Dale back to day job

Published: Saturday 3rd January 2015 by The News Editor

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Blyth Spartans captain Robbie Dale will head straight back to his bar job after coming so close to serving up another FA Cup fairytale for the non-league side against Championship Birmingham at Croft Park.

Dale scored twice in the first half to give his side a dream advantage before three goals in 12 minutes after the break helped Gary Rowett’s men narrowly avoid embarrassment.

Dale works at the Blacksmith’s pub in nearby Gosforth and revealed: “I am due to open up at half past eleven on Sunday morning.

“I asked the gaffer if I could do a shorter shift because I don’t know what mood I will be in today and after a couple of goals I am planning to have a good night.”

Spartans recent cup run suggested they would fancy their chances against their illustrious opponents and after surviving two early chances for Blues’ striker Nikola Zigic they seized control of the game.

Dale swept home a 35th minute opener after a cross by second round hero Jarrett Rivers, then belted the second from the edge of the box to send the majority in the 4,400-capacity crowd wild with delight.

Spartans boss Tom Wade said: “It’s a proud day for Blyth as a club and a town and days like today just underline to me how much of a pleasure it is being manager of such a great club.

“Obviously we’re disappointed but if someone had said before the game we were going to lose 3-2 and have a chance in the final minute we might have taken it.

“I thought we deserved to win it but they had 12 minutes of total dominance and that made the difference in the end.”

Lee Novak sparked Birmingham’s revival before two goals in as many minutes by Wesley Thomas turned the game on its head.

Blues boss Gary Rowett paid tribute to Blyth, saying: “I thought they were absolutely brilliant and this is what the FA Cup is about – a team from down the non-league pyramid having a day like this.

“We had a goal chalked off and Zigic missed a simple chance so you could argue we might have been two goals ahead but their goals were good goals from their point of view.

“I hoped our experience would tell and I didn’t need to give them a rocket at half time. I didn’t throw anything and I was quite placid. To be honest, the players gave themselves a rocket and you saw the result.”

Published: Saturday 3rd January 2015 by The News Editor

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