Another Pointer to Blyth’s Survival

The points are accumulating but are they coming thick and fast enough to stave off relegation for Blyth Spartans? Another point from the fourth game in succession, this time at Tamworth on Saturday, can be interpreted as solid form or, alternatively, too little to late.

Blyth manager Harry Dunn was appropriately ambiguous in his post match thoughts.
“Bearing mind Tamworth are in second place in the League and we’re second off bottom I would have taken a point before kick off” he suggested. “However I actually see it as two points lost. We could have won the game but at least we didn’t lose it and our little unbeaten run continues.
“Their boss, Gary Mills, thought we battled really hard and he couldn’t see us going down with that kind of performance.”

Dunn revealed that his side chose to play with the wind at their backs and up the slope in the first half when containment was paramount.
“Being in the position they’re in we expected some pressure so the main thing was to get to half time at least on level terms and then be in a position to see if we could get anything after the break.
“To be honest they produced very little with almost no attacking prowess at all and we dealt with them comfortably, defending well when we had to and breaking away on occasions.”
Tamworth only produced one effort of note in the first period while Marc Walton and Robbie Dale always looked capable of making something happen for the Spartans at the other end.

Blyth could have expected Mills to give The Lambs a lambasting at halftime but his side started the second half as meek and mild as they had been in the first.
It was the Spartans who looked more positive and it was no more than they deserved when midfielder Chris McCabe scored within ten minutes of the restart. It took a wonderful dipping free kick by Tamworth’s experienced forward Gareth Sheldon to bring the hosts back on level terms eleven minutes later.
Dunn commented “It was a shame we couldn’t have held our lead for another quarter of an hour or so because I think they had run out of ideas and with the crowd possibly getting on their backs we may have gone on to win. Having said that when Stuart Banks came on for the final few minutes we looked dangerous and we could have sneaked it.”

It was a purposeful performance from Blyth against surprisingly ineffectual opposition and it sets them up nicely for the next two challenges. Fourth placed AFC Telford visit Croft Park this Tuesday and then Stafford Rangers come north this weekend.
Dunn is hoping Robbie Dale, who was taken off at Tamworth with a knee injury, and New Zealander Adrian Webster, who suffered a jarred knee in the same game, will be fit for Tuesday. He also expects young strikers Shaun Reay and Ged Dalton to be available too.
Dunn is aiming to pick up at least four points from the two games to keep his side’s momentum going.
“Telford are in the middle of a two legged FA Trophy semi-final and are missing a couple of players while Stafford have had financial troubles but it is in our hands to apply ourselves properly and go out there to win” he said.

They may be struggling to achieve victories but the evidence from recent matches is that the fighting spirit is back and, should he have a full squad available, Dunn can continue to steer his Spartans side to safety.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team