Goals from Fabien Robert and Lucas Tomlinson weren’t enough for City to claim all three points against Blyth Spartans as the Tigers succumbed to a late equaliser.
Blyth had taken the lead in the first half and it wasn’t until the 82nd minute when City drew level, and then went ahead just seconds later. But Blyth’s late goal put a dampener on proceedings on City’s final match of the season.
Lee Mansell opted to bring Paolo Martinez and Matt Green back into the starting XI, and Academy players Jack Hill and Lewis Derrick once again made the bench.
Blyth took the lead after twelve minutes when Connor Thomson beat Wiles-Richards to the ball after Deverdics had played him in. City tried to make an immediate response but Tomlinson couldn’t find enough power when the ball dropped to him from a corner. Clear cut opportunities were few and far between as the visitors comfortably dealt with City’s succession of corners to go in ahead at the break.
Louis Hall made way for Danny King at half time, but the Tigers saw little of the ball for the opening exchanges of the second half until the ball was judged to have touched a Blyth hand in the box and the referee pointed to the spot for the first time at the TigerTurf stadium this season.
Kevin Dawson stepped up in front of the T-End but his effort crashed against the crossbar and it seemed that it wasn’t going to be City’s day. As Blyth’s Robbie Dale was subbed on to make his 721st appearance, Mansell looked to turn the game in City’s favour by bringing Jack Hill and Fabien Robert on for Martinez and Hulbert.
Once again the subs were to change the match for City, but not before Wiles-Richards produced the first of two outstanding saves to deny Blyth. Then in the 82nd minute Jack Hill’s overlapping run and low cross was met by Fabien Robert for his fifth goal of the season to pull City level.
Less than a minute later City were in front, this time Dawson was the provider from the right and Lucas Tomlinson netted for the second match in a row. It looked to be going City’s way when Wiles-Richards signed off his superb loan spell with another stunning stop, but it was City’s turn to be on the end of an injury time equaliser when O’Donnell made it two a piece.
City: Wiles-Richards, Leadbitter, James, Harrison, Martinez (sub Hill), Hall (sub King), Tomlinson, Dawson, O’Sullivan, Hulbert (sub Robert), Green
Subs not used: Armstrong, Derrick
MOTM: Kevin Dawson