Saturday 11th July 2009
BLYTH SPARTANS: Mark Bell (Ali Henderson 69); Ben Christiansen (Keiron Wrightson), John Brackstone (Michael Tait), Gareth Williams (Steven Collins), Joe Tait, Darren Craddock (Richard Forster HT), Chris McCabe (Shaun Reay HT), Steven Turnbull, Robbie Dale (Adrian Webster HT), Ian Graham (Josh Gillies), Michael Tait (Stuart Bath)
Spartans started their pre-season preparations against Scottish First Division side Dunfermline Athletic at Croft Park on Saturday. It’s the first time that the ‘Pars’ had played a game in England for over 20 years, as they normally prepare overseas – but the credit crunch is hitting Scottish football hard.
The Spartans had an early let off when Athletics Nick Phinn broke into the Blyth box and possibly too early for the ref, a worthy appeal for a penalty was rejected when the Pars man was up ended just inside the far side of the box.
The visitors took the lead on 12th minutes. Andy Kirk sent the ball to Graham on the right side of the box and his pass found Graham Bayne who shot past Marc Bell.
Spartans nearly equalised only 2 minutes later, a 30 yard effort from Rob Dale clipping the cross bar with keeper Greg Patterson beaten.
Chris McCabe went close with a header from Steve Turnbull’s inch perfect centre only to see it go over the bar.
Then in the 20th minute the visitors increased their lead. Willie Gibson getting onto a centre from Greg Ross to score at the far post.
Spartans pulled a goal back with 6 minutes to the break. A through pass from Turnbull towards manager’s son Michael Tait saw defender Greg Ross intercept the ball but played the ball back past his own keeper.
Within two minutes Blyth had it back on level terms. A free kick 25 yards on the right side and captain Gareth Williams stepped up to send the ball over the four man wall and into the right side of the net as Paterson stood rooted to the spot.
Dunfermline retook the lead with 20 minutes remaining. A hand ball on the line by a Spartans defender saw Kirk make no mistake from the spot. With 10 minutes remaining Bayne scored again from a McDougall centre.