Match Report

Braves crash out of FA Cup at hands of Knaresborough

By Andrew McDonnell 

Blyth AFC were condemned to their first defeat of the season after crashing out of the Emirates FA Cup at the hands of Knaresborough Town. 

Sam Cook put the hosts ahead after four minutes, while Josh Garbutt added a brace and Curtis Coppen was sent off inside the first 13 minutes of the game. 

The hosts inflicted more misery on the Braves after adding a fourth goal on 33 minutes, Garbutt curling into the far corner for his hat-trick. 

Rob Worrell struck the crossbar at one end before David Robinson done the same at the other before half-time. 

Substitute Steve Bromley added a fifth for the hosts and Robinson’s penalty on 65 minutes was a mere consolation for the visitors. 

The Braves will be looking to put this defeat straight to the back of their mind as they play host to Whitley Bay on Wednesday evening. 

It was an afternoon that started positively for the hosts, Michael Chilton’s effort was blocked by a last-ditch challenge before Robinson struck wide. 

However, with their first attack of the game, Knaresborough took the lead as Dan Thirkell’s free-kick was headed home by Cook at the front post. 

The hosts’ continued to look threatening going forward and after Garbutt doubled Town’s lead on eight minutes, he soon had a second, four minutes later. 

A foul on Coppen on the halfway line wasn’t given and Boro broke quickly, Garbutt was played through on goal and slotted the ball under the approaching ‘keeper. 

Before the game could restart, Coppen received a straight red card and the Braves faced an uphill battle, playing over 75 minutes with 10-men and three goals down. 

Garbutt forces Chris Bannon into making a good save on 21 minutes, but the striker soon had his hat-trick after some good build-up play.  

Worrell’s cross from the right was gathered by Garbutt, who controlled the ball in the penalty area before curling across goal and into the far corner. 

Worrell’s free-kick from the right curled into the penalty area, caught Bannon off-guard, and bounced off the crossbar before Blyth scrambled the ball clear. 

At the other end, the visitors struck the bar themselves after Taylor’s great strike and Chilton couldn’t direct his header, from the rebound, goalwards. 

Blyth’s shape changed at the break, and they went close to getting themselves on the scoresheet when Taylor’s long-range effort was saved and Robinson glanced a header inches over the bar. 

Knaresborough all but wrapped up the game just after the hour mark when substitute Bromley fired into the bottom corner. 

At 5-0 down, Blyth then made a double substitution, and within a minute of that, Robinson won a penalty for his team after being tripped up in the area. 

Captain Robinson stepped up and hammered the ball home for his second FA Cup goal of the season. 

The midfielder was denied by two brilliant saves in the final eight minutes of the game, but the final whistle blew shortly after and Blyth’s first FA Cup journey was over. 

Knaresborough Town: Corbett, Thirkell, Kidd, Parkes, Anderson, Cook, Cohen (Carlton, 70), Worrell (Wilson, 70), Heath (Bromley, 50), Walker, Garbutt 

Subs Not Used: Rushworth, Donnelly 

Blyth AFC: Bannon, McFarlane, Walker, Forster (Gillesphey, 87), Coppen, Tumilty, McRoberts, Chilton (Williamson, 64), Wilson (Hudson, 64), Robinson, Taylor 

Subs Not Used: Antony, Henderson 

Goals: 1-0, 4 min, Thirkell; 2-0, 8 min, Garbutt; 3-0, 12 min, Garbutt; 4-0, 33 min, Garbutt; 5-0, 61 min, Bromley; 5-1, 65 min, Robinson (Pen) 

Referee: Chris Keightley 

Assistants: Dane McCarrick and Kierran Corrigan 

Attendance: 165 

Photo: Chris Chambers/CJC Photo