Blyth Spartans 6-2 Stafford Rangers

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Blyth Spartans 6-2 Stafford Rangers
Saturday 11th January 2014
Croft Park
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Att: 315

On a freezing January day there was an avalanche at Croft Park and it was Stafford Rangers who were caught cold. However there is nothing cold about Spartans striker Dan Maguire who is in red hot form right now. The former Seaton Delaval hitman notched his first hat-trick to make it ten goals in his last six Croft Park appearances as Spartans maintained their play off push with a comfortable win over a beleaguered Rangers side.

With midfielders Paul Robinson and Craig Hubbard unavailable due to suspensions Tom Wade chose to bring Ian Watson and Lewis Horner back into his starting lineup.

There have been many remarkable moments at Croft Park this season but the first twenty minutes of this game just about topped the lot. Within six minutes Spartans had the lead through a quite simply wonderful goal from Maguire. It was as cheeky as it was sublime with the in form striker collecting a pinpoint through ball from Ian Watson before spinning in behind the back four with an intricate first touch. By now he was in on goal and with Rangers keeper Jon Brain advancing Maguire dinked the ball over the former Carlisle United stopper and into the net.

Boosting by an all too rare early goal Spartans were in full flow and doubled their lead three minutes later. A delicate touch from Matthew Wade released Maguire in on goal in the left hand side of the area. Giving the keeper “the eyes” Maguire rolled the ball confident past Brain at his near post.

A hat-trick for Maguire seemed inevitable and after scoring braces on numerous occasions he finally sealed his first treble for the club with another deadly finish. Credit though must go to right back Nathan Buddle as his perfectly weighted long pass released Maguire beyond Darren Chadwick. Steadying himself by controlling with his chest Maguire then fired a lethal volley across goal and into the far corner. A hat-trick as deadly as it was stunning.

With one first out of the way another was promptly cleared with Ian Watson notching his maiden strike for Spartans to round off a remarkable opening spell. There were just twenty two minutes on the clock when the former Whitley Bay man broke into the area and played the ball to Matthew Wade. He scuffed a shot but Rangers defender Alex Melbourne made a hash of the clearance slicing it towards his own goal. That left Watson with a simple point blank header and he made no mistake.

A shellshocked Rangers side finally got a chance just after the half hour mark as Andrew Griffiths lashed an unstoppable effort from twenty yards. Michal Misiewicz could only watch the ball sail beyond him but was relieved to see it crash off the crossbar. The final chance of the half fell to Spartans but Neal Hooks could only volley just wide of the near post after yet more good work from Maguire. Spartans went into the interval with a four goal lead and Croft Park looked back upon a remarkable first half.

A understandably quiet opening to the second half followed and it took until the hour mark for the next chance. With that came the next goal and after his recent good form it was Robbie Dale who got on the score sheet. Maguire released Hooks on the edge of the box and the midfielder unselfishly played Dale in on the left hand side of the area. The winger took one touch inside Melbourne before crashing into the far corner for his sixth goal of the season.

With just over twenty minutes left the visitors finally got on the score sheet. The unfortunate Nathan Buddle diverted a Louis Harris cross into his own net although to be fair to the former Hartlepool United defender if he hadn’t done so Rangers striker Karl Ashton certainly would have. Just four minutes later they pulled another goal back with a quite frankly wonderful strike from Andrew Griffiths. Some hard work from Daniel Cope saw him roll the ball back to Griffiths who struck first time at goal from all of twenty yards and into the top left hand corner of Misiewicz’s net.

The final word went to Spartans and on a day where they played some fantastic football it’s seemed only too right. A Maguire corner from the right hand side found it’s way to Matthew Wade. The midfielder held off the challenge of Darren Chadwick before spinning on the ball and rifling into the top corner of the net from twelve yards. It was a goal that summed up an amazing game that warmed even the coldest of bodies at Croft Park.

Spartans Man of the Match: Dan Maguire

Blyth Spartans: Misiweicz, Buddle, Parker, Purewal(Cummings 66), Kendrick, Hooks(Mullen 70), Horner, Wade, Dale, Maguire, Watson(Wearmouth 60) Subs not used: Grant, Wearmouth Scorers: Maguire 6, 10 and 16, Watson 22, Dale 61, Wade 89

Stafford Rangers: Brain, Melbourne, Davies, Chadwick, Johnson, Griffiths, Burke, Harris, Ashton(Kinsella 74), McCarthy, Lees(Cope 66) strong>Subs not used Healy, Curtis, Alcock Goalscorers Buddle o.g 68, Griffiths 72

Referee: Mr Hudson

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