Blyth Spartans v Harrogate Town (Match Preview)

BLUE SQUARE BET NORTH
Venue: Croft Park, Blyth (NE24 3JE)
Date: Monday August 29, 2011
Kick Off: 3pm
Score Updates: Official Blyth Spartans Twitter feed, Koast Radio

Admission Details:

Adults – £10.00 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)
Concessions – £5.50 (£1.00 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)
Under 10’s – Free if accompanied by an adult (£0.50 extra in ‘Port of Blyth’ Stand)

Programme – £2

GROUND DIRECTIONS

Available here

Sat-Navs: The postcode for the stadium is NE24 3JE.

TEAM NEWS

Shaun Vipond is now the only injured absentee in Blyth Spartans’ squad and is still a couple of weeks away from recovery.

Meanwhile, ex-Spartan Michael Tait misses out on a return to Croft Park, after starting a three-match ban for a sending off on his debut for Harrogate Town.

Latest starting line-ups:

Blyth Spartans (0-2 v Gainsborough Trinity, August 27): Hunter, Groves, Cave, Purvis, Jones (Atkin), Buchanan, Taylor, Hooks, Armstrong, Emms (Slaughter), Phillips (Bannister).

Harrogate Town (0-2 v Boston United, August 27): Cook, Wilson, Radcliffe, Nowakowski (Hardy), Picton, Heckingbottom, Bore, Turnbull, Brayson, Hassan (Turl), Elam (Ross). Subs not used: Pell, Bloomer

MATCH PREVIEW

Blyth will hope for a change in fortune in the second part of their Bank holiday weekend, when they entertain Harrogate Town on Monday.

Spartans lost 2-0 away at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday, making it back-to-back defeats for the Croft Park residents, and they will look to end their losing streak against a group of former players.

Blyth welcome back Paul Brayson and Stephen Turnbull for their first games against the club, since their departures over the summer. Richard Pell will also make another return, while Michael Tait is suspended.

Current Spartans Graeme Armstrong, Wayne Phillips and Chris Emms will also be looking to come out on top against their former club when the two sides clash.

IN THE OPPOSING DUGOUT

Simon Weaver

Began his career as an apprentice with Sheffield Wednesday, during which time he had a loan spell with hometown club Doncaster Rovers in February 1997.

Released by Wednesday, he moved into the non-league circuit with first Ilkeston Town and then Nuneaton Borough.

Further spells at Lincoln, Kidderminster Harriers, York City, Boston United, Redditch United and Ilkeston Town followed, before he joined Harrogate as a player-manager in 2009.

His first season in charge did not go well and Harrogate finished bottom of the Blue Square North, being saved from relegation only by a repreive, due to Northwich Victoria’s demotion due to financial issues.

DANGER MAN

Callum Hassan

Hassan has been signed on a one month loan from Hartlepool United.

The 18-year-old is a big and strong bustling forward, but he has yet to make his first team debut for Hartlepool, but he did score three times during the League One side’s pre-season friendlies, including one at Croft Park in Pool’s 3-1 victory.

MATCH FACTS

Blyth Spartans:

–    In total, Blyth have only held a lead for just over 45 minutes in their five games so far – after Neal Hooks scored in first half added time against Bishop’s Stortford (Spartans went on to win 3-1.)
–    Have conceded first in each of their games so far.
–    Centre back Wayne Buchanan is two games away from making 50 appearances for Spartans, since he joined the club last summer.

Harrogate Town:

–    Harrogate are currently 13th in the Blue Square North, with seven points from their first five games.
–    They have not beaten Spartans since their 4-3 victory in January 2009, and have only picked up one point in the last four meetings between the two sides.
–    Harrogate have won one from two away from home this season, with a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Stalybridge Celtic followed by a 2-1 triumph over Hinckley United.

LAST TIME WE MET

Harrogate Town 2-2 Blyth Spartans (Tuesday March 8, 2011)
Blue Square North.
Attendance: 225

Previous Clashes

2010/2011 – Conference North – Harrogate Town 2-2 Blyth Spartans (Turnbull, White)

2010/2011 – Conference North – Blyth Spartans 1-0 Harrogate Town (Brayson pen)

2009/2010 – Conference North – Harrogate Town 2-5 Blyth Spartans (Brayson 3, Dale, Tait)

2009/2010 – Conference North – Blyth Spartans 1-0 Harrogate Town (McCabe)

2008/2009 – Conference North – Blyth Spartans 3-4 Harrogate Town (Dale, Reay 2)

2008/2009 – Conference North – Harrogate Town 3-1 Blyth Spartans (A Gildea)

2007/2008 – Conference North – Harrogate Town 0-1 Blyth Spartans (P Bell)

2007/2008 – Conference North – Blyth Spartans 0-1 Harrogate Town

2006/2007 – Setanta Shield – Harrogate Town 3-2 Blyth Spartans (McCabe, Christensen)

2008/2009 – Conference North – Blyth Spartans 0-0 Harrogate Town

2008/2009 – Conference North – Harrogate Town 1-2 Blyth Spartans (S Bell 2)

MUTUAL FRIENDS

Glen Robson – (Blyth Spartans: 1999-2003) – Spartans Hall of Famer
Wayne Phillips – (Blyth Spartans: 2003-2005, 2011-present)
Graeme Armstrong (Blyth Spartans: 2011-present)
Chris Emms (Blyth Spartans: 2011-present)
Paul Brayson (Blyth Spartans: 2009-2011)
Richard Pell (Blyth Spartans: 2008-2010)
Stephen Turnbull (Blyth Spartans: 2009-2011)
Michael Tait (Blyth Spartans: 2009-2011)
Shaun Reay (Blyth Spartans: 2008-2009)

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: G Hart
Assistants: D Carratt & S Royston

BLUE SQUARE BET MATCH ODDS

Blyth Spartans win: 6/4
Draw:13/5
Harrogate Town win:11/8

Posted by Glen Maxwell