FA Cup: Blyth Spartans' magic runs out; West Brom routs Gateshead
LONDON (AP) — West Brom thrashed fifth-tier Gateshead 7-0 in Tony Pulis' first game as manager in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, while seventh-tier Blyth surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against second-division Birmingham.
Striker Saido Berahino fired four goals at The Hawthorns for West Brom, including a hat trick in 11 minutes.
He volleyed the opener into the roof of the net in the 42nd, curled a tremendous shot beyond goalkeeper Adam Bartlett in the 46th, and completed his treble in the 53rd when he converted a cross from Chris Baird.
Berahino got his fourth in the last minute after Chris Brunt, Victor Anichebe and James Morrison added their names onto the scoresheet in a ruthless display from the Premier League side.
"Until the first goal went in, we looked a little bit nervous," Pulis said, before heaping praise on Berahino. "He's obviously a very, very talented kid. I am looking forward to working with him."
In a competition renowned for lower-league sides emerging victorious, Blyth looked set to overcome a five-tier difference and cause the upset of the day against Birmingham when captain Robbie Dale scored twice in six first-half minutes.
More than 3,600 were packed into Blyth's park, and they gave their team a standing ovation at halftime, with the prospect of making the fourth round for only the second time in their 116-year history.
Then Birmingham exceeded Blyth's quick double-strike with three goals in six minutes in the second half to win the tie.
"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," Blyth manager Tom Wade said.
Dale, a barman in a side which also featured a taxi driver and plumber, wasn't looking forward to working on Sunday.
"I am due to open up at half past 11 on Sunday morning," Dale said. "I asked the gaffer (manager) if I could do a shorter shift because I didn't know what mood I will be in today. (But) after a couple of goals I am planning to have a good night."
Elsewhere, Swansea avoided embarrassment by routing fourth-tier Tranmere 6-2, with Bafetimbi Gomis spearheading its attack with two goals.
Leicester beat fellow Premier League side Newcastle 1-0. A first-half header from forward Leonardo Ulloa was the difference.