minute in the Rovers half so far.

2017: Carlos Villanueva and Keith Treacy are linking up well and the latter jinks past his man before shooting tamely at Marc Bell. Blyth are a bit under the cosh in the early stages.

2015: "If Forest can win 3-0 away, anything's possible :) Come on you Spartans!"
The.Love.Eboue.campaign on 606
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2013: Playing just off Matt Derbyshire, Carlos Villanueva is causing some real problems from deep. His cross-shot is begging to be put in by Derbyshire, but Kenny Boyle makes a fabulous interception. Moments later, Keith Treacy's left-foot shot is brilliantly tipped behind by Marc Bell.

2011: Blyth give Carlos Villaneuva some room again as he advances to the edge of the box, but his left-foot drive spins well wide.

2009: Carlos Villanueva tries an ambitious shot from at least 45 yards with Marc Bell a bit off his line, but the Chilean's effort isn't even close.

2007: "They aren't shy on making any tackles so far are they, Blyth? They might have looked at this Blackburn team and thought, let's not disrespect them, but why not?"
BBC Radio 5 Live's Chris Waddle

2005: Danny Simpson mis-kicks twice at right-back and the cheers go up from the partisan crowd at Croft Park.

2003: "Oh my word, look at our line-up! I'm not sure these guys are better than Blyth. I smell a Cupset."
Dan, a rather worried Rovers fan in Guildford, via text on 81111

2001: Yep. The huddles are over and we're under way.

1958: The teams are out. Croft Park is absolutely buzzing. Make no mistake, the locals are up for this one.

1956: "It's a tidy little stadium. The pitch looks nice and soft so hopefully it'll be a good game. We just have to be totally professional with what we do."
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce

1955: "My dad played for Spartans in the 1950s and actually scored in the first round one year. I missed the 1978 Cup run as I was living abroad, but my uncle Jimmy was chairman and sent me the cuttings. It's just great to see Blyth back in the headlines again and I don't think Blackburn should take it lightly."
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1952: So, Blyth defender Alex White makes his debut following his arrival from Stranraer, and second-round goalscoring hero Ged Dalton is fit after a shin injury. With David Dunn and Roque Santa Cruz injured and Andre Ooijer and Ryan Nelsen banned, Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce goes the whole hog and changes the entire side that played last time against Manchester City. Vince Grella makes just his fifth appearance since his move from Torino, Zurab Khizanishvili captains the side and Mark Bunn makes his debut in goal.

1950: By the way, next week's televised FA Cup matches have been revealed - on Tuesday it'll be Bristol City v Portsmouth, on Wednesday it's Southend v Chelsea.

1948: "Non-League Torquay cause the biggest upset in terms of places, but barely get a mention from the media. Why is that?"
Chris, Torquay, via text on 81111

Oh behalf of the media, sorry. Does that help?

Blyth Spartans: Mark Bell, Boyle, Pell, Leeson, White, Reay, McCabe, Williams, Gildea, Dale, Dalton.
Subs: Farman, Brown, Hume, Poole, Todd, Wright, Watson.
Blackburn: Bunn, Simpson, Mokoena, Khizanishvili, Olsson, Vogel, Grella, Treacy, Judge, Villanueva, Derbyshire.
Subs: Brown, Andrews, Roberts, Hodge, Gunning, Doran, Haworth.
Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

1944: Blyth know all about the magic of the FA Cup, of course - they even reached the fifth round in 1978, I'll have you know. On that occasion, they switched their tie to Newcastle's St James' Park, where 42,000 saw them lose to Wrexham. This time around, boss Harry Dunn chose to keep the game at Croft Park. Why? Because he thinks they can win there.

1941: It's quote time. Here are my favourite two pre-match musings from the respective gaffers:

"It's against a team that play non-league football and we're a group of professionals in the Premier League, so we should have enough to beat them."
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce

"I've only seen people like Sam on the television. I never expected to meet a Premier League manager so for me this is fantastic."
Blyth Spartans manager Harry Dunn

1938: "I'm not too bothered if we go out fairly early in the FA Cup this year, just so we can concentrate on staying up. But we MUST NOT lose tonight, as it would be sheer humiliation."
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1935: They may well be separated by a dizzying 118 places on the English league ladder, but Blyth and Blackburn do have one thing in common - they are both fighting against relegation this season. Spartans are 21st in their league, three points off safety, while Rovers are 19th, two points away from avoiding the drop.

1932: "(See 1915) Teams won. Others drew. Some even lost! And a rare few didn't even play due to frozen pitches."
Vic, a frustrated Birmingham v Wolves ticket holder! on 81111

1930: Stevo's Predo: Blyth Spartans 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
Lawro's prediction

1927: "Hey Stevo, did you by any chance see Forest's result from Saturday? It was the quite the cu- ummm, quite the unexpected result, against the worl- ummm, against quite a rich club, wasn't it?"
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It sure was, lobotics, it sure was. Thanks for the reminder.

1924: Tonight, this great competition gives us a right proper cracker. Blue Square North side Blyth Spartans take on the might of Premier League outfit Blackburn Rovers. Just over 4,000 are expected to cram in to Croft Park in Northumberland, most of them hoping to see one of the great FA Cup upsets of all time. Nothing against Blackburn, but so am I.

1920: As you may/may not have been aware, I wasn't in the mixer this weekend. So let's play a little game. Without using the following buzz words/phrases, tell Stevo what has happened in the FA Cup third round so far. You can do this via texts on 81111 and by joining the debate on 606. The banned list comprises:

"World's richest club"
"Double European champions"
"Brave Forest Green"
"Chelsea's woeful home record"
"Ashley Young + theatrics"
"David Foley + screamer"
"Non-league Kettering"

Join the debate on 606

1915: January is, we're told by psychologists, the worst of all months to be alive. Poor weather, fading Christmas memories and debt apparently all conspire to leave people depressed up and down the country. That doesn't include us, though. Us football fans. With the FA Cup and the transfer window open, it's a truly magical time to be alive. God bless January.
Phil McNulty on the magic of the Cup
Monday's gossip column

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see also
Blyth Spartans 0-1 Blackburn
05 Jan 09 |  FA Cup

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