By Andrew McDonnell (@AndrewSJourno)
Blyth AFC were made to rue their missed chances as Adam Laidler struck late to give Heaton Stannington a 1-0 win at Grounsell Park.
The Braves were the better side through the first 45 minutes, but their missed chance come back to haunt them on 76 minutes.
A mistake at the back was capitalised on and Matthew Shaftoe found Laidler, who rifled home from inside the area.
Blyth look to bounce back on Wednesday night against Ryton and Crawcrook Albion before their FA Vase tie against West Allotment Celtic.
Mick Connor and Andy Bowman’s side come into the game having beaten Bedlington Terriers on Bank Holiday Monday and started the better.
Liam Gillesphey’s corner was headed back across goal and wide by Jack Errington after just four minutes.
The hosts had their first opening on 12 minutes as Alistair Stoddart’s ball was latched on by Gary Yates, who was closed down by Chris Bannon before the Braves cleared their lines.
Dean Deagle stopped a certain goal two minutes later, his last-ditch challenge blocked Gary Day’s effort.
Bobby Taylor’s shot on 22 minutes deflected off a Stan defender and forced Matthew Smith into making a low save.
Blyth closed out the half strongly, Taylor’s curled effort was saved by Smith before the visitors came within inches of breaking the deadlock.
Andrew Bulford found G.Day inside, and the striker helped the ball on to Taylor, who was on the edge of the area and he curls inches wide of the post.
Yates should have put the hosts ahead in the second minute of additional time, he was unmarked in the area and volleyed over the bar.
The Braves started the second half well, Sean McRobert’s was denied by a fine save from the ‘keeper and Gillesphey reacted quickly, but headed wide.
Matthew Tumilty directed a header over the bar moments later, before McRoberts went close once more just after the hour mark.
Bannon denied Daniel Robinson with his feet before substitute Abobaker Salim rifled over the bar from 25-yards.
Michael Tait’s effort on 74 minutes looked to be heading into the top corner, but Smith produced another brilliant save to push the ball over the bar.
The hosts struck a decisive blow, 14 minutes from time, as a mistake at the back was capitalised on, and Laidler lashed home from just outside the area.
Substitute Zak Atkinson had his shot saved by Smith, before Tait struck wide in the fourth minute of additional time and the full-time whistle went shortly after.
Heaton Stannington: Smith, Stoddart, Dixon, Ray (Salim, 66), Deagle, Imray, Holland, Johnson, Yates (Shaftoe, 76), Robinson (Watchman, 78), Laidler
Subs Not Used: McCarthy
Blyth AFC: Bannon, Oliver, Sayer, Gillesphey (Richardson, 61), Errington, Tumilty, McRoberts, Robinson, Bulford (Tait, 61), G.Day (Atkinson, 76), Taylor
Subs Not Used: J.Day, Middleton
Goals: 1-0, 76 min, Laidler
Referee: Charlie Ford
Assistants: Ben Claxton and Liam Lacy