New Frickley Athletic manager Lee Morris watched on as the Blues were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first qualifying round stage.
Former Blues player Morris was appointed on Friday and chose to watch his new charges from the stands as they took on noted cup battlers Blyth Spartans
Frickley, who had lost their first six games this season, produced an improved display as the players looked to impress their new boss, but they could not turn their fortunes round as they went down 3-1.
Two goals in five second half minutes effectively sealed the game for the home side despite some spirited resistance from Frickley.
Jon Hood and Mick Thompson again took charge of the Blues side and came up with a 5-3-2 formation after being hit by late disappointing withdrawals from Greg Pearson and Joel Purkiss.
New boy from the Barnsley FC academy Sam Hanna lined up in defence while Carl Hinsley made his debut up front. Dan Palmer was drafted in from Frickley under 19s’ academy, but was an unused substitute.
Frickley came under big pressure early on and were indebted to keeper Sebastian Malkowski as he rushed to clear the first danger as Daniel Maguire looked to get on the end of a long ball over the top then made a good save from Matthew Wade’s header.
Carl Hinsley had a chance for the Blues, but the sting was taken out of his angled shot by a good block from home defender Ryan Hutchinson and was comfortably saved by Adam McHugh.
Blyth got back on top, but Malkowski single handedly kept the hosts at bay with a string of fine saves and it remained goalless up to the break.
Spartans finally broke the deadlock nine minutes into the second half as Stephen Turnbull’s cross was tapped in by Sean Reid.
A carbon copy move four minutes later then saw Reid make it two.
To their credit, the Blues did not give up, however, and hit back nine minutes from time when Nathan Curtis struck with a screamer of a shot into the top corner from distance. The fantastic effort even drew applause from the home fans.
The Blues threw caution to the wind in an attempt to find an equaliser, but they were undone in the dying seconds as Blyth broke and Maguire rounded Malkowski to seal their place in the next round.
Frickley: Malkowski, Parkinson, Grant, Waters, Gooda, Hanna, L Hinsley, Ackroyd (Burton), Valentine, Curtis, C Hinsley (Williams).