The FA Cup - Second Round
HartlepoolHartlepool United1Blyth SpartansBlyth Spartans2

FA Cup: Hartlepool United v Blyth Spartans

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Rivers winner stuns Hartlepool

Jarrett Rivers became part of FA Cup folklore by scoring in the 90th minute to send non-league Blyth Spartans through to the third round at the expense of League Two side Hartlepool.

Rivers, 21 - who works in his mother's newsagent - broke forward on the right, produced a lovely step-over in the box before firing in a low angled shot that beat the reach of Scott Flinders.

It sparked jubilant scenes as the scorer was engulfed by his team-mates, while some of the 1,111 Spartans fans that travelled the 40 miles down the north east coast ran on, overwhelmed with emotion in front of the BBC TV cameras.

Stephen Turnbull scores a spectacular free-kick

However, the goalmouth drama was far from over as Hartlepool, bottom of League Two, mounted one last foray forward and came within inches of keeping alive their Cup hopes when Matthew Bates's strike came off the crossbar.

But the Northumberland club, three divisions and 65 places below their opponents, survived the six minutes of stoppage time to add 2014-15 to 1972, 1978 and 2009 in the list of times they have reached the third-round proper.

And if they reproduce the heart and guts on display at Victoria Park then perhaps English football's seventh tier side could emulate their exploits of 36 years ago when they reached the fifth round.

Hartlepool manager Paul Murray
"The second half was diabolical. There was no fight, no passion, we thought we had it won."

Blyth hero Rivers said afterwards: "I'm living off that goal for the rest of my life", while his manager Tom Wade told BBC Sport the victory was "written in the stars".

Jonathan Franks's header gave Hartlepool a deserved lead for their first-half domination, before Stephen Turnbull levelled after the break for a rejuvenated Blyth, with an excellent free-kick that found the keeper's top right.

"I said to the lads if we can stay in this game, these lads are getting beat week in and week out, and we have a chance," said Turnbull, who is doing an apprenticeship with a ferry company.

Did this Hartlepool chance cross the line?

"They are expected to batter us but we hung in there, sneaked a goal and got the other. We have an honest bunch of lads, everyone grafts. We are just buzzing."

Blyth are ball number 52 in the hat for Monday's draw, when all the Premier League teams enter the competition. The draw will be televised live on BBC Two, 19:00 GMT.

Rivers' late, late strike was heartbreak for the League Two's basement side.

They created several chances in the first 45 minutes. Aside from Franks' goal - converted from Neil Austin's cross - Sidney Schmeltz had a header brilliantly saved by Peter Jeffries, while Harewood found the side-netting and Austin had two shots blocked.

How many miles have Blyth covered?
Evo-Stick Northern Premier side Blyth Spartans are three divisions and 65 places below League Two.
The most famous member of Spartans' 1977-78 team [which reached the fifth round] Alan Shoulder, who went on to play for Newcastle, spent three years with Hartlepool at the end of his career.
This was manager Tom Wade's 100th match in charge of Blyth.
Blyth have covered 1,184 miles in the FA Cup this season after being drawn away in four out of their five FA Cup ties.

Pools were also denied when Harewood's strike at 1-1 was ruled not to have fully crossed the line - TV replays proved inconclusive.

"In the first half we were pretty good but didn't take our opportunities," said their manager Paul Murray.

"The second half was diabolical. There was no fight, no passion, we thought we had it won. That's been the story in the league as well. There were angry words exchanged in the dressing room."

His opposite number Tom Wade added: "We tried to keep the players calm at half-time. We knew we would have a few chances and if we could stay in the game after 60 minutes we would turn them over.

"We have a very young side, they are a brilliant set of lads, their attitude is fantastic. It is a great night and I am so proud."

Highlights: Hartlepool 1-2 Blyth

Line-ups

Hartlepool

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Flinders
  • 2Austin
  • 24Lanzoni
  • 4Bates
  • 20Jones
  • 8Walker
  • 16Featherstone
  • 14Woods
  • 7Franks
  • 9Harewood
  • 27SchmeltzSubstituted forComptonat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Holden
  • 11Compton
  • 13Maxted
  • 18Hawkins
  • 19Richards
  • 23Smith
  • 29Campbell

Blyth Spartans

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Jeffries
  • 2Nicholson
  • 5Buddle
  • 4Hutchinson
  • 3Watson
  • 8HawkinsSubstituted forMullenat 67'minutes
  • 6Turnbull
  • 7Rivers
  • 10WadeSubstituted forRichardsonat 76'minutes
  • 11DaleSubstituted forWearmouthat 90+3'minutes
  • 9MaguireBooked at 80mins

Substitutes

  • 12Wearmouth
  • 14Dixon
  • 15Mullen
  • 16Parker
  • 17Richardson
  • 18Hooks
  • 19Harrison
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
3,735

Match Stats

Home TeamHartlepoolAway TeamBlyth Spartans
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hartlepool United 1, Blyth Spartans 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hartlepool United 1, Blyth Spartans 2.

  3. Post update

    Matthew Bates (Hartlepool United) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jack Compton with a headed pass.

  5. Post update

    Dan Jones (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Michael Richardson (Blyth Spartans).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

  8. Post update

    Jarrett Rivers (Blyth Spartans) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Dan Jones (Hartlepool United).

  10. Post update

    Michael Richardson (Blyth Spartans) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Blyth Spartans. Arran Wearmouth replaces Robert Dale.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Hartlepool United 1, Blyth Spartans 2. Jarrett Rivers (Blyth Spartans) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Stephen Turnbull.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Blyth Spartans. Conceded by Dan Jones.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

  15. Post update

    Alex Nicholson (Blyth Spartans) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Matthew Bates (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Michael Richardson (Blyth Spartans).

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Brad Walker (Hartlepool United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Daniel Maguire (Blyth Spartans) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Nicky Featherstone (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.