Steve Cuggy, manager of Blue Square North Blyth Spartans put down not picking up three points in his side’s home game with Colwyn Bay on Saturday to a “freak goal”.
To add insult to injury the incident happened during added time at the end of the game with his side two goals to one up.
It needn’t have been that way if the Spartans had taken their chances earlier in the game, especially during the first half.
Within the first five minutes new striker Jamie Mole shot in to the side netting but only three minutes later Colwyn Bay defender Mike Lea inadvertently deflected a Neal Hooks cross in to his own net.
Following that Graeme Armstrong and Wayne Phillips had chance to extend Blyth’s lead.
Cuggy was able to take some positives from the missed efforts: “Four weeks ago we were creating chances and losing games so at least we are still creating opportunities and at the weekend got a draw. Plus our shots were mainly on target, making the goalkeeper work”.
Blyth paid the price for their profligacy when Colwyn Bay equalised through Karl Noon five minutes before the break. There were calls from the crowd for offside but Cuggy was quite relaxed about the incident saying: “I thought it was offside too but the assistant referee said Noon was ‘miles on-side’. He was categorical about it and as he had the best view I will go along with what he said”.
After the break Blyth resumed the game off the pace and giving the ball away too easily.
Cuggy commented:” We were good in the first half up to the forty minute mark and then conceded so it is just human nature to be on a bit of a downer after that but we did get ourselves back in to the game as the second half progressed and we went on to finish the stronger team”.
Lee Mason, who was causing the visitors problems with his pace and direct style, went off injured early in the second period having kicked the studs of an opponent and bruising his foot. He is, however, expected to be fit for the Spartans’ league game at Hyde on Monday night.
Blyth went in to the lead on 61 minutes when Chris Emms put Jamie Mole through and the former Hearts player finish clinically from 25 yards. An unusually subdued Armstrong was immediately withdrawn being replaced with Richard Offiong.
Cuggy explained:”Graeme wasn’t as strong as he can be because he hasn’t been putting in many full 90 minutes recently but he is only going to get better and better.”
The game had been tetchy almost from the start but the final quarter took it on to new levels, accompanied by some erratic refereeing.
New boy Colwyn boss Jon Newby has only been in charge of the team for a matter of days but when he chose to bring himself on with five minutes remaining he was destined to grab a late equaliser for his team.
The ‘freak goal’ as Cuggy called it came from an attempted clearance by defender Ritchie Slaughter which hit Emms and fell in Newby’s path for him to scramble the ball home past Blyth goalkeeper David Knight.
Despite admitting that his side had lost two points in the game Cuggy remained upbeat: “It would be easy to get downhearted but we are a different proposition to what we were three or four weeks ago. We have spirit and fight and have added quality to our squad. People shouldn’t judge us until Christmas when we hope to be out of the bottom three and continuing to improve.”