Spartans earn point against Dabbers in top of the table clash

In association with:
Chartered Management Accountant

cima-mip-logo-2.jpgBlyth Spartans 1-1 Nantwich Town
Evo-Stik Northern Premier League
Croft Park
Saturday 29th August 2015
Attendance: 492
It was built as a head-to-head of the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division’s frontrunners as second placed Nantwich Town travelled to table toppers Blyth Spartans.

However, in reality it resembled more of a marathon and while it didn’t quite meet Bolt v Gatlin style proportions it did eventually provide the Croft Park with something of a sprint finish crowd in an enthralling last ten minutes as both sides had a number of chances to take all three points.

The first half never got going with chances at a premium but if anyone was going to break the deadlock it seemed Spartans striker Dan Maguire was the most likely to do so.

On twenty five minutes he produced a spectacular overhead kick that seemed destined to nestle inside the near post but it was cleared off the line by Matt Bell.

Then ten minutes before the break Maguire raced through on goal after a firm headed pass by Arran Wearmouth. However Dabbers keeper Jose Veiga stayed true to the goalkeeping handbook and made himself big, denying Maguire any chance of rolling the ball past him. The keeper then managed to block Wearmouth’s stinging drive as he pounced on the rebound.

The visitors struggled to create any real chances in the opening half with Sam Hall and Elliott Osbourne trying their luck from distance without causing Spartans keeper Adam McHugh any problems.

However the Spartans number one was forced into action within five minutes of the restart as he produced a smart stop, diving across his line to parry a Matt Kosylo shot to safety.

The deadlock was finally broken just before the hour mark as Robbie Dale gave Spartans the lead, although the goal had a large slice of fortune about it.

The winger worked his way into the left hand side of the Dabbers area and his cross-shot took a wicked deflection off Dabbers centre back Matt Bailey and leaving Veiga standed at the near post.

An equaliser almost came for the visitors with, what would have been, an equally fortunate effort.

Dabbers substitute Lewis Short his a low drive from twenty yards that Dillon Morse tried to block but diverted the ball just outside off the near post with McHugh seemingly beaten.

Minutes later there was to be the equaliser that the visitors deserved.

As Spartans failed to clear a cross from the left and that allowed Kosylo to knock the ball down to Steve Jones. The former Crewe Alexandra play lashed a rising shot that flew into the far corner of McHugh’s goal.

However the Spartans keeper had more success with seven minutes left on the clock as the two sides produced a sprint finish that Mo Farah would have been proud of.

Elliott Osbourne raced through on goal, clear of the Spartans back four, but McHugh denied him by blocking his shot with a smart stop. The rebound fell to Lewis Short but with the goal gaping he diverted the ball wide of the far post.

Tom Wade’s side regrouped after that let off and Alex Nicholson volleyed wide from twenty yards before substitute Sean Reid had a great chance to win it for the hosts.

A cross into the area wreaked havoc for the visitors and the ball fell to the former West Allotment Celtic forward. He was denied by a smart stop by Veiga from point blank range and the rebound fell agonisingly behind Nicholson who would have had an open goal to hit.

With a minute of the three minutes of injury time remaining Spartans were grateful to McHugh for preserving a hard fought point as he produced a stunning double save to deny Dabbers centre backs John Moran and Matt Bailey.

Firstly he denied Bailey with a smart stop low down at his near post and then blocked a Moran drive from the rebound. That was enough to ensure that both sides took a point from an intriguing contest.

Taking the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division promotion race as a marathon, not a sprint could well be a mantra that everyone connected with Spartans would do well to abide by in the coming months.

Blyth Spartans: McHugh, Nicholson, Morse, Mullen, Hutchinson, Turnbull, Richardson (Reid 60), Wearmouth (Watson 70), Maguire, Wade (Hooks 68), Dale Subs not used: Bramley, Parker Goals: Dale 59

Spartans star man: Ryan Hutchinson

Nantwich Town:Veiga, White, Thornton(c), Moran, Bailey, Osbourne, Kosylo, Hall, Bell (Hancock 80), Gordon (Short 59), Jones (Smith 76) Subs not used: Criggs, Smith Goals: Jones 68

Dabbers star man Matt Kosylo

Shots on target: Spartans 7-8 Dabbers
Shots off target: Spartans 4-7 Dabbers
Offsides: Spartans 0-2 Dabbers
Corners: Spartans 6-9 Dabbers
Yellow cards: Spartans 0-1 Dabbers (White)
Red cards: Spartans 0-0 Dabbers

Entertainment value: 3/5

Referee: Mr Miller

Posted by BSAFC Admin