Blyth Spartans 4 Hyde United 3 (Match Reaction)

It was a case of ‘seven up’ at Croft Park, Blyth on Saturday. The Spartans moved up two places in the Blue Square North table, from seventh bottom before the game against Hyde, broke their run of seven games without a win and that in a game featuring seven goals.

A 4-3 win for Blyth, although tight at the end, was enough for the Spartans manager Mick Tait.
“We just needed to win after recent games and especially our very poor showing last week when we went down 3-0 to Gloucester. We owed our supporters a win after that disappointment,” he said.
“Although we were hanging on bit at the end after Robbie Dale had been sent off we actually dominated overall and could have won by a much bigger margin.”

After a soporific first fifteen minutes the game sprang to life with a goal from Michael Tait following an exquisite exchange between right back Stephen Harrison and Ian Graham which resulted in a perfect cross from Harrison which Tait met in his stride to side foot past Halstead in the visitors’ goal.
Tait was on hand again within four minutes, this time running on to a Dale cross and using his left foot to poke the ball home.
Blyth forward Paul Brayson came close to extending the lead on two occasions before, on the stroke of half time, he stabbed home a Dale cross from the left after deft play by the Spartans’ wide man.
Stephen Turnbull then had a shot parried away by Halstead as Blyth threatened to run riot.

“We could well have gone in at half time 5-0 up,” suggested Tait. “We played some really good football with more confidence than of late. We did exactly what we talked about in the dressing room before the game – moving the ball about quickly and purposefully – something we didn’t do in the Gloucester game. We played without the fear which we showed in that match.”

Hyde started the second half with a sense of purpose missing from their earlier performance and it was no surprise that within eight minutes they had pulled a goal back through McNiven. The former Oldham Athletic played finished a flowing move which was either excellent, or poor, football depending on how you saw it.
As Tait said, “It must have looked great to Hyde but it was disappointing to me. They simply tore through us and ended up playing two or three passes with ease around our box when we really should have been able to get a tackle in.”

Five minutes later Dale was again the supplier when his corner was headed home by centre back Richard Pell but Hyde would not go missing with McNiven on hand once more to make it 4-2 within two minutes.
The move resulted from a questionable decision when Neal Hooks, the Spartans midfielder, was adjudged to have handled the ball when it actually appeared to have struck his stomach.

Within a minute the balance of the game changed again when Dale was dismissed for a foul challenge.
Tait was measured in his reaction saying, “We all make mistakes – managers, players and referees but I just thought it was a strong tackle by Robbie and that he won the ball as clean as a whistle.”
However the referee’s strident whistle was a clear indication that he had seen the incident differently. The production of his red card simply confirmed the matter.
“Fair play to the ref though,” said Tait “He said if the dvd of the game proves him wrong he’d hold his hands up.”
Dale himself, who hasn’t been cautioned never mind sent off, this season was disbelieving commenting, “The kid said didn’t even know he’d been tackled!”

Hyde closed the gap even more when, with a quarter of an hour to go, Lynch pulled the score back to 4-3.
Tait was unimpressed – “A miss-hit corner followed by a mistimed header and somehow the ball found its way into the net!”

At that point Tait brought on John Alexander for Paul Brayson.
He explained, “Brayson is our goalscorer but in the circumstances we were down to ten men and under the cash so I hoped we could get the ball out of our half and over the top for John to chase. As it turned out we tended to drop the ball short. The theory was right but it just didn’t quite happen.”

However the rearguard action was enough to see the Spartans through with three points in the bag.
If it did not quite leave Tait in ‘seventh heaven’ it was surely sufficient to bring him some satisfaction and relief.

Blyth’s next home game is on Tuesday 13th April when they host Gainsborough Trinity.

Posted by BSAFC Media Team