BY Niall Bromley
Karl Byrne has become an unlikely goalscoring hero for Blyth Spartans in pre-season.
A full-back by trade, the Irishman isn’t known for scoring many goals but that’s all changed in the last seven days.
The Irishman has found the net in three successive games for Michael Nelson’s side against Middlesbrough under-23s, North Shields and South Shields.
“I don’t know!’ Byrne said, when asked for the secret behind his rich goalscoring streak.
The pick of Byrne’s goals so far came against the Mariners on Saturday afternoon when he lobbed goalkeeper Myles Boney midway through the second half.
Byrne added: “I looked up and saw the keeper off his line so I just thought ‘I’ll have a go’ and lifted the ball over his head.
“Thankfully it went in. It’s always a great feeling to score goals.
“I hope I can score many more.”
His stunning goal was unable to prevent Blyth from suffering defeat to Shields in the CEFO CFS Challenge Trophy.
Darius Osei’s double ensured the visitors took the trophy home, although the referee failed to spot a clear handball by the winger in the build up to his second goal.
It inflicted a first defeat of pre-season on Blyth.
Byrne said: “When we pressed South Shields, I thought we did it really well.
“In the second half, we got in their faces more and did well overall I thought.
“We’re still upbeat and positive despite the defeat.
“We just need to keep going. It didn’t go our way today but I thought we were a bit unlucky not to get a result of some kind.”
On Tuesday, Spartans welcome League Two side Hartlepool United to Croft Park in a 7pm kick-off.
“It’ll be another tough game,” Byrne believes.
“We just need to keep building up the minutes and our confidence.
“It’ll be nice to grab another goal and keep the run going.”