Blyth Spartans 2 Gainsborough Trinity 1 (Match report)

Attendance – 391

Blyth Spartans –
Mark Bell, Stephen Harrison, Gareth Williams, Michael Tait, Stephen Foster, Richard Pell, Neal Hooks, Stephen Turnbull, Paul Brayson, Ian Graham, Rob Dale
Subsnot used – Richard Slaughter, Darren Craddock, John Alexander + Jack Norton

Gainsborough Trinity –
Philip Barnes, Ryan Toulson, Mark Robinson, Ashley Burbeary, Wesley Parker, James Hunt, Darren Williams, Darryn Stamp, Lewis Mcmahon, Luke Becket (sub Gareth Grant 70 mins), Nathan Peat
Subs-Andrew Boyce, Mark Greaves, Joshua Davies, Luke Herriott

Blyth Spartans are in with a chance of finishing in the top half of Blue Square North after last night’s victory over Gainsborough Trinity at Croft Park.

Both sides are just below the midway mark and before the game, Spartans were only a point ahead of their rivals.

The match had all the makings of a close encounter and the prediction was spot-on with Blyth coming from behind to take all three points, but only a superb stoppage- time save by Mark Bell from Mark Robinson kept them ahead.

Mick Tait’s side made the running from the start and Ian Graham worked himself into a good position only to be crowded out when he was about to get in his shot.

Graham was back again to test goalkeeper Philip Barnes. Michael Tait found Robbie Dale on the right and his superb pass from flank to flank opened up the opportunity for Stephen Turnbull before Graham’s close-range effort was blocked.

It was nearly all Blyth and Stephen Foster released Graham but this time his volley cleared the woodwork.

Little had been seen of the visitors’ attack but in a rare raid, only a superb tackle by Pell prevented Darren Williams from challenging Bell’s goal.

Two minutes before the interval, Gainsborough went in front against the run of play. Referee Mr Tony Peart awarded a penalty and McMahon sent Bell the wrong way.

Almost immediately Blyth levelled. A corner from the right by Dale was flicked across the goalmouth by Paul Brayson and Tait found the net at the far post.

Tait had the chance to double his team’s advantage early in the second period, but was denied by Barnes, who soon afterwards turned another goalbound effort from Tait around the post.

Neal Hooks dragged his shot wide and it took a penalty for Blyth to turn their undoubted supremacy into account.

Wesley Parker was adjudged to have fouled Brayson, who stepped forward to convert the spot kick for his 25th goal of the season.

With 10 minutes remaining Gainsborough were reduced to 10 men with the dismissal of Darren Williams. He was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Graham after earlier being cautioned for dissent. The drama was not over, however, and deep into stoppage time only Bell’s heroics prevented Gainsborough from claiming what would have been an undeserved equaliser.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team