Confident Spartans see off the Linnets

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cima-mip-logo-2.jpgKings Lynn Town 1-3 Blyth Spartans
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
The Walks
Saturday 28th March 2015
Attendance: 576

A confident performance from Blyth Spartans saw them make little of their long trek to Kings Lynn Town with a comfortable win, although for spells in the first half their hosts threatened to punish them. However, goals from Robbie Dale, Danny Parker and yet another goal for Dan Maguire sealed three valuable points for Tom Wade’s men.

Spartans made the perfect start and went ahead after just a minute. Alex Nicholson was played into the right side of the area by Michael Richardson and capitalised on the hesitancy of Linnets keeper Alex Street to loop a cross to the far post. That was met by a cool side foot volley from the unmarked Robbie Dale and he made no mistake from six yards.

That start could and should have got even better than perfect, if that is possible, as Dale nearly grabbed a second in the third minute as Richardson beat the offside trap and crossed for Dale but the winger couldn’t make a meaningful contact and a glorious chance went begging.

The hosts composed themselves after a nightmare start and should have grabbed an equaliser with their first chance of the game in the sixth minute. Jake Jones, who only returned to the Linnets from Halesowen Town on Monday, found some space twenty yards from goal and rolled the ball into the right hand side of the Spartans area but winger Stephen Spriggs could only send his first time effort horribly wide of Nick Thomson’s near post.

The hosts were given a golden chance to grab an equaliser in the sixteenth minute as Spartans conceded a penalty. A loose ball into the Spartans area was picked up on by Jones and after taking an excellent first touch was upended by a naive challenge from Ryan Hutchinson. Peter Winn stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Thomson the wrong way, only to see the ball come back off the keeper’s right hand upright.

There was a moment of controversy soon after the penalty miss as Dale contested a high ball with hosts defender Henry Eze, who seemed to catch the Spartans winger in the face with an elbow. The referee failed to award a free kick, but curiously did chose to speak to Eze without showing a card.

However, there was to be not let off in the twentieth minute as the home side did grab an equaliser. Winn was afforded too much time on the right hand side and took full advantage by curling a wonderful cross to the far post to find Jones, who marked his return to the Linnets by firing home from close range.

Bouyed by their equaliser Town came at Spartans again and should have grabbed the lead just before the half hour mark. Winn managed to squeeze a through ball in behind the Spartans back four to release Stevenson in on goal but the striker sent a low drive wide of Thomson’s far post as the keeper closed him down.

An action packed half continued to gather pace and Alex Nicholson almost put Spartans back in front with, what would have been, a genuine goal of the season contender. The full back skipped past four weak challenges in the Linnets area but could only poke a shot at goal that was comfortably dealt with by Street.

With just a minute to go until the break Jones had a great chance to double his own tally for the day and put his side into the lead. Again it was a cross from the right that caused the problems but this time it was Stephen Spriggs with the centre. Again Jones escaped the attentions of Nicholson at the far post but failed to make contact with the ball and was left to rue what was a fantastic opportunity at the half time break as the referee brought down the curtain on an action packed first half.

Spartans retook the lead just five minutes into the second half with a goal from Danny Parker. A corner from the right by Michael Richardson was met by the head of Matthew Wade at the far post. However the midfielder could only send the ball harmlessly wide of the near post, however as the ball seemed to be heading out of play it was retrieved by Danny Parker. The defender eased past a weak challenge from Conor Marshall and squeezed the ball just inside Street’s near post.

Spartans had Nick Thomson to thank for maintaining their lead shortly after Parker’s goal. A corner from the right fell to Stevenson on the far side of the Spartans area and the striker struck a rising volley that was expertly and acrobatically tipped over the bar by Thomson.

With ten minutes remaining Spartans extended their lead with another goal from the in-form Dan Maguire. A clearance from Linnets keeper Street held up in the wind and allowed Michael Richardson to send a powerful header in behind the hosts back four. That released Maguire in and goal and the striker blasted the ball left footed past the despairing dive of Street, who to be fair to him, got a touch to the ball but couldn’t prevent the ball from nestling in his far corner.

Moments after that goal Spartans were denied a certain penalty as Robbie Dale burst into the right hand side of the area and looked to play in Richardson, however the outstretched hand of Ryan Fryatt prevented the ball from reaching the former Newcastle United man but the referee waved away the vociferous protests of everyone in green and white.

The home side began to look disgruntled and Tom Wade’s side could have extended their lead twice before the full time whistle finally blew. Firstly, substitute Dan Hawkins found some room twenty yards from goal and struck a dipping volley that was spectacularly tipped over by Street. Moments later Maguire was sent in on goal and cut inside the challenge of Eze but found himself closed down by Street, who smothered the striker before he had a chance to get the shot away.

As referee Guest blew his whistle for full time he brought an end to a seriously impressive performance from Spartans. From back to front they looked alert, committed and most of all completely at ease with the style of play they are encouraged to play. Whether they are successful or not in their play off push even the most cynical member of the Green Army can’t help but acknowledge the progress made this season. The green shoots of something special are showing, it’s now time to build upon them, no matter what division the club are in next season.

Kings Lynn Town: Street, Stocker, Yong, Fryatt, Eze, Marshall, Spriggs (Zielonka 70), Bridges (Mulready 70), Winn, Stevenson, Jones Subs not used: Ramm, Watson, Colman Goals: Jones 20

Spartans: Thomson, Nicholson, Watson, Hutchinson (Bramley 24), Parker, Hooks, Rivers (Hawkins 71), Richardson, Maguire, Wade, Dale Subs not used: Lynch, Wearmouth, Turnbull Goals: Dale 1, Parker 50, Maguire 80

Referee: N Guest

Posted by BSAFC Admin