Phil Turnbull believes losing 7-0 was better than his twin brother Stephen’s FA Cup heartache

AGONY ... Blyth Spartans' Stephen Turnbull is tackled by Birmingham City's Nikola Zigic.
AGONY ... Blyth Spartans' Stephen Turnbull is tackled by Birmingham City's Nikola Zigic.

PHIL Turnbull insists he’d rather have lost 7-0 than suffer the agony of coming as close as his twin brother Stephen did to a huge FA Cup giantkilling act.

The South Shields duo both bowed out of the FA Cup at the weekend with Gateshead and Blyth Spartans as the class of their opponents West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City proved too much for them in the end.

Phil’s Gateshead were thumped 7-0 by Premier League side West Brom, having more than matched their illustrious rivals for the majority of the first half.

But he says the hurt he felt at losing heavily was nothing compared to the pain of brother Stephen, whose Blyth side had looked like causing a huge upset against Championship outfit Birmingham when they led 2-0 at half-time at Croft Park thanks to a brace from Robbie Dale.

But Brum came storming back in the second half and three goals in six minutes earned them a 3-2 win.

Phil said: “Stephen was absolutely devastated.

“Even though it was a bit of an embarrassing scoreline, I said that I would rather lose 7-0 than lose 3-2 after being 2-0 up.

“We can write our game off but he knows they threw a great chance away.

“We didn’t really have any hope left at half-time in our game, but Blyth knew they had a chance if they could just see the game out.

“We sat together and watched Match of the Day on Saturday night and both of us said that Birmingham’s goals were too easy.”

The 27-year-old twins have enoyed a week in the spotlight, with national press, radio and TV landing on the doortsetp of the flat they share to interview them about their remarkable story.

But now it’s back to the ‘bread and butter’ of league football, with Conference side Gateshead hosting Woking on Wednesday, while Evo-Stick league outfit Blyth re the lowest-ranked side left in the FA Cup – trvelling to Frickley tomorrow.

Phil added: “It’s been brilliant for us two. We’ve had a bit of spotlight individually in the past but this time we’ve both been able to enjoy it together.

“It’s been non-stop, and it’s a shame it’s over now.”

Twitter: @rossgregory9