Blyth Spartans boss Tom Wade hails “special” night after FA Cup victory over Hartlepool United

Blyth Spartans celebrate their FA Cup victory over Pools. Picture by FRANK REID
Blyth Spartans celebrate their FA Cup victory over Pools. Picture by FRANK REID
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BLYTH Spartans boss Tom Wade was overcome with emotion at the final whistle after watching his non-league side overcome Hartlepool United to make it through to the FA Cup third round.

Wade described it as a “hugely special” victory after seeing his side deservedly make it into the hat for Monday night’s draw.

Wade said: “This is hugely special for me, I am a Blyth lad.

“We have a great team here at the club and we all work together very closely.

“It means so much to me and I know a lot of the supporters.

“I am hugely proud and privileged to be the Blyth manager.

“To get into the third round is a fantasy for us, I cannot thank the players enough for the effort and commitment put in.

“A lot of the younger lads stood up and were counted.

“It is an unbelievable occasion - the lads made history.”

Seventh tier Blyth, who reached the fifth round in 1977-78 and third round in 2008-09, visibly grew in confidence as the second-half wore on.

They got their just reward in the 90th minute to cue wild celebrations from their 1,111 travelling supporters.

Stephen Turnbull spent five years at Pools between 2003 and 2008 and still looks out for their results every weekend but he broke home fans hearts in the 56th minute with a superb free-kick.

The 27-year-old midfielder stepped up to curl a beauty past Scott Flinders into the top left-hand corner of the net, giving the Pools stopper no chance.

Jarrett Rivers was the hero in the 90th minute, finishing low, to send Spartans into the next round of the competition.

Turnbull, who combines playing with completing an apprenticeship for P&O Ferries, said his side were “buzzing” with the win and he is now looking for his brother Phil to complete a good weekend for the Turnbull family.

Twin brother Phil, another former Pools midfielder, plays for Conference side Gateshead who face Warrington on Sunday.

Turnbull said: “I said to the lads if we can stay in this game, these lads are getting beaten week-in and week-0ut, and we have a chance. We hung in there, sneaked a goal and got the other.

“We have an honest bunch of lads, everyone grafts.

“We are just buzzing.

“My twin brother is playing on Sunday night for Gateshead and my sister is supposed to be having a baby on Saturday.

“It’s quite a weekend.”